Making the decision to quit smoking is a wise move yet can be extremely challenging as smokers are constantly surrounded by triggers that can greatly affect their determination to quit.
Everyone has their own smoking triggers that range from daily activities like social meetings to the need to relax as a means to relieve stress.
Identifying exactly what pushes you to smoke will help you quit smoking for good.
What is a smoking trigger?
The smoking habits of a new smoker is normally associated with their circumstances. Basically, there are four main smoking triggers.
1. Emotional triggers
When dealing with stress or emotional situations, many cannot resist smoking. These triggers remind them of the feeling they experienced when smoking to enhance their mood or ease the effects of a bad experience.
Hence, both negative and positive emotions can be potential triggers.
In order to deal with emotional triggers, take continuous deep breaths to calm the body and reduce cravings.
You can try listening to your favourite music to help ease your mind and refresh your soul.
Physical activities such as walking, or climbing up and down the stairs can help boost your energy and beat a craving.
In fact, being active is a very effective way to boost energy and release endorphins that will eventually turn your mood around.
2. Pattern triggers
Daily activities that make you crave a smoke are known as pattern triggers. For example, when sitting down to a meal, after sex, while driving, watching TV or drinking coffee.
When dealing with pattern triggers, you should find something that can replace the activities that come along with smoking – like chewing gum or eating a snack instead of smoking.
Also, keep yourself busy by washing the dishes after meals or reading while having coffee. To get rid of these triggers, changing your routine is a key.
3. Social triggers
In some situations, you may find the need to smoke in order to better connect or enhance the relationship you’re trying to build with other people in a group.
In order to avoid social triggers, you should start by avoiding participating in meetings that require the act of smoking. Alternatively, you should politely but firmly refuse any invitation to light up.
4. Withdrawal triggers
This is the most serious trigger that drives long-time smokers to continue the habit. Once the body gets used to a regular dose of nicotine – the main ingredient in tobacco – quitting could cause withdrawal symptoms that weaken the resolve to quit smoking.
Some withdrawal triggers include a constant craving for cigarettes, the need to have something in your mouth or hand, and the need to smell tobacco.
If you’re addicted to nicotine, you can consider nicotine replacement therapy. However, this alternative will not help you completely get rid of cravings.
Dealing with triggers is not easy. However, once you can identify your own smoking triggers, you are already halfway towards quitting smoking.
This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.