Quitting smoking is hard, but it’s also a growing trend. According to the CDC , 68.0% of adult smokers (22.7 million) in 2015 said that they wanted to quit smoking, and there are actually more former smokers than current smokers in the US today.
From smoking cessation programs to pharmaceutical products, and whether you smoke or vape, there are so many resources available today to help you kick smoking habits to the curb. Today, we want to focus on a lesser-known tool: your breath.
Breathing Exercises to Ease Anxiety
Feelings of irritation or restlessness are super common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “just take a deep breath” for relieving stress, anxiety, and even anger. As it turns out, slow deep breathing, on the other hand, activates the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) branch of the nervous system. This releases feel-good chemicals such as acetylcholine and oxytocin, telling our bodies we are safe.
In addition to breathing exercises, you may find physical activity is the key to help shake these feelings. Per the CDC , caffeine lasts longer in your body when you quit smoking, so it may also be helpful to cut back on coffee and tea.
Breathing Exercises to Curb Cravings
Cravings can be triggered by association – for example, when you go places you’ve smoked, see people you’ve smoked with, or do things you used to do while smoking like going outside for a work break.
Have you heard of habit switching and habit stacking ? These are great tools to create positive associations that reinforce healthy habits and kick negative triggers to the curb. An example of habit switching might be scheduling your breathing exercises for the time that you usually take a smoke break, or planning morning walks in place of your morning smokes.
Get a FREE year of Breathwrk with your next resB® order
Did you know that ResBiotic customers are eligible for a free year of membership to the Breathwrk app? The app also allows you to set a breathing exercise schedule, so it can serve as a great reminder to take your daily resB®.
Breathwrk contains a whole library of science-backed breathing exercises to help support lung health goals, including exercises to curb cravings, strengthen lungs, and ease anxiety that they developed in partnership with thetruth.com ! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you are eligible to try Breathwrk today.
S. Department of Health and Human Services. Smoking Cessation. A Report of the Surgeon General . Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2020 [accessed 2020 May 21].
Babb S, Malarcher A, Schauer G, Asman K, Jamal A. Quitting Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2000–2015 . Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2017;65(52):1457-64 [accessed 2020 May 21].