You can easily quit smoking if you understand habits. All habits have three parts: The cue, the action, and the reward. It might surprise you to know that smoking is the action, not the reward. Unlike the addiction to nicotine, which only lasts a few weeks after quitting, the habit of smoking can last a lifetime. It is called the Habit Loop, and to successfully quit you need to know own your triggers, understand your rewards, and find a new action to replace smoking.
Knowing Your Triggers, Understanding Your Rewards
Start off by becoming aware of when you smoke. Do you have a cigarette with your morning coffee, on your drive to work, after lunch, when taking a break, when you feel stressed, talking on the phone, while walking the dog, or with a drink in the evening? These daily occurrences are your triggers to smoke. It is important to be aware of these times, and have something healthy and new to replace cigarettes ready to go.
Figuring out your rewards requires a little more self reflection. Smoking provides a hit of nicotine, which is why you started, but after years the nicotine does not give that same stimulative effect. Most likely you continued smoking for other reasons, such as an excuse for socialization, relaxation, physical stimulation, stress reduction, a break from work, or relief from boredom.
Herbal tea is an ideal substitute because it can replace the action of smoking, while keeping your same rewards. People often get together to chat over a cup of tea. The herbs in good cigarette replacement like Quit Tea are calming. Having a cup of tea in your hand and sipping can keep your hands and mouth busy, while making tea provides a nice break from work. Boiling water, steeping the tea, and sipping can be a new, healthy ritual.
Using herbal tea to replace the habit of smoking is a behavioral modification therapy method called Habit Reversal, or the Substitution Strategy for quitting smoking. Studies have shown it takes 66 days to create a new habit. If you can have a cup of herbal tea every time you are triggered to smoke, after just 2 months, reaching for a cup of tea will become as natural as reaching for a pack of cigarettes used to be.
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