Author: Danielle Salley
Take on a positive mindset: think clearly about the benefits of quitting smoking. For starters, calculate the money you will save each month/year, not to mention the years you will be adding to your life!
Put the money saved to good use: smoking is an expensive habit, so treat yourself to something you’ve had your eye on. You deserve it!
Use oral substitutes: get creative, as everyone’s different, but here are a few suggestions to curb your habits: take 10 deep breaths when a craving kicks in, eat carrots and celery sticks, chew gum, and suck on licorice sticks or toothpicks…
Quality distractions: ensure you have enjoyable ways to distract yourself at tough times, like listening to your favourite playlist, drawing, chatting with a good buddy, gardening, going for a walk/run, playing sports or even baking! Find your own outlets.
Try increasing the intervals between cigarettes: start by holding out 5-10 minutes before smoking your next cigarette, and slowly increase your breaks between smokes incrementally as you see fit.
Eat, drink and be merry: make sure to exercise regularly, drink water and eat properly.
Remember booster foods: garlic is high in sulphur and selenium which helps pull cadmium from the body (a toxic mineral by-product of smoking). Garlic is good for the immune system, is antimicrobial and anti-viral, plus helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Ginger has antioxidant properties and stimulates digestion and better circulation. Did I mention garlic/ginger make any dish taste delicious?!
Natural herbs can ease cravings: many people today are turning to natural, holistic approaches to quit smoking. Here are seven herbs that help treat certain withdrawal symptoms:
• Lobelia– works on the brain’s chemical system. The herbal extract, lobeline, behaves like nicotine in the brain; thus is used to replace nicotine cravings, in addition to its calming effects on the mind and body.
• Ginseng– helps reduce stress levels.
• St. John’s Wort– affects mental attitude by keeping depression at bay, thus maintaining a positive mental state.
• Peppermint– stimulates digestion, reduces nausea, and alleviates headaches related to the digestive system. It also releases anxiety and tension, both common symptoms of a nicotine detox.
• Oat Straw– moderates nervousness, stress and overall physical/mental exhaustion in addition to nicotine craving, depression and pain.
• Scullcap– used as a sedative for anxiety, insomnia, and pain. This mint plant naturally releases endorphins to calm one’s nervous system.
• Valerian– is a sedative and muscle relaxant. Also helps the body to curb stress, anxiety, tension and insomnia.
Meet with a hypnotherapist: hypnosis is a great way to break old habits and replace them with new, positive habits. Curious?
• Hypnosis is a process whereby a person mesmerizes another person and is put into a drowsy state. Once in this state of mind, the mesmerized person is able to accept the suggestions of the other person. This is done through a number of steps.
• Initial Stage: hypnotist explains the harmful effects of smoking and how addiction begins. Emphasis is put on understanding that the smoker has been making a mistake repeatedly, until they become aware of this.
• Second Stage: hypnosis takes root. The smoker is put into a drowsy state. A cigarette is compared to an element by making use of a simile. The hypnotist explains what the cigarette does to the body by making use of figurative speech. The smoker is given a few alternatives to rid the habit — the choice is theirs.
• Third Stage: the smoker is asked to recollect how his habit started off. The hypnotherapist then attempts to break the mindset of the smoker since many believe they can only successfully complete an activity when they smoke. They are made to remember how they once excelled at tasks before they began smoking. In this way, the smoker loses their emotional attachment with cigarettes.
• Final Stage: the patient is made to understand that their conscious and subconscious mind is completely opposed to smoking. There will only be a slight resistance to quit smoking, which can be easily overcome. Using figurative speech once more, their mind is compared to a large object and the resistances are compared to a much smaller object.
To be blunt: quitting smoking, particularly for someone who has been a smoker for years, will likely be one of the hardest things you will ever do. Nonetheless, the numerous benefits of living smoke-free leave the decision alone to be a no-brainer. So sum up your will power, and make it happen!