Congratulations on your decision to stop smoking. Identifying your smoking triggers (reasons that cause you to crave a cigarette) will help you out when you are experiencing the toughest times. Always remember that your strongest cravings will only last a few minutes. Getting through these few minutes is vital to your success at becoming an ex-smoker. These 2 tips will help you get through them. Note: Utilizing the tips below will probably not be enough for you to stop smoking. They are intended to be used in conjunction with a proven stop smoking plan.
Identify Your Triggers
Cigarette cravings come from two sources, physical and psychological withdrawal. Physical withdrawal happens when your brain realizes that your body does not have nicotine in its system. Seeking equilibrium, your body sends you a craving so you
will give it the nicotine that it thinks it needs. Psychological withdrawal is basically your body trying to act on a habit it has developed over the years. The act of smoking the cigarette and gaining pleasure from it (in many different ways) has ingrained itself into your everyday life.
The first step in handling these cravings is identifying what kind of craving it is, physical or psychological. It's important to realize which type of craving you are having because once you do; you can handle it much better.
If it is a physical craving, think about the actual process that is happening. Your body is simply trying to seek equilibrium. Knowing that this equilibrium could be slowly killing you, you can take a deep breath and realize that you are doing something that is good for your body, not bad. I can tell you first hand that merely knowing what is happening inside your body will ease your craving. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and think about it. The craving will soon pass.
If it is a psychological craving then you must quickly identify the trigger that is causing the craving. Is it boredom, anger, routine or something else? Once you realize the cause of the trigger then you will be able to act upon it by using an alternative to that specific trigger. Chances are, once you have thought about the craving, identified it as a psychological craving and then acted with an alternative action, the craving will almost be gone already! As the days go by, your cravings will become shorter, less strong and farther apart.
Find Alternatives to Triggers
As you become better at identifying your psychological smoking triggers, you will quickly be able to see those triggers coming. Realizing that a trigger is about to happen will greatly increase your chances for success. So what do you do when a trigger hits? You act on it. Instead of giving in and lighting up, you should have a pre-planned alternative to the trigger that is happening, or that is about to happen.
Sit down with a pencil and paper and list as many smoking triggers as you can think of. Skip a line between each trigger. Here is a short list that will help you get started:
• Driving your car
• After a meal
• After an argument
• During a break at work
• When you are bored
• When you are anxious
Now that you have written down all of your triggers, go back to the beginning of your list and think of at least two alternatives to each trigger. For instance, when driving in your car and you get a craving, you can turn up the CD player and sing loudly, play the drums on your steering wheel, chew 2-3 pieces of gum or call a support buddy on the cell phone.
Once you have completed your trigger/alternative list, carry it with you at all times. Any time you realize a trigger that you don't have in your list, write it down and come up with alternatives for it. If you are having difficulty finding an alternative, you can find hundreds of them online by doing a web search on your favorite search engine.
Tying it All Together
Now that you have a (very) basic understanding about what causes cravings when you try to stop smoking, you will have an easier time with them. Just knowing this information will allow you to endure the cravings a little bit longer. Physical cravings will subside in a matter or days, usually 3-4 days. Psychological cravings, however will last much longer. Some people experience psychological craving for months. Although they are not as strong as physical cravings, they can easily get you smoking again even months after you have smoked your last cigarette.
This is why most people stop smoking successfully only to start smoking again weeks or months later. The physical addiction was broken. It was the psychological addiction that did them in. For this reason, you must identify and act upon your smoking triggers for the rest of your life. It is important to know that you must never take even one puff on a cigarette for the rest of your life, not one. The very next puff you take will have you completely addicted again, both physically and psychologically.
About the Author : Allen Jones is the owner and administrator of http://TheStopSmokingGuide.com and an expert in nicotine addiction. Visit his website and discover the proven stop smoking plan that eliminates both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Download their free Stop Smoking Guide ebook today and find out!
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