Tobacco cravings and urges to smoke are powerful and can lead to stress. Instead of giving in, tap into one of these calming techniques until the urge passes.
A positive statement you say aloud at times of stress can be highly motivating. These are affirmations. Examples include “I am free from my desire to smoke,” “My body no longer desires nicotine,” and “I enjoy breathing easily and deeply.” You may even want to write these down on note cards that you can put on your refrigerator or stick on the dashboard in your car as reminders of why you’re quitting.
Imagining positive scenarios can be incredibly relaxing. Start by sitting in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Imagine a pack of cigarettes slowly disintegrating until it vanishes. In its place is a glowing orb of light. Imagine inhaling this light. See the light moving through your nasal passages, removing debris. See the light traveling into your left lung, removing gunk and toxins. Then see the light moving through your right lung, loosening mucus and dirt. Now envision yourself expelling all the dirt and debris from your body as your entire body fills with warm, comforting light. Now open your eyes.
Listening to something that takes your mind off of a craving can bring a sense of calm when you’re feeling stressed. You may prefer listening to nature sounds like crashing waves, the wind or birds. Or you might like listening to one of your favorite bands. If it’s a song with lyrics, sing along. You could even try a five-minute dance break to get your body moving past that urge to smoke.
4. Making connections
Tap into your social network for support or text a friend. Talking with others is a helpful way to work through a craving and to get a fresh perspective while staying connected with others. If you prefer face-to-face time, make a weekly plan to meet up for dinner or a walk.
Take five minutes to simply breathe. You can do this anywhere – outside, while quietly sitting at your desk or even parked in your car. Sit up straight, close your eyes, and place one hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feel your belly rise as your abdomen fills with air. Now slowly exhale the air through your nose and feel your belly lower. Repeat.