24/7 Confidential Hotline

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

3 Stop-Smoking Excuses (And 3 Simple Solutions)

Lots of people in recovery still smoke cigarettes and, at one point, it was even encouraged as a way to prevent relapse. Today, however, we know better – and it may just be the opposite. One study showed that kicking your nicotine habit can make it easier (not harder) to recover from a substance use disorder as well as from depression or anxiety disorder.

Okay – so easier said than done. To help, we’ve identified three common obstacles among smokers and some simple solutions to keep you on track.  

1: Oral fixation: The hand-to-mouth ritual of smoking is a tough habit to break, and you may even find yourself fidgeting with your hands, biting our fingernails, or snacking more often. 

It may help to hit the grocery store and load up on healthful snacks – carrots, celery, brown rice cakes, grapes, sugar-free lollipops, sugarless chewing gum, etc. Bonus: Studies show that gum chewing can boost memory, which may help ease the mental fogginess commonly associated with addiction withdrawal symptoms.

2. Weight gain: Packing on the pounds is unfortunately pretty common for those in recovery – and quitting smoking won’t help. Nicotine has been shown to suppress appetite and may even boost metabolism. But the threat of a few extra pounds shouldn’t derail your stop-smoking plans. 

Instead, perhaps it can serve as extra motivation to incorporate some strength training into your addiction recovery exercise routine. Three months of pumping iron curbed cigarette cravings, minimized withdrawal symptoms, and decreased weight gain risk, according to a study funded by the National Cancer Institute.  

3. Stress: How can you possibly cope with the stress of recovery without at least having a cigarette now and again? Well, you can, and in fact quitting may even help tame that tension, according to a study in the journal Addiction.

Even so, the road to quitting will undoubtedly be filled with stressors. Make sure to spend time with loved ones who tickle your funny bone or cue up your favorite sitcom on NetFlix. Laughter increases the feel-good endorphins released by the brain and cools the body’s stress response. Exercise is also a great stress buster, so find a walking buddy and lace up those sneakers.

More Ways to Stop Stress
We know that stress inhibits progress in your addiction recovery journey. To combat this, The Haven at Pismo Beach offers a variety of alternative therapies that relieve tension and complement your customized treatment plan. To learn more, call today: 805-202-3440.