Breathing exercise to help you quit smoking
We can often find ourselves reaching for something that will calm us down – is this a cigarette for you?
Smoking offers some people a temporary break from feelings of anxiety, anger, but when the nicotine cravings diminish, the feelings from before are still there. We want to help you understand the differences between craving and feeling anxious or angry.
Taking yourself away from the situation is the best way to help yourself understand your feelings, as well as taking yourself away you can focus on breathing and calm yourself.
Deep breathing can help you to move into a more positive state of mind and can help you to manage nicotine cravings. Getting fresh oxygen into your lungs, especially whilst they are recovering from smoking really helps to improve your physical and mental health. Deep breathing is also a good way to realise there are other ways to relax and calm yourself after you quit smoking.
Deep breathing exercise
The first time you try this, either sit or lie down, once you have the hang of it you can do it standing or when you are getting on with your day.
Put your hands on your belly (to keep you focused and so you can feel what is happening), breathe in through your nose and feel you belly expand, filling with air, like a balloon.
Breathe out through pursed lips, this will help to slow your breath down, feel your belly deflate.
Keep breathing like this for 5 minutes if you can, once your breath has slowed down, you can breathe out of your nose if you prefer.
Keep your breath slow and steady and your hands on your belly to feel the movement. When you recognise when you are breathing from your belly, you can remove your hands and do this simple breathing practice anytime you feel a nicotine craving or are trying to calm yourself down.