Everybody knows by now of the devastating health effects that smoking can cause – but if you are a smoker, you’ll also know just how addictive the habit is. Simply being aware of the nasty consequences of smoking isn’t enough to help you quit. You don’t need scare tactics; you need natural, proven remedies to help you put down the cigarettes for good, not because somebody’s telling you to, but because you don’t want them.
If you’ve tried quitting smoking before, you probably know better than anyone that it’s one of the hardest challenges you can face. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. It’s not actually the cigarettes themselves that we’re addicted to, but the nicotine content they contain. Unfortunately, cigarettes also contain a number of harmful and carcinogenic chemicals that make them a dangerous addiction.
There’s no overnight success story for quitting smoking, and for many people, it’s a case of slowly cutting out cigarettes, with the help of the medications on offer from anti-smoking companies and doctors. If you want to speed the process up a bit, though, and quit smoking faster, it’s really worth considering looking at natural ways to kill your nicotine cravings.
Most anti-smoking medications still offer you nicotine in some form. They’re supposed to be helpful because it means you’ll hopefully be inclined to move on from smoking nicotine-filled cigarettes to, say, wearing a nicotine patch or chewing nicotine chewing gum. The problem with this is that you’re never actually learning to control your cravings; you’re just moving from one source to the next – and nicotine alternatives are rarely cheap, either!As impossible as it may seem, you can kill your nicotine cravings, and you can do so entirely naturally. Keep on listening to discover the 11 best natural ways to kill your nicotine cravings and quit smoking for good:
11 best natural ways to kill your nicotine cravings and quit smoking for good
If you snort at the television hypnotists because you think they can’t possibly be truly controlling people through a “psychic connection”, don’t let that opinion apply to medically qualified hypnotists until you’ve trialed a session for yourself.
Hypnotherapy has proven useful in helping people to deal with all number of addictions and mental illnesses and has cured even the most hopeless of cases.
Hypnotherapy helps you to achieve a state of subconscious change. When you’re under hypnosis, you’ll be able to alter your associations with smoking and ultimately rid yourself of the urge to smoke a cigarette.
Hypnotherapy is completely natural and doesn’t use any drugs or medications to help you reach your subconscious alteration. It’s thought that, alongside other natural solutions, it can assist in speeding up the process of the nicotine withdrawal stage.
When you smoke a cigarette, NMDA receptors in your body release dopamine, a hormone that produces an emotional response of pleasure or satisfaction. Magnesium, which you can get from your diet or take as a supplement, has proven helpful in preventing these NMDA receptors from releasing dopamine during smoking.
When you have a healthy amount of magnesium in your body, you can expect it to lower your satisfaction from smoking. Magnesium will be most quickly absorbed if you take it as a powder, but there are plenty of other sources you can get it from too.
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You might be surprised to know that something as simple as exercise can help you to fight the desire for a cigarette. In particular, aerobic exercise like walking, swimming, running, dancing, cycling, and boxing has been found to reduce cravings for nicotine and withdrawal symptoms in those trying to quit.
After just 50 minutes of exercising, you can expect to feel a far lower urge to reach for a cigarette – and you’ll hit a spike of endorphins too.
Acupuncture has only recently made it big in the world of holistic therapy, but thanks to its numerous remedial effects, it’s become a firm favourite amongst health fanatics and sportsmen and women alike.
Acupuncture has also been proven effective in giving up smoking. The process involves placing thin needles at certain points on the skin, which affect the lungs, airways, and mouth.
This is thought to kerb your desire for the tobacco taste and reduce your cravings for a cigarette. Get into a habit of paying weekly visits to your acupuncturist, and you should notice positive results after a month or so.
It might seem like a bit of a random fruit to go for when you’re craving a cigarette, but studies have found that lime is actually just as effective as chewing nicotine anti-smoking chewing gum if you’re trying to avoid cigarettes.
If you want to give it a go yourself, simply slice a piece of lime, suck on it, and then chew the skin. Limes are also packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, which are great for your overall health and wellbeing – so it’s worth stocking up on them if you like their taste!
It’s another one that many people dismiss as nonsense, but mindfulness, or being able to take complete control over your actions, has been proven as the number one most effective method in giving up smoking. Mindfulness works by It altering the reward value of smoking in the brain, and preventing people from acting on their cravings.
The mindfulness approach involves being aware of the immediate effects of smoking, like the “burning feeling” from inhaling, the bad taste in your mouth, and the unpleasant smell of the smoke. By paying attention to the experience of smoking, rather than distractedly doing it, you’re unlikely to enjoy the experience as much.
You can then use techniques to endure cravings (and not act on them), by focusing on the feelings you might experience, like tightness and heat, and being aware that you need to do something else to make the sensations go away.
7. Good hydration
When you first quit smoking, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re taking in plenty of liquids, preferably fruit juice and water, especially over the first three days of quitting. It will help to flush nicotine out of your body faster, but it’s also been found to reduce any headache pain and digestive issues you might get from nicotine withdrawal.
Try to avoid tea and coffee if you’re looking to stay hydrated after quitting smoking, although some forms of herbal tea are fine.
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Like magnesium, ginseng is an effective remedy for preventing the release of dopamine, the pleasure hormone, and one of the main components found in nicotine, during smoking. Not only that, but Korean ginseng in particular has been found to have adaptogenic properties, meaning that it can help the body to deal with physical and emotional stress, and restore overall balance.
Because it energizes the body and helps deal with symptoms of stress and fatigue, including Korean ginseng in your diet should help to increase your energy, endurance and stamina while you’re going through the nicotine withdrawal period. Try adding ginseng powder to your breakfast cereal or porridge, or, if you’re not a fan of the flavour, take it in supplement form.
Here’s a slightly funny sounding herb that’s been found to work wonders for kerbing those nicotine cravings: catnip. While catnip makes cats excitable, it actually has the opposite effect on humans, calming us down and promoting feelings of tranquillity. Catnip reduces anxiety and can help those suffering from insomnia, both of which are common nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Some people also experience problems with their digestion and headaches during the withdrawal period. Catnip is said to help with both of these issues – and, most impressively of all, some studies even suggest that it can help to reduce cravings for nicotine. Give it a go yourself: just put a couple of drops of catnip tincture on the back of the tongue, which is said to immediately decrease the desire for cigarettes.
10. Licorice root
Despite you probably having more experience with it in sweet form, licorice is a medicinal herb that has been traditionally used for all number of reasons, including treating respiratory problems like asthma.
It’s thought that if you chew on licorice root – not the sweets, unfortunately – you can give yourself the satisfaction of smoking without the actual cigarette. This is because licorice is used as a flavouring agent in cigarettes and other tobacco products, so the flavour of the licorice itself might be all you need to help satisfy your cravings. You can usually find licorice root at your local health store, herbal shop, or online.
Sometimes called “wild oats”, the extract derived from oats can help to ease cigarette withdrawal symptoms and reduce nicotine cravings. You’d never think it, but oats are an effective tonic for the nervous system, and are also rich in an amino acid called L-Tryptophan, which is required for the production of the “happy” hormone, serotonin.
Using wild oat extract or tea or eating an oat-based breakfast can help you to keep on top of your nicotine cravings and power through any of the more difficult withdrawal symptoms you may experience.
Now that you’ve discovered exactly how you can kill your nicotine cravings for good, you’re most likely wondering where on earth you should start. It’s hardly surprising if you are – quitting smoking, no matter what route you go down, is no walk in the park.
But by going at it from the natural angle, you should have a slightly easier time of it. You won’t have to try quitting cold turkey, and you should find that as your nicotine cravings fade, you’re not reaching for that next cigarette as often as you used to.
You may not find some wonder cure that makes quitting smoking easy, but if you follow the steps we’ve mentioned, you might just get there faster. Put everything you’ve learnt into action – and good luck!Deciding to make a change is often the hardest part of all. With a little faith and a lot of motivation, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed.