If this isn’t your first time quitting, try one of these alternative methods.
One of the hard parts about quitting smoking is finding the best method(s) to help you quit. We’ve talked before about using evidence-based methods like medications or nicotine-replacement therapies (NRTs), and a combination of medication and counseling has the most scientific support in effectiveness. But they aren’t effective for everyone and there is no magic bullet when it comes to quitting. If you’ve tried quitting before using these methods to no success, one of these alternative methods could help you in your next attempt.
**One thing to keep in mind is that research on alternative methods is a mixed bag of positive and negative results. However, there are many people who believe their more unconventional approach is what led them to actually quit and stay quit. Talk to your doctor about which methods could work for you.
Acupuncture is a practice that has been used for thousands of years in Chinese culture. It involves using very thin needles on specific pressure points on the body. Some smokers say that acupuncture has reduced their cravings and eased their withdrawal symptoms. It has also been used as a stress reliever and a mood improver. If you decide to try acupuncture, make sure to use a license acupuncturist.
Forget what you’ve seen at those comedy hypnotist shows. Using hypnosis to quit smoking involves entering a state of deep relaxation and heightened focus and concentration. In this state, suggestions are made to help break the connections you have for smoking to weaken cravings and strengthen your resolve. Although you can practice hypnosis on your own, we suggest you ask your doctor to recommend a trained therapist who does hypnotherapy to help guide you through the process.
Similar to hypnosis, guided imagery gets you to a relaxed and focused state, but it also taps into your own imagination. You start by constructing mental images around quitting smoking, thus allowing your body and mind to positively respond to simulated sights, actions, sounds, smells, and tastes. By doing this, smokers can rehearse strategies to quit smoking, improve their self-control, and visualize themselves as a non-smoker and all the benefits that come with it.
Meditation is one of the most promising alternative methods on this list. That’s because it has a stronger body of evidence demonstrating its effectiveness in quitting than the other approaches. Meditation can increase your self-control, help you deal with cravings through mindfulness, and reduce stress, a smoking trigger for many people. (Click here for more information on how meditation is helpful). What’s even better is that meditation can be done in your car, in your home, just about anywhere!
As you may have noticed, relaxation is a key component of each of the above alternative methods. Since stress is what often drives people to pick up a cigarette, find a relaxation technique to help you unwind like the above practices or something like deep breathing, yoga, or massage.
Have you tried one of these alternative methods? Let us know how it worked out for you on Twitter!