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How to Quit Smoking

Topics > COPD

Five Effective Alternatives to Smoking

By Dr. Kristie

If you are a smoker, you know how difficult it can be to break this habit. Many people resort to prescription medications which can have side effects that some people find it difficult to tolerate. A safer strategy for smoking cessation is to adopt some healthy alternatives to smoking.

Although nicotine does have some physically addictive properties, smoking can also be a nervous habit which serves to keep the smoker’s hands occupied throughout the day. If healthy and pleasurable habits can replace smoking sessions, over time a smoker will gradually eliminate smoking and replace it with more healthy activities that provide pleasure and stress relief.

If you want to kick the habit, why not try incorporating some of these healthy alternatives to smoking into your daily routine? Over time, you should find yourself smoking less and less until you finally eliminate the habit entirely. Here are some smoking alternatives that work:


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Replace smoking with short exercise sessions

If you are sitting at your desk and the urge to smoke arises, get up from your chair and take a ten-minute walk up and down the hall, up and down the stairs, or to another part of the building.

Walk briskly and breathe the fresh air deeply into your lung. When you return, the urge to smoke will likely have subsided and your lungs will feel fresh and clean from the brisk walk and deep breathing.

Practice short meditation sessions

When you feel the urge to smoke, try this alternative to smoking. Close your eyes, lean back in your chair, and focus on deep breathing. As you breathe in each breath of fresh air, revel in how pure and healthy it smells untainted by cigarette smoke.

Continue this deep breathing exercise and focus on the purity of the air around you until the urge to smoke a cigarette subsides. Congratulate yourself on resisting the urge to reach for a cigarette.

Substitute a taste of dark chocolate

Smoking is partially addictive because it alters certain brain biochemicals involved in the sensation of pleasure. When the urge to smoke strikes you, slowly eat a small amount of dark chocolate.

This serves two purposes. It gives you a pleasurable smoking alternative, plus dark chocolate can raise serotonin levels which can elevate mood and relieve stress which is one of the reasons people smoke.



Try a little negative reinforcement

Keep a book in our desk that discusses the negative health effects of smoking. When the urge to smoke a cigarette strikes, take out your book and remind yourself how you are shortening your life span by engaging in this dangerous habit. Review all you must live for and give thanks that you are still healthy and the opportunity to remain that way if you quit smoking.

Call a friend

When you feel like you cannot resist that cigarette, reach for the phone, and call a good friend. Let them know you are in the process of quitting smoking and you’re confident that you can do it. Talk until the urge to smoke subsides. Congratulate yourself on finding an alternative to smoking.

Conclusion

Each day that you practice these healthy alternatives to smoking, you should find yourself smoking less and less. Plus, you will be cutting back on smoking gradually which can make smoking cessation easier. It is important that you replace your old smoking habit with new activities that will help you handle stress and anxiety.

Exercise, meditation, yoga, or a new hobby can all help to fill the void created by smoking cessation. Give some of these healthy alternatives to smoking a try and you will soon wonder why you ever smoked in the first place.

About the Author

She is a Medical Doctor with concentration in family practice. She has a undergraduate degree in both Biology and Psychology and masters in Clinical Pathology.

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Disclaimer: Articles not intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Diseases!

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