Kicking the cigarette habit is one of the best things you can do for your health and happiness, not to mention your bank balance! March 11th is National No Smoking Day in the UK, so there’s never been a better time to quit being a smoker and reap the rewards for your lungs and life! In celebration of this auspicious day, here are our five top tips for a smoking-free lifestyle.
- Deep breathing
- Drinking water
- Know thyself!
If you’ve tried quitting before, you may already know the 4Ds of smoking cessation: Delay, deep breathing, drinking water, and distracting.
Delaying just means that when a craving strikes, you simply wait five minutes before taking any action. Most folks find that the urge passes and the craving goes away if you delay.
- Deep breathing
While you’re delaying, take a deep breath. This can help you relax and quash the craving. Deep breathing mimics the physical sensation of smoking, so if your urge to smoke is a reaction to stress, a few deep breaths could be all you need to regain a calm, focused mindset in a much healthier way.
- Drink water
Let’s face it, most of us don’t stay hydrated throughout the day, so this tip is a triple whammy. Sipping a glass of water can help you quieten the urge to smoke, combat smoker’s breath, and boost hydration, which is great for health.
Distraction and diversion are key components of any successful smoking cessation regimen. Find something that works for you (and is healthy!) to prevent yourself from lighting up.
A few ideas:
Take a shower (it’s very hard to smoke in the shower!)
Snuggle your dog
Bake something (bread, for example!)
Go for a walk (and leave the cigarettes at home)
Knit a scarf
Build a ship out of matches
Join a book group that meets in a public (non-smoking) space
Sign up for a dodgeball team
Have a games night with friends
Check the local library or museum for evening talks on topics you love.
- Figure out your motivation!?
Many folks start smoking as teens simply because it’s the thing to do. Others start because it’s a social habit and because smoking can help relieve boredom and feelings of stress.
Have you ever stopped to think, though, why it is that you still smoke?
Next time you’re about to light up, take a moment to ask yourself how you got here. This can help you figure out the triggers you’ll be railing against as you become a non-smoker.
Armed with greater knowledge, you stand a much better chance of avoiding cravings and staying the course.
Speaking of which, The Lung Association wants you to know that you can start to feel the benefits of being a non-smoker pretty quickly!
- 8 hours after your last cigarette - your blood carbon monoxide level drops and oxygen levels normalise. Great news for your cells!
- By 48 hours - your risk of a heart attack starts to decrease and your sense of taste and smell begin to improve!
- By 72 hours – your airways relax, lung capacity increases, and you’ll be able to breathe more easily! Hey, why not take the stairs at work to celebrate?!
- By 2 weeks to 3 months - your circulation will have improved, leading to more energy, better skin, stronger immune function, and faster healing!
- By 6 months – you have a much better chance of fighting off coughs, colds, and sinus infections, and you’ll feel less tired!
- By 1 year – you are 50% less likely to have a heart attack!
- By 10 years – your risk of death from lung cancer is cut in half!
- By 15 years – your risk of death from heart attack has decreased to the same as if you never smoked. Congratulations!
- Make it to 15 years and your risk of dying from a heart attack is the same as that of a person who never smoked.
Those hours, days, weeks, and months all add up quickly! Every day you choose to be a non-smoker is a bonus for your health. Some days will be tougher than others though, so rest assured that help is available.
A Little Help Quitting
Everyone quits smoking in their own way. You might find it helpful to join a support group or make a pledge with friends and family. Nicotine gum and patches can also help, as can hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and natural supplements that help calm the mind and shush cravings.
Jan De Vries Craving Essence is a great option to settle your mind if cravings do strike. As well as for help with smoking-related urges, this essence can grant you serenity to help with food cravings and other unhealthy habits you’re trying to kick.
This tincture combines the flower essences of: Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, Agrimony, Crab Apple, Tansy, Walnut, Chicory, Cherry Plum, Self Heal, and Morning Glory. To use, add 5 drops to a little water 3 times daily. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical conditions or concerns, talk to you doctor before using any natural health products.