Control Cravings with Simple Deep Breathing Exercises

Smokers know that cigarette cravings can strike unexpectedly, but being prepared for these moments can help you resist these urges when they inevitably arise. One simple technique that can be applied at any moment is deep breathing. By focusing on the rhythm of your breath, you can redirect your attention away from the pesky craving and toward a place of calm.

Use this Monday to practice some simple breathing techniques. The animated GIF at the top of the page will help set the proper pace of your breath: not too fast, not too slow, just measured and in control.

Studies show deep breathing exercises reduce “smoking withdrawal symptoms, including craving for cigarettes” and the related tension and irritability associated with it. Deep breathing also helps you feel more awake and aids in your ability to concentrate.

You can transform your cravings into peaceful, calming exercises using a variety of deep breathing techniques. Experiment with a few different practices, and see which one works for you.

Here’s a brief description of Pursed Lips Breathing to get you started:

Set aside five to ten minutes. Sit comfortably. Inhale through your nose then exhale through your mouth, with pursed lips, for twice as long as your inhale. Your chest and diaphragm should expand when you inhale and slowly collapse as you exhale. Here’s a video for further instructions.

Need more? Here are some more exercises you can do:

Square Breathing

Belly Breathing

Hold your Breath Breathing

When you clear the air in your lungs you also clear your mind. Now, instead of craving, you’ll be calm, cool, and collected. Use Monday to replace old habits with good habits.