Smoking is undoubtedly one of the most difficult habits to break. Most experts agree that the first few weeks of being smoke free are the hardest to go through. When the decision is ultimately made to break the smoking habit, there are certain smoking triggers that are important to vehemently avoid. Do your best to avoid anything on the list below.
1. Smoking Reminders (ashtray, lighters, any unused tobacco in your house).
Throwing away old reminders is important so that you don’t relapse by into the smoking habit again. The mind is incredibly powerful. Just seeing a lighter you used to use might trigger an emotional response to find a cigarette to light. Break and flush any remaining cigarettes down the toilet so that it’s impossible to get access to them again. Empty all ashtrays into the garbage and take the garbage out of your home. Throwing away old reminders helps to make the decision final with no turning back.
2. High-stress situations which may break your will
There are many times when people are in high-stress situations and opt to take a quick smoke outside. This breaks up their inner tension and helps to calm nerves. It is important to maintain healthy environments that are stress-free, especially when you just quit smoking. In cases where stress-free environments are almost impossible to cultivate (work, cantankerous children at home, etc.), find different rituals to unwind. For example, go for a jog, practicing some yoga poses, or even doing some breathing techniques in the cubicle at work can help refocus the mind and help release stress. A warm cup of tea also has some calming effects.
3. Socializing with smokers who do not support your intent to quit
Misery loves company. Birds of a feather flock together. Those are two key reasons why socializing with smokers who don’t encourage and support your desire to quit are a no no. The chances of you successfully kicking the habit in situations like this are greatly reduced. It’s one thing if a person is a smoker, but whole-heartedly encourages you. However, it is most important to keep people in your personal circle who will encourage, motivate and stop you from slipping back into the habit.
4. Associated Smoking Triggers such as having coffee, alcohol, etc
There are certain things that seem to go well together. For example, people enjoy milk with cookies and burgers with fries. Whatever the match is with smoking, try to avoid that specific thing altogether. Whether it was having a drink with a cigarette or enjoying a smoke during work breaks or while watching TV, try to avoid those situations or find something healthy to replace the cigarette. Additionally,
When you have nothing to do, the desire to smoke will increase. Always keep yourself busy and your mind on other things. It’s been said many times that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. This means that when people are bored or have no purpose to work toward, they can often find themselves in a world of troublesome activities. When the struggle is fresh and the fight is extremely new to you, keep a busy schedule filled with activities that take your mind off of the desire to escape for a smoke. Distractions are really helpful for pushing a person past those moments where the temptations start calling. Don’t worry, those smoking desires are short lived and you will quickly get over those urges!
Once you’re aware of these smoking triggers and make a conscious effort to avoid them, the habit and desire to smoke will become a distant memory. Here is some additional guidance from smokefree.gov.