If you’re on the journey to quitting smoking, you’ll know that nicotine cravings are one of the biggest obstacles to kicking the habit. For most smokers, cravings can be very powerful, and they can easily wear you down if you’re not ready to deal with them. However, each time you successfully resist these cravings marks another step closer to reaching your goal to quit smoking for good.
With this in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the best ways you can tackle these urges whenever a craving strikes, and make sure that you’re never at the mercy of these cravings.
Since an addiction to smoking is most likely going to be an addiction to nicotine, one of the most powerful ways to combat nicotine cravings is with NRT. NRT is a type of medication that provides you with a low level of nicotine to help you to wean yourself off of it, without any of the awful side effects present in tobacco smoke like tar, carbon monoxide and chemicals. NRT can help reduce lots of unpleasant withdrawal effects, such as cravings, bad moods and more.
NRT is available in a variety of different formats; you can get it as chewing gum, nicotine skin patches, nasal and mouth sprays, tablets and lozenges and inhalators. You can get NRT on prescription from a Doctor or the NHS stop smoking service, or from pharmacies and shops.
Any exercise or physical activity serves as a great way to combat nicotine cravings and reduce their intensity, in both the physical and the psychological. For one, exercise is a proven way of helping to deal with stress; which is one of the biggest triggers for nicotine in many smokers. Exercise can help to both distract you from your cravings and also improve your mood and relax you- so substituting a cigarette for exercise can help deal with cravings very effectively.
Introducing more exercise into your daily routine, particularly aerobic exercise, will also help you to recover from the damage done to your body through smoking. Aerobic exercise, like running, swimming, cycling etc., will help you to strengthen your heart and lungs, give you more energy during the day and ease stress.
When met with nicotine cravings, a quick and easy way to combat these cravings is to give your mouth something to do to occupy your mind and distract yourself from them. This can be anything, from finding a snack to eat, such as sunflower seeds, celery, raw carrots and nuts, that is crunchy and satisfying enough to divert your mind away from the cravings, to chewing on things like nicotine gum, sugar-free chewing gum or hard candies. Since cravings can come and go relatively quickly, having something on hand that you can eat or chew may help tide you over until the cravings go away.
As previously mentioned, many smokers develop the habit as a way to combat stress- and dealing with cravings is in itself a huge contributing factor to stress. So one of the best ways to counter cravings, is to substitute smoking for a relaxing activity. This can include things like deep-breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualization, massage or even simply listening to calming music, in order to combat and rise above your cravings.
That concludes this article, on four easy methods anyone can use to try and overcome nicotine cravings. For some more advice on how you can stop smoking, you can view our range of Stop Smoking blogs here or contact us to learn more about our stop smoking services.