Making the decision to stop smoking is fairly easy – it’s the resisting temptation part that is a major struggle.
Resisting the temptation to smoke is a battle that can occur by the minute, hour or day. We never know when the urge will strike, sure we have ideas but what constitutes a major craving? Why all of a sudden do we feel like we are going to go out of our mind if we don’t light up that very moment? Addiction is a powerful state of mind no matter what it is. We have changed the way we think about things giving them power over our thoughts and actions.
There are certain temptations you can avoid such as going out Friday night to the local pub for a couple drinks. You know darn well when you have a drink or two you want to smoke. Or, what about hanging with your smoking buddies at work. It’s a no brainer that you will feel left out and want to join in on the ‘fun’. Avoid putting yourself into these types of situations until you have a couple weeks under your belt of not smoking. Identifying situations, people and things that tempt you to smoke is important. That way you know what, who and where to avoid until you are well on your way to living a smoke-free life.
The first few days after stopping smoking you are going to have the urge to smoke. The urge will come and go, sometimes it will be a simple thought, other times it will be a punch to the gut. Cravings are short-term (you may just have a lot of them) and the key to getting through them is to remember your long-term goal of never smoking another cigarette. Remember why you made the decision to quit in the first place and follow that up with getting your mind onto something else besides smoking. You can do this by getting physically active (going for a quick walk), drinking some water or calling a supportive friend – engage your mind.
With each day you go without smoking you just become that much stronger. Don’t listen to the lies your brain tries to tell you. The physical withdrawals of nicotine are pretty mild compared to the psychological so prepare yourself for battle within your own head. Whichever beast you feed is the one that will win.