Hey, we get it! Urges to smoke can be incredibly tough to overcome.
When you want to light up, it can be challenging to remember why you decided to go smokefree in the first place. (Unless you wrote your reasons down—in which case, go you!)
Luckily, tricks like the Four D’s can help keep you from slipping up. Try one (or all!) of 'em next time you find yourself yearning for a smoke:
You may not think so in the moment, but the urge to smoke does pass if you don’t give into it. In fact, urges to smoke should pass in 3-5 minutes, whether you light up or not!
If you’re accustomed to leaving work at a certain time for a smoke, push that break forward 15 minutes and get back to some emails. Or linger a bit longer by the water cooler. You can even set an alarm for five, 10, 15 minutes or more in the future and find a quiet place to practice the next D while the urge runs its course.
The longer you put off giving into the urge to smoke, the more resistable it may seem.
It’s incredible how much just focusing on your breath can do for your body and mind. It can also be a great way to gauge how much healthier your lungs may feel now that you’ve quit smoking!
Pausing to take some full inhalations and exhalations during stressful moments calms us down and enables us to think more clearly. In fact, a mere 10 minutes of basic breathing exercises has been shown to dramatically reduce the intensity of some smokers’ urges to light up.
Next time you find yourself consumed by the need for a smoke: Stop. Inhale deeply. Exhale. Repeat. Simple as that!
Need something to do with your hands and mouth? Why not crack open a bottle of water and take a few swigs?
Fueling your body with some good old H2O can help keep you refreshed and alert. Plus, it’s an immediate healthy alternative to inhaling a cigarette.
Check out all the other ways water can help you quit smoking here.
Do Something Else
Help get through tough urges by throwing yourself into an activity that’s completely unrelated to cigarettes. If you can get up and take a walk, go for it! If you can’t, try moving to a different part of the room or picking up your phone to call a friend or family member.
Other ideas? Pull out a crossword puzzle, Rubik’s Cube or other portable game to fiddle with. Or, if you have a smartphone, cue up your favorite game. The goal is to get your mind elsewhere—even if it’s just for a few minutes.