You will be aware that quitting smoking is one of the very best things you can do for your health.1 Once you have quit, you can look forward to health benefits such as improved circulation, better skin, boosted immune system, sense of taste and smell returning and your mouth becoming healthier.2 However, we know that quitting is easier said than done.
An addiction to smoking can be very difficult to break, but it is possible. It helps to know the reasons why you smoke in the first place and the reasons that you want to quit.
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Many people smoke because they think it helps relieve stress or anxiety. However, research suggests that it is the smoking itself which causes the stress in the first place, and that any stress-relieving benefit felt by smoking is simply related to relieving the need for a cigarette.3 This means that the only way to truly get out of the cycle of stress is to quit altogether.
There are many nicotine-based stop-smoking products out there, but since reducing your stress can help you overcome your addiction, it is a good idea for smokers to take steps to combat their stress levels in healthy and natural ways first.
Our top tips for quitting:
There are various stress-relieving essential oils that might help you on your journey towards quitting smoking. Whenever you find yourself stressed and reaching for a cigarette, having an essential oil blend on hand could help soothe you and lessen your cravings.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that essential oils such as lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile promote relaxation. Scientific studies have also shown a decrease in anxiety when essential oils such as lavender are used in conjunction with massage.4
Inhaling the vapour from black pepper oil (piper nigrum) has been proven to help with the withdrawal symptoms of smoking, with test subjects in one study reporting fewer cravings and less anxiety after puffing on a black pepper vapouriser.5
You could put a few drops of your favourite essential oil onto a linen handkerchief and inhale it a few times throughout the day.
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Exercise is great for combatting stress. The endorphin boost you get from physical activity, even if it’s just a brisk walk, can help improve your sleep and relax you in general. Why not set yourself a challenge such as climbing a mountain, completing a half-marathon or even just something like a weekly game of badminton with a friend. You will be more motivated to take control of your health and live smoke-free if you have a goal in mind that will require you to be in good health.
Lists can be very powerful aids when trying to motivate yourself to change a habit. Why not make a list of the reasons you want to quit smoking? Major health reasons are the most obvious, but you could also choose saving money, setting a good example for the young members of your family or even that you want to look younger! Just like your reasons for smoking are personal, so are your reasons for wanting to quit.
Keep your list on a piece of paper at home, in your wallet, car and on your desk at work so that you are constantly being reminded why you are undertaking this important journey towards living smoke-free.
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Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before trying any remedies.
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1. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24687615.
2. [Online] https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/smoking/Pages/Betterlives.aspx.
3. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10540594.
4. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21922934.
5. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8033760.