Quitting smoking is hard enough because of physical cravings, but the psychological “need” to have something in our hands makes it even worse. In fact, squashing the urge to smoke cigarettes is mostly an issue of mind over matter, and keeping the mind and body busy and distracted can make quitting easier. In fact, certain activities we do and how and where we do them can help a great deal when it comes to destroying thoughts of cigarettes.
If you do a lot of smoking in your living room in front of the television, then quitting smoking will free up many opportunities to do productive things with your hands. This is the perfect time to take up knitting, start exercising your arms with hand weights, make a shopping list, drink a glass of ice water, or bead a bracelet. Once you make a new routine while watching television, thoughts of smoking will become fewer and fewer until they all but disappear.
Many people love to smoke while driving. This is a tricky habit to break because there are not many safe things to do to pass the time while in your car. However, it is helpful to think about the interior of a smokers’ car versus a non-smoker’s car. The stench of stale smoke and yellowing of the seats and roof might seem normal to a smoker because that is what they are used to. Imagine how much more pleasant a journey could be with a fresh smelling, spotlessly clean vehicle, not having to spray Febreeze before every time a new passenger climbs in out of embarrassment. Also, if you don’t have a stereo in your car now is the time to invest in one with all the money you will save from not smoking. Listening to a captivating audio book or singing along to your favorite music is a necessity and makes a drive go by so much more smoothly – even being stuck in traffic is a good excuse to listen to an extra chapter or couple of songs.
If you loved to smoke cigarettes while out with your friends, there is no need to feel left out now. Chances are, you have a cell phone and can play a handheld game or text a non-smoker in your life with the touch of a few buttons. While using a cell phone in a social setting is sometimes considered rude, in a situation when all your friends are smoking cigarettes it can keep your hands busy and keep you entertained and distracted at the same time. When they put out their smokes, you can put away your phone, and repeat as necessary.
The majority of smokers have several good reasons that they would like to quit. Whether it is to save money, to improve one’s health, or to stop having to go outside every hour in all sorts of weather, it is easy to think of reasons that life without cigarettes or tobacco products would be better than life with them.
Now, can you think of anything else in life that you would not only continue to do, but to pay large amounts of money to do, that has such a negative impact on your life? When we smoke, it is common to complain about how much we “hate” doing it and are envious of people who don’t “need” to smoke. Then when we stop smoking, we talk about how much we hate the withdrawals and are envious of our friends who are still smoking.
This is the chemical brainwashing talking, and it is crucial to remember that stopping smoking is something you wanted to do, and therefore should be happy about it. While it is easier said than done, the number one weapon that nicotine uses to keep us hooked is our thoughts, and realizing this and changing the way we think can make all the difference in the world when it comes to quitting smoking.