Spilling the Coffee on All Things Know Your Triggers

The biggest challenge a smoker faces when quitting is different triggers. Knowing what to expect and deal with them keeps you on track.

For the quitter, the trigger makes you want to smoke. This is a stressful situation. Sitting drinking your coffee or even going to a party smelling a lit cigarette frustrates you. People have different triggers, and some can affect women more than they can affect men. To help control your cravings, it helps to know your triggers to make it less tempting to start smoking again.

Withdrawal Triggers

You’ve smoked all your life, and your body is used to the dose of nicotine. Once you quit, the withdrawal symptoms creep up, making you want to keep smoking.

  • You feel restless or going through different withdrawal symptoms
  • The smell of cigarette smoke makes you crave to light up the next one
  • Always wanting to keep the hands busy
  • Handling matches or a lighter reminds you of smoking
  • Carving the cigarette taste

Luckily, there are ways to deal with your withdrawal triggers by distracting your mind, finding something to remove the craving. You can chew on gum, lozenges or try some NRT products. Alternatively, you can talk to your doctor for medication or use other methods to quit.

Environmental Triggers

Quitting smoking leaves you dealing with more than just your emotion. You need to deal with other things around you that remind you of smoking. You can be busy with everyday activities at work or in your social life, all reminding you of smoking. For women, it can affect more than men can.

A Pattern Trigger

The trigger happens when you do an activity that includes smoking from:

  • Finishing a meal
  • Driving
  • Drinking coffee or alcohol
  • Relaxing watching TV or after having sex

Here the crucial thing to beat your pattern trigger is to break the connection replacing your smoking with other activities. Change up your routine to find a non-smoking replacement like chewing a sugar-free candy or gum.

Social Triggers

The trigger smokers find at particular activities and events where others smoke:

  • Celebrating an event at work or with family and friends
  • Standing outside work, noticing another person smoking
  • A social gathering or a party
  • Having friends that smoke
  • Going to a concert or nightclub

You may feel you’re not able to remain smoke-free as everything reminds you of smoking. But with small steps, you can prevent the social trigger by telling others that you plan to quit. Ask for their support and not to smoke when you’re around. The first couple of weeks stopping is best to avoid people and places where smoking is present. It will get easier with time to be around smokers.

Emotional Triggers

Quitting smoking leaves you emotional, and any intense emotion, whether bad or good, makes you want to smoke. It common among all smokers, and you’re not alone. Women are more likely to experience negative emotions triggering smoking compared to men. When you feel frustrated, stressed, angry or sad, it becomes harder for you to remain smokefree.

You feel it helps you to feel better, but it’s only temporary and will not make what’s bothering you go away. You can find ways to manage your mood and stress without lighting a cigarette. Learn healthy ways to handle your emotions to prevent relapses and slips. Are you craving now, paint your nails, take a trip to the salon, or hit the gym to keep your milestone smoke-free.

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