Manage your cravings

Manage your cravings

Nicotine replacement therapies can help with the physical addiction, but having tricks up your sleeve to distract you from the psychological habit can be just as important.

There are two sides to cravings. The first is the physical addiction to nicotine, causing your body to experience withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking or cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke. Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help you manage this, and NiQuitin offers a variety of products so you can use the type of treatment that works for you.

If you've tried to quit before or cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke, you'll know that the habit of smoking is psychological too, so you need some tricks up your sleeve. If you miss the feel of a cigarette in your mouth, holding something in your hands, or just the act of socialising with other smokers, it's useful to have some distractions that focus your attention on something else for around 15 minutes to help keep you from giving in. Here are some ideas.

Breathe

Sit up straight, relax and breath in deeply through your nose, then out through your mouth while you count to five. Breathe like this for a few minutes when you think about having a cigarette. Simple but effective.

Get physical

If you usually go outside for a cigarette break, walk around the block for a few minutes instead. It's amazing what you can find when you explore.

Get spiritual

Now might be a great time to take up meditation. As well as helping lots of people make sense of their life, it's handy because you can do it anywhere.

Get in touch

with your friends or workmates. It might sound simple but taking the time to have a chat helps to break up your day and keeps you away from cigarettes. You could do it online by updating your Facebook page or twitter account. Your friends will always be happy to hear from you.

Train your brain

with the hundreds of games and apps available. If you're not careful, you might get distracted for more than a few minutes! Challenge yourself by doing a crossword or practicing your Sudoku to help keep you occupied.

Shop shop shop

Organise your weekly food shop or buy a new book or DVD online. Have your shopping delivered so you don't have to worry about making the trip to the shops to pick it up, where you might also be tempted to buy cigarettes.

Stay up to date

by reading the front page of your favourite newspaper, online or the old-fashioned way.

Plan a trip to the movies

by watching the latest trailers online.

Keep your ear to the ground

There are podcasts, audio books, radio shows and music downloads all available to distract you for a few minutes.

Find a book with short chapters

and read just one to distract you from a craving. Alternatively, read a graphic novel or a magazine.

Plan something worth planning

Get excited about a holiday you're looking forward to, an upcoming wedding or birthday, or even the weekend, and enjoy living in the future for a moment.

Make a list

of things you need to remember - writing shopping lists, reminders, or even a guest list for a party could all be useful distractions.

Eat and drink the right stuff

Drink more water, make a herbal tea, snack on fruit, nuts and seeds.

These are just some examples of what could distract you from your psychological attachment to cigarettes. It's really up to you and there's no right or wrong way to go about it.

Keeping some tricks up your sleeve to distract you from your psychological cravings can be just as important as dealing with physical nicotine addiction.

Keeping some tricks up your sleeve to distract you from your psychological cravings can be just as important as dealing with physical nicotine addiction.

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