As an alternative to nicotine substitutes, you can treat the challenge of quitting the habit as an opportunity to make changes in your lifestyle for the better. At the end of the process you will not only be a smoke-free, you will have also gained new eating habits and lifestyle changes for healthier living.
Making changes to your lifestyle and eating habits is a big challenge, and requires a certain level of dedication. You will find, however, that eating healthier and living healthier also makes it easier to quit smoking. You will also develop strategies for dealing with nicotine withdrawal.
Since we are talking about several changes to your style of living, it's a good idea to take at least a week or two off your regular routine to make the changes. If you can take some time off work and get away from your regular schedule you will be exposed to fewer situations which you associate with smoking. You can also take the time to recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
A regular exercise routine is an essential part of healthy living. If you have not exercised previously, build up to it gradually. Rather than starting on an ambitious two-mile jog every morning, begin by going for long walks. As your stamina increases and your health improves you can add more vigorous activities to your exercise routine.
Healthy eating is also very important for regaining the health that may have been lost from your smoking habit. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and cut down on fatty meats and foods high in saturated fats like fast food and desserts. Eating good-quality food can help eliminate toxins from the body faster which makes it easier to overcome your nicotine habit.
You are likely to experience symptoms from nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine is a powerful drug that affects many parts of the body but particularly the brain. Smokers become accustomed to the regular stimulation that nicotine provides, and may feel sluggish and inattentive when it is deprived. Rather than depending on nicotine substitutes to overcome the symptoms, simply take short naps whenever you feel drained.
Another symptom of nicotine withdrawal is irritability. Whenever you feel this way or are craving a cigarette, go for a brisk walk. This helps clear your mind and overcome the desire for nicotine.
You may also find that your mouth and throat feel dry or that you develop a cough or postnasal drip. This is caused by the body ridding itself of excess mucus produced because of exposure to smoke. To overcome these symptoms drink plenty of juice and water or suck on lozenges.
Cutting down on caffeine should be part of your new healthy lifestyle. There is no need to eliminate caffeine completely, but it is particularly important to avoid it after six pm. Nicotine withdrawal can cause insomnia and you do not want exasperate that by stimulating yourself with too much caffeine.
It is important to find natural ways to relax. Many people are tempted to smoke when exposed to stressful situations. It is far healthier to learn relaxation techniques like deep breathing. Nicotine withdrawal may also cause headaches which can be relieved by hot baths or gentle body movements like rolling the head.
All of these techniques are extremely helpful in overcoming the cigarette habit but they are also useful for maintaining good health. Make them part of your regular lifestyle and you will feel better, look better, and have a healthier outlook on life.