We’re in a time when more people are giving serious thought to optimizing their health. Along those lines, if this is the time you’ve finally decided to quit smoking, there are a variety of methods worth considering. Some people gain comfort by replacing cigarettes with mints, gum and even lollypops — which offer oral stimulation substitutes. For others, replacing smoke time with healthy snacks like fruits and veggies is a good option. If you worry about weight gain, or aren’t interested in gum or lozenges, consider creating new routines.
Many long-time smokers do so out of habit … after a meal, getting in their car, while watching TV, etc. If you find yourself craving a cigarette in specific times, places or activities, make a conscious effort to introduce new activities into your day.
As another tactic, if you start to get craving sensations consider getting up and walking around for a few minutes. Change your scenery and allow yourself to be distracted by your surroundings. Sometimes using just a little energy in a new way can make a big difference.
If leaving your space isn’t an option — especially in a “safer at home” environment, incorporate some relaxation techniques. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and take a brief mental health break by visualizing a beautiful setting or remembering an enjoyable activity.
Finally, devise some ways to reward your new behavior. Set goals and congratulate yourself when you accomplish them. You might even look for ways to combine rewards with enjoyable activities you look forward to. Instead of lighting a cigarette after dinner, make a conscious decision to use that time to play with your kids, or take a relaxing stroll through your neighborhood.
This HealthLine article has more ideas on how to build healthy habits to replace that smoking habit.