Hey Zennies!!!!!! Statistics show a slight increase in smoking due to a spike in anxiety in our society. Therefore, we want to give you some tips on how to quit smoking. If you or someone you know is a smoker, please share this helpful information.

1).  Identify situations and emotions that trigger your smoking (consider what you typically think about and how you feel prior to making the decision to smoke).

2). Consider replacement activities that can be done instead of smoking (chew gum, brush teeth, drink a glass of water). It is best that the activity you choose be oral and good for you. Do not snack as this can lead to excessive weight gain and consequent depression, which could in the long-term lead to a return to smoking.

3). Look at images of the effects of long-term smoking daily. Keep images on your phone. Temporarily make the one you find the most grotesque a screen saver on your phone and computer. This will disgust you and remind you of what you are doing to yourself when you smoke cigarettes.  You will be forced to look at it and confront it every day; schedule time to think about the effects of smoking cigarettes. Learn to hate cigarettes.

4). Reduce stress. Exercise on a regular basis, daily if possible. Avoid stressful situations and address conflicts immediately and effectively. Do not ponder on negative issues and events. 

5). Set time aside to relax every day and look forward to it. Play soft music, read inspiring words, began reading a novel, have a positive conversation with a friend, spouse, or family member. 

6). Write in a journal. You can focus on your feelings which can include your feelings about your efforts to quit smoking.

7). Meditate. Take up meditation to calm and center your mind. Consider getting a book on meditations (we recommend Making Space by Thich Nhat Hanh).

8). Engage in deep breathing exercises when you want to smoke. Inhale deeply for 10 seconds, then exhale. Repeat cycle 20 times to calm and center yourself and allow the craving to pass.

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