The Role Emotions Play in Addiction

People become addicted to smoking for various reasons, many times it starts as a physical addiction and you smoke to satisfy the cravings for nicotine. Stopping smoking would be easy if we only had to deal with the physical side of addiction, however, more often than not it is the psychological side of addiction that poses the most challenges.

Emotions are very powerful and when out of control they can influence people to do crazy, regrettable things. Emotions don’t have to be negative to have a negative impact. Positive emotions can be just as dangerous when it comes to stopping smoking.

Take a moment and consider the emotions that trigger the urge to smoke. Is it boredom, anxiety, stress, anger, loneliness, depression, excitement, joy, relief? One of the biggest reasons people relapse after quitting is because they don’t learn new ways to deal with these emotions, particularly stress. Each time you light up because you are bored or stressed you are reinforcing the concept that smoking alleviates these emotions. Eventually you believe that you NEED to smoke in order to deal with certain emotions. Once your brain is convinced this to be true it makes it very difficult to stop smoking.

The key to long-term success is to understand the link between your emotions and smoking. Have a plan to deal with stress, anger, boredom, etc. Getting physically active is a great way to manage many emotions and improve the way you look and feel about yourself. The manner in which you think and the things you tell yourself will play a vital role in stopping smoking. You can stop!