Stay Sane When You Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is hard. No matter how strong a resolve you have and how determined you are, there are still moments when you may wish dearly for a cigarette and many people say that they find it almost consuming at times. This can lead to poor concentration, irritability and general lack of peak performance. So how do you quit, but still stay sane?

Well there are a number of tools that you can employ to ensure your sanity is maintained without those little cancer sticks. First of all recognise and believe that all cravings will pass. When you get a craving, just take a deep breath and say (silently if necessary) 'This too will pass'. It will: the average craving is gone within 2 minutes. The deep breath will also calm your heart rate down and make you feel more relaxed.

Take a sip of water, ice cold preferably, but only a sip or two. Keep doing this throughout the day, but particularly after a craving has struck. Even the act of getting up, getting some water, saying your 'This too will pass' mantra, will help you to forget the intensity of the craving.

Get control of your cravings (yes it really can be done). Treat it like a little child who is crying. Acknowledge it, tell it to be quiet but don't let it think that it is in charge. Instead, recognise that it's there, but put it firmly in its place. It's a craving, it will go: you are in control, not the craving.

Try to build in some time for exercise. The more physical activities you participate in, the quicker nicotine will be purged from your system, so sweat it out. The exercise will also help you to feel relaxed and in control. Don't use it as a substitute for smoking, but simply as a way of helping your body to help itself.

Try to eat good foods which are high in vitamins and minerals. Increase your intake of vegetables in particular. This will help you to feel fuller and deter you from snacking on sweets and sugar rich foods. Sugary foods toy with your blood sugar levels, leaving you with highs and lows which are much more difficult to cope with if you are also withdrawing from nicotine.

Finally, try to keep a diary or journal and make a note of how you feel, get in touch with your emotions and don't simply block out what is happening in your life. Use your journal entries to explore your emotions, feelings and thoughts, instead of just lighting up a cigarette.

You should also use your journal to plan milestones: the first day, the first week, the first month of being cigarette free. Celebrate and congratulate yourself for these milestones and simply enjoy life as a non-smoker. It is actually great fun!

All these tools combined will help you not just to succeed, but to stay sane in the process, so make sure that you employ all of them and good Luck, you are now well on the way to becoming a non-smoker!

author: Edna Jacobson

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