As a woman, you've likely realised that smoking is only going to shorten your life and those around you. Fortunately, statistics show women smoke far less than men do here in Australia, even if this doesn't remove your own smoking problem. You've perhaps smoked for most of your life, though now feel like it's the right time to quit.
Despite this, you know you have triggers thwarting your prior attempts at quitting. After possibly several efforts, you realise it's hard to stay away from certain triggers sending you back into bad smoking habits.
Smoking triggers in female smokers can embody everything from media influences to something personal. In the latter case, emotional triggers are common. These occur based on things directly related to your life, or things reminding you of relational events.
Determining well-known as well as hidden and seldom talked about triggers can really help you on your journey to Quitting Smoking. Learn about potential triggers that could be present in your life and look for ways to avoid them when you do decide to quit again.
Since you already smoke due to intense emotions, do you really know which emotional triggers could set you off after trying to quit?
Let's look at the most common ones and how to control them.
Stress and Anxiety
As common as these are as triggers, going back to smoking after quitting typically happens because smoking manages stress to help you feel better. Any emotion you had diminished by having a cigarette automatically becomes a trigger.
It's all the more reason to avoid stress and anxiety as much as you can in your life. Doing this might sound impossible when you can't always avoid either one. Trying meditation helps, and the same goes for reducing anxiety.
Facing stress in life might not always be your only trigger, though. Stressful situations in the news (or even in a movie) could become a trigger and set off a memory of wanting to smoke.
Feeling Bored or Depressed
Boredom is one reason for smoking in some people. Maybe your job is one you find dull, pushing you into smoking to have something to do. The same goes for alleviating depression due to your career or life situation.
The way to avoid these triggers is to get out and do more interesting things in your life. Change jobs, or go out and attend exciting events to take your mind off any boredom. Working on personal creative projects helps occupy your time so you don't fall back on those boredom triggers.
Depression is sometimes clinical, so you may need doctoral care with medication to avoid triggering memories. As with stress in the news, don't watch TV or movies possibly setting off these emotions in an instant.
In some people, smoking merely makes people feel happy, perhaps after accomplishing something worthwhile. You're one who maybe felt like grabbing a smoke after completing a challenging project as a reward. It works similarly to those who overeat by rewarding themselves with high-calorie foods.
The psychology behind this can become complex, yet you can see what kind of trigger this is. Obviously, you don't want to remove anything happy from your life, yet staying away from constantly rewarding yourself after accomplishment is a way to avoid a trigger relapse.
Think of other ways to reward yourself in a healthy way, like buying something useful.
Other Methods to Tackle Your Emotional Triggers
Emotions could become too overwhelming, and one way to lessen your feelings is talk about your emotions to someone close to you, or a counselor.
Don't take exercise out of the equation either as a way to keep your mind focused while also helping your physical and mental health.
Listening to your favorite music (including while you exercise) works equally to calm yourself and help generate positive memories, perhaps to a time before you started smoking.
We encourage you to download our "13 Seldom Talked About Smoking Triggers" report to learn more about your triggers.