Many of us are accustomed to having daily smoking breaks at times of the day when we would, without fail, grab our packs and our lighters and head to an open window! Oftentimes we would look to our cigarette breaks as a chance to get away from the stresses of work or just to have a quiet moment to ourselves.
Just because you have given up cigarettes doesn't mean that you can't enjoy breaks. But now, instead of lighting up, substitute new, healthier alternatives that will give you a similar sense of calm and relaxation.
Here are some of my favorites:
Meditation can be a wonderful way to gain control of your mind, especially when it's racing with thoughts of how much you miss smoking and cigarettes. It's incredibly easy to do and can be done anywhere, without any equipment except your own body
Simply sit on the floor in any comfortable position (such as cross-legged). Close your eyes. Attune your ears to the sounds around you, whether it's the noise of the street or the voices of your office colleagues. Now shift focus so that you are listening to the sounds of your breath and your own body. At the same time, concentrate on a mental image that gives you a sense of peace, such as a candle flame, a tree, or cloud. Try to keep your focus centered for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Listen to Music
Music is such an amazing distraction. It's so easy to get lost in a familiar melody, or to be transported by a new song that really speaks to you in some way. In fact, music has an effect on the brain that may be similar to chemical substances but it's all totally natural, of course!
A great tip is to substitute daily music breaks for what used to be your daily smoking breaks. Instead of going outside to puff away, put on a soothing CD or turn the radio on a channel you love. You can use your i-Pod if you are at work, or play it out loud if you are at home. The distraction will keep your mind off cigarettes, and the music will give your body its much-needed dose of relaxation.
Go for a WalkDon' just sit in your office or your living room thinking about how much you wish you had a cigarette right now. Instead, get up and put your body in motion. The physical stimulation will start endorphins coursing through your body. If you can take a stroll outside, do so and pay attention to the sounds of the birds, cars passing by, the color of the flowers in bloom, and so on. The point of this exercise is to get yourself out of your mind and focusing on external things in order to beat the urge to smoke.
Develop New Interests
Try developing new interests or hobbies like gardening or painting. Such things would keep your mind off that urge to smoke. All of us have a certain measure of creativity that often remains untapped. It would be a wonderful thing if you could try working on that creativity. Join a dance class or a drama class. Or you could try learning a new skill like pottery or clay modeling. Try to involve yourself with other people. Do same social work, or try helping out at the local volunteer organizations.
Change your lifestyle by changing your routine. Go swimming, try working out or going to the gym. Be active. Got something you wanted to do but never had the time to do it? NOW is the time. As you distract yourself by changing your lifestyle and developing new interests, you will be amazed at how easy it is to quit smoking!
Such activities make us appreciate the meaning of life in a better way and we will stop to think twice before we waste away this life at the end of a cigarette.
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