The life of a smoker very often revolves around the activity of smoking. As such, it can be exceedingly difficult for a smoker to give up his or her habit. In many cases, the key to quitting smoking is to find an activity or habit that replaces it.
Looking for things to do instead of smoking? Then read on. Here are 7 of the most effective options.
1. Chew Gum
If you’re looking for a direct replacement for cigarettes, you might consider chewing gum instead. Chewing gum is a suitable replacement for smoking cigarettes, as it involves the same general parts of one’s body. Plus, like cigarettes, it can help to keep anxiety at bay.
Keep a pack on you at all times. Then, when you get the feeling that you want to smoke, pull out a stick of gum instead. The taste of the gum will provide you with a small psychological burst while the rhythmic chewing motion will help keep you balanced.
Note, there are alternatives to gum as well. These include everything from sunflower seeds to toothpicks to candy and more. Find something you like (that’s healthy!) and use it as your new go-to.
One way to kick smoking to the curb is to replace it with something equally as addictive. Of course, in order for this to work, you have to choose a healthy addiction. Why not make it exercise?
Physical exercise is a necessity anyways. And, for some individuals, it can go on to be an absolute life-changer.
Start going for daily walks, join a yoga group, or get into weightlifting. Doing so will not only tone your muscles and improve your endurance, but it will also promote a positive mood, lessening your need to use cigarettes for anxiety-related purposes.
3. Maintain a Solid Social Group
Oftentimes, smokers smoke out of loneliness. In cases such as these, the key problem is isolation. When a person doesn’t have access to a regular social group he or she will use other devices (like cigarettes) to keep him or herself occupied as well as to dash out potential boredom.
In short, a solid social group is a necessity.
There are a number of ways to develop a social group. You can join a league of some kind (like bowling, softball, or golf), or you can volunteer (thus putting you in a position to meet others). You could even make friends online (though in-person friendships tend to be more fruitful).
Whatever you have to do to make friends (short of participating in illegal and potentially reckless activities), do it. Having a solid friend group promotes happiness and happiness prevents you from having to turn to negative vices.
4. Maintain a Schedule
Though it’s not true of every smoker, many smokers turn to smoking during periods of downtime. For instance, if they have time to sit down and watch mindless TV, they generally also have time to light up a cigarette. Conversely, if they’re busy playing the guitar or washing their car, they likely won’t feel the intense need to have a cigarette.
As such, a good way to avoid smoking is to formally schedule your day with meaningful activities. The busier you can keep yourself, the less opportunity you’ll have to want for a smoke.
Sure, you’re still bound to reach for a cigarette every now and then. But over time, the cravings will fade, and you’ll find yourself wondering why you ever needed a cigarette in the first place.
5. Find Something Else to Hold
Smokers smoke for a number of reasons. Perhaps the primary purpose is to quell stress and anxiety. But another commonly cited reason is to keep his or her hands busy.
See, human beings tend to be awkward with their hands. They put them in their pockets, they fidget with their fingers, and, in some cases, they fill them with cigarettes.
If you suffer from this problem, you can help get yourself past it with a simple solution: finding something else to hold. Whether that “something” is toothpicks or loose change or a stress ball or otherwise, it doesn’t matter. The point is to keep your hands busy so that they don’t get antsy and reach for another cigarette.
As we’ve noted several times in this article, smoking is often done as a means of combatting stress and anxiety. So, if you’re trying to quit smoking, you should be doing everything you can to reduce your stress levels.
Perhaps the best way to do this is by getting more sleep. Failing to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each and every night can put you in a constant state of stress. As a smoker, it puts you in a position where you’re essentially always playing from behind.
Set a bedtime and stick to it religiously. Doing so will not only help you to stop smoking but will also provide you with a host of additional health benefits.
Here’s a Guide to Stress and Sleep to help you understand the importance of rest when stress is high.
7. Indulge in a Hobby
The everyday stresses of life can seem unbearable. Everyone needs something to help get away from these stresses from time to time. This is why, as a smoker, you need to make sure that you’re regularly indulging in a hobby.
It doesn’t matter what it is coding, photography, model building, or otherwise. Participating in a beloved hobby will remove you from the stresses of everyday life and help keep those cigarettes out of your hands.
There are All Sorts of Things to Do Instead of Smoking
In truth, there are all sorts of things to do instead of smoking. This list comprises only a small portion of the available activities. The key is to find something you enjoy and pursue it with everything you’ve got.
Interested in kicking your smoking habit with the help of professionals? If so and if you’re in New Jersey, we here at SOBA can help. Our rehabilitation center has helped many individuals to quit smoking, enabling them to lead happier and healthier lives.
Contact us today to discuss your options!