When we quit smoking, most of us go through a fair amount of junkie thinking - the internal battle between our addiction and ourselves. Early on in smoking cessation, the dialogue can seem relentless. It's often persistent, annoying and exhausting. It is however, temporary, and the less attention you give to unhealthy thoughts of smoking, the better.
Thoughts of smoking just one cigarette have been the ruin of many good quitting efforts. It's important for you to realize ahead of time that these mental contortions are a normal part of the recovery process. A little preparation will keep you in the driver's seat when your mind starts to wander and smoking seems like a good option. Sometimes, distracting yourself for as little as 5 minutes is enough to snap you out of faulty thinking and get you moving forward with a better mindset.
Some days will be harder than othersSuch is smoking cessation, and such is life. On those days when simple distractions don't work and you're feeling agitated and unhappy, have a game plan that you can turn to at a moment’s notice. You can start by making a list entitled:
Ways to Pamper MyselfPut things on the list that you might reserve for those times when you need an extra boost:
- An afternoon at the movies
- A pedicure and/or a manicure
- Take a long walk in nature, and bring the dog!
- Give yourself an hour to soak in a long hot bath
- Relax with a good book
- Head to the gym for a workout and a swim
- Go on a mini shopping spree
- Take a power nap
- Splurge on a hot fudge sundae with all the fixings
There is No Such Thing as Just One CigaretteAs they say, cigarettes travel in packs. The only way to keep the beast at bay is to keep nicotine out of your system. If you decide to go ahead and smoke just one, chances are you'll be back to your old habit in short order. You may even find yourself smoking more than you used to.
There is no such thing as just one cigarette.
If you absolutely cannot get thoughts of smoking out of your mind and you fear you're about to cave in and smoke, stop everything. Grab some paper and a pen, sit down, and answer the questions below with honesty and as much detail as you can muster.
- Why did I quit smoking?
- How long did I smoke?
- How long have I been smoke-free?
- How long do I think it should take to be free of this habit?
- If I go back to smoking, will I want to quit again?
- How long will it be before I do? Weeks...months...years? When illness strikes?
- Will quitting be any easier next time around?
- What benefits will smoking give me?
- Is it worth giving up what I've worked so hard to do?
Be patient with yourself and allow the healing process to take place, regardless of how long it takes. Nurture and protect your quit program because it's the path to a healthier and happier you.