Why learning to de-stress could help you quit for good

Our days are filled with three types of triggers that remind us to smoke. When trying to quit, it's important to take note of these three aspects of addiction.

Sometimes we feel like we 'need' a cigarette because of urges caused by nicotine, or sometimes it's a part of our daily routine (when we get in the car, with a coffee or during a work break), but some of the hardest cigarettes to avoid are those caused by our emotions. It could be right after a stressful moment or when we're celebrating that we feel like we 'need' a cigarette.

If you smoke a standard pack of 20 cigarettes per day, you could be throwing away up to $150 per week, so it's important to get on top of these three aspects of addiction when you're trying to quit.

Here's our top tips on taking control of the three aspects of addiction to stay smokefree.

Your emotions play a larger role in your smoking than you may think

It's only natural that sometimes we let our emotions get the better of us. Certain events in our lives may cause us to feel stressed and out of control. It could be something as simple as running late for an appointment or a bad day at work. These stressful scenarios often cause smokers to turn to cigarettes as a form of escape, and they are one of the main reasons why many smokers relapse when they are trying to quit.

The good news is that this kind of behaviour can be overcome if you set your mind to it. The first step to kicking the habit is recognising that the primary reason behind your smoking is due to your emotional response to certain situations. The second is to realise that this is something you have complete control over.

There are a number of different strategies you can use to say goodbye to your stress-fuelled smoking for good. Once you've identified the feelings that are driving the need for a cigarette, you can learn to replace the cigarette with something else. For example, an emotion such as anxiousness might be overcome with a walk around the block, a hot drink or a chat with a friend. The more you practice doing something else, the sooner you'll learn to cope with your emotions without reaching for a cigarette.

You don't have to battle the nicotine on your own

After only 2–4 weeks smoke-free, you'll have broken your addiction to nicotine. During these first few weeks, you can deal with the physical or chemical addiction to nicotine by using medications or nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum, lozenges, tongue strips, sprays – there's even an inhaler. You can get some of these at a low cost by talking to your doctor.

You'll need to think about how smoking is a part of your daily routine

The cigarette first thing in the morning, paired with a coffee or on a break from work can be tough to shake. Smoking becomes a habit – an automatic behaviour when we encounter a trigger.

You'll need to think about your day-to-day routine and identify all your triggers – write them down, if you can – and think about what you could do instead next time. It could be as simple as having a shower first thing, staying inside on your work break, or keeping some mints in your car.

For more tricks and tips on how you can combat your smoking addiction, check out our videos here.