This Monday, spend some time identifying your triggers so you can stick to the plan and quit and stay quit. Every person is unique, so are your triggers. When you quit smoking, only you know what prompts an urge to light up.
Triggers can be linked to a variety of causes, from stress, to boredom, to a coffee break. The best part – once you identify what sets you off, you can do something about it! Here are some strategies to overcome them.
Reflect and record. Think back to times you felt the urge to smoke. Jot down what caused it (or what you were doing at the time), how you felt, and how you can respond differently in the future.
Employ distraction. If you need something in your mouth, suck on a mint, chomp on a carrot, or chew sugarless gum. Go for a run or walk around the block. If you’ve just finished a meal, don’t linger at the dining table; even brushing your teeth immediately helps shift the post-meal habit.
Find stress relievers. Since stress is often a big smoking trigger, find ways to relax and calm down anytime, anywhere. Try mindfulness exercises, deep breathing, or some light exercise.
Clean out the signs. Remove everything in your life that reminds you of smoking! Throw away your ashtrays and lighters and buy air purifiers – for your home and car. Do a big load of laundry because even your sheets and blankets can smell of smoke. Do everything you can to start fresh!
Every time you substitute a trigger with a positive response, the urge to smoke lessens. Start Monday identifying your triggers and end it with fresh, clean breath!