There's no reason to beat around the bush: quitting smoking is incredibly challenging. In fact, only about 4% to 7% of smokers are able to quit with the first quit attempt. So if you're struggling to ditch the habit, you're not alone. Since you're already working to make such an important health change, though, consider incorporating a few new healthy habits. These five simply tricks can make quitting smoking just a bit easier.
Try Some Candy
Smoking elevates your blood sugar – a fact that can prove dangerous for people with diabetes. In the early days after you quit, though, sudden changes in your blood sugar can leave you feeling miserable. Combat cravings by sucking on some candy. Not only does this mimic the oral habit of smoking; it will also help regulate blood sugar levels. But of course, if you have diabetes, be sure to talk to your doctor before doing anything that could affect your blood sugar including quitting smoking.
Get a New Addiction
People are creatures of habit, and if you really want to quit for good, consider replacing your nicotine addiction with another, healthier addiction. Exercise will keep your mind off of smoking, not to mention make it much more difficult to give into temptation. Not into exercise or already a fitness buff? Try scheduling a regular date with a friend, signing up for a new class, or mastering a skill that can keep your mind and hands occupied as you struggle to quit.
Treat Smoking as the Enemy
Smokers frequently grieve cigarettes like they'd grieve a lost lover. But cigarettes are your enemy; they're terrible for your health, socially isolating, and don't even taste good. A number of programs – such as Alan Carr's Easyway – encourage former smokers to conceive of nicotine and smoking as enemies. You don't have to sign up for a program, though; instead, begin thinking of smoking in the same way you'd think of an evil ex, rather than romanticizing these sticks of death.
Love Your Body
If you want to quit smoking without endless cravings and suffering, you need to embrace self-love. Ditch that unhealthy diet, and stop looking at fashion magazines, which research suggests can lower self-esteem. Doing so helps you cherish your body, which makes you significantly less likely to poison it with tobacco smoke. Every time you get a craving, remind yourself that you love your body and don't want to harm the one and only home you'll ever have.
Drink Some Coffee or Tea
Nicotine is a mild stimulant, which means it can give you a kick to keep going when you're struggling with a challenging work project or mediating a dispute between your kids. It's no wonder, then, that so many smokers use nicotine to combat stress! You can get the same effect with caffeine, though. Both coffee and tea offer a wide variety of health benefits, in addition to a small shot of caffeine. Try replacing your nicotine habit with a cup of coffee or tea. Just make sure you keep your caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day, especially if you're pregnant. This is the equivalent of about 12oz of coffee.