morning exercise

Breaking a tobacco addiction can be difficult under the best of circumstances. Going cold turkey often feels like a roadmap to failure, and many of the pharmaceutical aids come with their own set of challenges in the form of side effects. Don’t fret, though – here are six other alternatives that can help you quit smoking naturally.

Exercise

Giving up cigarettes can be a stressful experience – and many smokers find themselves smoking excessively in high stress situations. So, you can see this is a recipe for disaster. However, you can alleviate stress in other ways – like by getting a lot of exercise. A good workout releases serotonin and endorphins into your system, helping you to relax and remain calm. This can be key to getting through some of the worst moments when you’re trying to quit. Plus, exercise has a ton of other positive benefits as well – so it’s really a win-win situation.

Eat Healthy

Diet and exercise often go hand-in-hand, and it’s no exception when you’re trying to quit smoking naturally. A 2012 study showed that people who ate fruits and vegetables were three times more likely to remain tobacco-free 14 months after quitting. So, eat your fruit and veggies if you’re really serious about kicking the habit.

Acupuncture

This next step will have you on pins and needles – literally.

Acupuncture is reportedly one of the most effective ways to quit smoking naturally. It does this in two separate, but important, ways.

First, acupuncture can help with controlling the withdrawal symptoms many smokers experience. Second, it increases levels of serotonin in the body, which make you happier and less interested in smoking.

Studies have yielded mixed results (and many acupuncturists will tell you the treatment is most effective with a multi-discipline approach that includes things like hypnosis and the use of traditional Chinese herbs), but there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that this ancient art can help smokers get through the worst symptoms of quitting. If you’re serious about giving up cigarettes for good, give it a shot.

Start by finding an acupuncturist here.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis isn’t just a lounge act – it’s also a pretty effective therapy (especially when combined with something like a nicotine patch as this study demonstrates) that can help you put down the cigarettes for good.

At its core, most hypnotherapy involves putting the smoker into a relaxed state and suggesting all the ways that smoking is bad for them. Patients are often taught auto-hypnosis techniques, which they can then use throughout the day as problems arise.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be hypnotized – so this technique is not viable for everyone.

Aromatherapy

Got a crazy craving for a cigarette and nothing seems to be killing it? You can try inhaling the scent of black pepper essential oils. Apparently, part of the reason it works is because inhaling the oil gives the user a warm feeling in the chest and throat that is quite similar to taking a puff on a cigarette. If you’ve got a crazy craving, why not give this a try – it’s better than caving and smoking a cigarette.

Meditation

There’s a whole lot of talk about “mindfulness” and “being in the moment” floating around these days – and it turns out, practicing these principles can help you break your nicotine addiction.

People looking to quit smoking naturally can benefit from beginning a meditation program. Being aware of cravings while also living in the moment can provide the tranquility to help tough it out when things get hard.

Don’t just take our word for it, though – recent research found that smokers who practiced meditation as part of their cessation program were more successful than those who did not.

And there you have it – six tools you can use to quit smoking naturally. Check back for even more tips to help you kick the tobacco habit.