Recently when working with a group of patients quitting tobacco, we were talking about coping skills for urges and cravings. While we have traditionally looked at the 4 D’s (Delay, Distract, Deep breathing, and Drink water), this group added 2 more to the list: Discuss, and a surprise fun one - Dance!!
So, consider trying these cognitive strategies for your cravings or urges to smoke:
Delay: Delaying acting on your urges - say 5 minutes - and most likely the urge will lessen or even completely go away.
Distract: Find something to occupy yourself with for a few minutes while the urge or cravings dissipate.
Deep breathing: Breathe in through the nose, and out through the mouth. This can be very calming and relaxing.
Drink water: That’s right! Drinking water does help with cravings; and while most of us don’t drink enough of this life giving fluid anyway, it is a good reason to drink up!
And finally, the 2 new ones:
Discuss: Ask for help from, and utilize, the support people in your life to help you work through cravings and urges.
Dance: Quitting smoking is hard work – make sure you celebrate your efforts !!
Barb Dallavalle, MA, LP