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The Psychology of a Smoking Relapse

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Updated August 13, 2014

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Introduction: Don't Let Junkie Thinking Outsmart You
The Psychology of a Smoking Relapse
Rob Lewine/Image Source/Getty Images

Nicotine addiction is the basis for a lot of false beliefs over the years.   We learn to think of our cigarettes as a necessity that affects our ability to function in the world.  We think they help us wake up, calm down, digest food, occupy us when we're bored, etc., when the reality is that we are feeding a physical need for nicotine and relating it to whatever is going on at the moment for us emotionally.  It's negative psychology of the worst kind, and every smoker has built up hundreds, if not thousands of these associations over the years.

When we quit, it's critical to recognize and defeat the faulty thought patterns that we have accepted as truth for so long, because they will be shouting for attention at every turn.  It's called junkie thinking, and is part of nicotine withdrawal.

Learn how to hear the negative psychology your addicted mind is supplying and correct thoughts that don't serve you before they can take control.  It takes vigilance and some practice, but  maneuvering through the challenges that come with early smoking cessation is something you can do.  

The good news:  this phase of smoking cessation is temporary.  Gain some skill now in defeating the negative self-talk that may come and your brain will eventually take note and stop sending you curve balls.

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