5 Healthy Habits You Can Substitute Smoking With

Smoking is one of the most addictive and dangerous habits in the world. You start with the occasional puff and before you know it, you are smoking a pack a day. In due course, you notice you’ve kinda gotten “good” at it. It is quite easy to get hooked on cigarettes but going cold turkey is very difficult. You may be able to refrain from smoking for a while because of your phenomenal willpower, but as soon as your urge gets triggered, it is impossible not to give in. Since quitting smoking is extremely taxing, it is better to replace the habit with healthy alternatives until you get there. You mainly tend to smoke because you are bored or you are into the habit of smoking at particular times during the day. If you can keep yourself busy or if you can find something else to do which is as satisfying as smoking, you will be able to reduce the amount you smoke in a day. Here are a few healthy alternatives to smoking.

1. Sugar-Free Gum

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You may be under the impression that the nicotine is the only thing that is keeping you hooked on cigarettes, but that is not always the case. You may be addicted to smoking because of an oral fixation, you enjoy the sensation of having something in your mouth. If that is your case, then you can replace cigarettes with sugar-free gum. Since you need to keep working your mouth when chewing gum, you can actually curb your desire to smoke. Chewing gum is better than smoking as it is good for your teeth and gums, and it balances the acidity levels of your mouth.

2. Dark Chocolate

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Each time you feel like smoking, reach for some dark chocolate. It is a great substitute for cigarettes and it does not contain excess sugar like milk chocolate. It also contains plenty of antioxidants and increases the pleasure hormones,

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dopamine, in your brain just like nicotine does. Dopamine gives you the feelings of joy and satisfaction, which is one of the main reasons you tend to smoke. Just go easy on the chocolate though, or you may need to start buying larger clothes!

3. Flavored Toothpicks

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If you don’t like chewing gum, you can try flavored toothpicks. They work in the same way as sugar-free gum by keeping your mouth engaged. There are plenty of flavors you can choose from and a single toothpick can last several hours. Some of them are specifically designed to curb cigarette cravings. Since they are made from organic materials such as bamboo or birchwood, they are completely safe.

4. Running

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Many of us may smoke because of stress. And running does sound like a far-fetched alternative to smoking, but it is a great stress-buster. It can help curb your cravings

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for cigarettes. Since smoking reduces your lung capacity, running will be difficult for most smokers, initially. If you continue going for runs, you will soon experience a dramatic increase in lung capacity and function, and will feel much more energetic. Since running induces the release of endorphins, you will feel happy and satisfied after a run. Runner’s high, anyone?

5. Yoga

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Yoga is a great alternative to smoking, especially if you are into the habit because of stress and tiredness. It helps you relax and focus on things other than smoking. The asanas not only calm you down but also help you burn calories and tone your muscles. If you have not tried yoga before, you should join a yoga class and should follow the instructions of a certified yoga instructor to avoid injuries.

Quitting smoking is an arduous process, but in the end, it is very rewarding. Take things slow and don’t force yourself to quit overnight. It might send you into a relapse and you

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might end up smoking more than you did before. Quitting smoking is difficult but not impossible.