How is quitting tobacco like being a handyman? They both require a full toolbox that can handle all kinds of challenges, both predictable and unpredictable. The more, the merrier when it comes to tools, or strategies, for quitting tobacco. These are some of the tools that it may be good to include in a complete quitting toolbox.
Exercise is a powerful tool when quitting. It is a healthy alternative to using tobacco when you have cravings, and it even suppresses cravings for up to an hour after you are done. Physical activity is doubly motivational for quitting, because it gets easier the longer you stay away from tobacco. Plus, burning a few extra calories from exercise helps prevent weight gain due to a slightly lower metabolism after quitting smoking.
Good nutrition when quitting tobacco can help prevent weight gain and replenish lost nutrients. Smokers need more vitamin C than non-smokers, and may have higher needs for certain B vitamins and antioxidants. The emphasis should be on choosing nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, fruit, and healthy proteins, while limiting low-nutrient, high-calorie foods such as fried foods and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages.
Smoking and other tobacco use is often in response to stress, so finding other ways to handle stress can make quitting easier. Along with exercising and getting enough sleep, deep breathing and journaling are other strategies for stress management. Having a support system, which may include people to phone when you are stressed and people to lend a hand when you need one, is also crucial.
Mindfulness helps put mind over matter when it comes to cravings. The theory is that recognizing cravings and accepting the sensations they bring eventually leads to realization that they do not need to be met with tobacco. Mindfulness can help decrease severity and length of cravings to make quitting easier.
The saying is that knowledge is power, and that is also true in the context of tobacco cessation. It can be motivating, for example, to know how tobacco affects your body, and that the average smoker attempts to quit about 15 to 30 times before being finally successful. And, knowing what to expect when quitting can help you prepare your mind for it. There are all kinds of resources for educating yourself, including Lark.
The right toolbox can help you quit successfully, and Lark is there to help you fill yours.