Cravings and stress

Cravings

If you experience cravings, remember the 4 D's

  • Delay - delay acting on the urge to smoke. Don't open a pack or light a cigarette. After a few minutes, the urge to smoke will pass.
  • Deep breath – take a long slow breath in, and breathe out slowly again. Repeat three times. 
  • Drink water – sip it slowly, holding it in your mouth a little longer to savour the taste.
  • Do something else – take your mind off smoking by taking action – put on some music, go for a walk, ring a friend and keep your hands busy.

Stress

A lot of people feel anxious and panicky about life without cigarettes. You might have been in the habit of lighting up at stressful times, such as when you're stuck in traffic, or when things have gone wrong for you, or when you've had an argument. You might have smoked when you were bored, or to give yourself 'time out'.

You need to find new ways to deal with stress. For example, you might like to try:

  • Talking to someone close to you – perhaps an ex-smoker
  • Listening to music
  • Squeezing a stress ball
  • Saying a karakia, prayer or affirmation
  • Screaming, shouting (warn people first!)
  • Buying yourself something with some of the money you've saved by not smoking
  • Going for a walk
  • Reading a good book
  • Taking a hot bath
  • Playing a game outside with your family
  • Reminding yourself of the reasons you want to quit

If you think that you may be depressed you may want to check out the Ministry of Health's Depression website.