Quit Smoking: Here’s Things To Do Instead Of Smoking

Smoke-Free Alternatives: Engaging Activities to Do Instead Of Smoking

QUIT SMOKING – Here are four (4) activities to engage in rather than smoking cigarettes.

Deciding to quit smoking becomes more manageable when you discover alternative activities to fill the time once dedicated to smoking. The National Institutes of Health recommends a practical approach to breaking unhealthy habits, such as smoking, by substituting them with healthier routines.

While this might sound challenging, changing habits may not be as daunting as it appears.

Photo Source: Verywellhealth

Change your environment

Research indicates that the key to habit change lies in selecting your environment wisely. Duke University psychology professor Wendy Wood’s studies emphasize the significant role environmental cues play in influencing behavior. For instance, individuals tend to repeat habits associated with specific places, even when they wish to avoid them but find themselves in that environment. Smokers aiming to quit can benefit from Wood’s advice by paying attention to their usual smoking spots and consciously avoiding them. By altering physical locations, individuals increase their chances of sustaining new behaviors over time.

Find a new reward

Additionally, Charles Duhigg, a habit expert and author of “The Power of Habit,” suggests that habits comprise three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward. To modify the smoking habit, it’s essential to understand the triggers. For instance, if socializing is closely tied to smoking breaks, finding new ways to socialize without smoking becomes crucial. By identifying and altering the cues, routines, and rewards associated with smoking, individuals can develop a plan to replace smoking breaks with healthier alternatives, like taking a brisk walk with a nonsmoking friend.

Photo Source: Brain and Life Magazine

New activities and routine

Smoking is a complex habit to break due to both physical addiction to nicotine and the intertwined daily activities associated with smoking. Creating new routines not automatically linked to smoking is crucial. Making changes, such as eating lunch with friends instead of at your desk or engaging in family activities before dinner, can disrupt the automatic association with smoking.

Building better habits: Stay dedicated

Although withdrawal symptoms from nicotine may persist, it’s important to recognize them as temporary. Building healthier habits, coupled with potential medical support like nicotine replacement therapy, can aid in managing withdrawal symptoms. The rewards of not smoking, such as breathing fresh air, experiencing an invigorated feeling from exercise, and spending more quality time with family and friends, will eventually outweigh the old experiences associated with smoking. Staying dedicated to these new, healthier habits will likely lead to long-term satisfaction with the decision to quit smoking.

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