World No-Tobacco Day: 7 ways to trick your brain into quitting smoking

Anyone who has ever tried to quit anything in life–even if it’s quitting a person–would know how gut-wrenching it is. Why else do you think people do weird sh*t after a break-up?

Now, think of quitting something your body is biologically dependant on. That’s right–NOT easy. But just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In the larger scheme of things, why get your beloved body so dependent on an external substance–that isn’t necessary for one’s survival–that you fail to function without it?

On a different note, even Mukesh (ref: movie theatre advertisements) has left no stone unturned to let us know what tobacco can lead to. Not to lead you through a path of fear to make you quit, but well, Mukesh isn’t wrong. If you’ve already tried and failed–or are all pumped up to finally give it a shot–here’s how you can trick your mighty brain into kicking the ugly butt:

1. Replace a habit with another habit: The only way to quit a long-term habit is to replace it with another habit. For instance, every time you feel like lighting a cigarette, brisk walk wherever you are for 10 minutes. Not only will this help keep you off your addiction, it was also improve your health.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Even though most smokers end up consuming more water on a daily basis–because smoking clearly dehydrates the body–one of the bodily reactions of quitting smoking is major dehydration, which in turn leads to hunger pangs. So, instead of hogging, remember to consciously drink water even if you’re not thirsty through the day.

3. Do it for the right reasons: Your health being one, yes. But don’t decide to go down the ‘Let’s Quit’ lane just because someone’s asked you to, or worse, to impress someone. This has to come from within, else you’d stray off the path sooner than you’d realise.

4. “Just one” never stops at one: Let me have just one puff, just one drag, just half a cigarette, just one cigarette.” Sound familiar?The truth is, the more you give into temptation, the more temptation will haunt you. This approach, obviously then, never works.

5. Stay away from triggers: First, identify your triggers. Figure out who or what is making you want to light a cigarette–be it a particular client at work or a nagging relative. Once you figure this out, avoid them/it at all costs, at least till the time you’re in your quitting phase.

6. Let the cravings pass: As is true for food cravings, cigarette cravings too pass, IF you let them. If you feel like one right now, practice deep-breathing for 10 minutes; meditate in the spot you’re at or just turn to play with your pet–if you let the first 10-20 minutes of cravings pass, they won’t return for a good amount of time (depending on the level of your dependency on tobacco).

7. Reward yourself: Last but not the least, reward yourself with anything you like–be it your favourite dessert at the end of a smoke-free week or a luxurious spa treatment. Positive reinforcement works better than you think!
And whatever you do, just know that nothing is bigger than your will to live a longer life.

Originally published on India Today
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MaStyle Care Team

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