I don’t know it all -who does- but I learned a thing or two when I gave up smoking. I am not sure if it’s good enough to be called “a Manifesto”, but I wish I would have had these instructions when I run blindly into becoming a quitter. A happy quitter now, but a confused quitter at the beginning.
I remember my reaction when somebody called me an addict for the first time “how dare you?” I am not an addict, I am just a smoker -no, not the BBQ-grill; the other one, the one with a cigarette in my hand. Slowly it sunk in, I was addicted to Nicotine. Smoking is an addiction, not just a bad habit.
Here are my 2-cent’s-worth on addiction:
- Avoid situations you know you cannot handle.
- Alter your response – change the flavor of your coffee, sit in a different room, meet your friends in a neutral (non-smoking/ non-drinking environment).
- Accept that some days will be tougher, and that by sticking it out you will get stronger.
- Believe in yourself….you can do this!
- Behave! You don’t have to be a total brat….giving up an addictive substance is not going to kill you, so stop whining!
- Breath! An easy way to relax, deep breathing.
- Cope with it and write down how you feel; for Heaven’s sake -start blogging!
- Calm down. There is no reason to panic you don’t need a drink, or cigarettes or a pill.
Delay your next craving for as long as possible:
- Distract yourself – keeping busy is extremely important. Go for a walk, or pull out your guitar, listen to music, sing or dance! Talk to your friends, let them be part of your journey.
- Don’t lie about it, tell people the truth.
- Baby-steps…First minutes, then hours, then days.
Emergency Coping Plan:
AVOID the situation
Identify the situations when you normally smoke or drink, or feel cravings. For most, high-risk situations include work breaks, finishing meals, having coffee or being in a bar. Plan how you will avoid these situations for a few weeks. Plan for alternate activities.
LEAVE the situation
If you find yourself in one of these high risk situations, leave if you can. And, leave before you get an overwhelming craving.
DISTRACT yourself from the craving
If you find yourself in a situation and you can’t leave, distract yourself from the craving by: Thinking about something else, like your Benefits of Quitting (or how much money you’re saving every week, how your body is healing itself). Doing something else to distract yourself like drinking water or deep breathing exercises. Thinking about an upcoming event in your life, such as a vacation. Think about the people you love and how much they care about you!
DELAY acting on the craving
If you can’t keep your mind off it, then make a deal with yourself that you will wait 15 minutes before you give into the craving. The craving will usually pass in a couple of minutes anyway. If you delay, the craving will go away.
Use SELF TALK
A craving may be accompanied by negative thoughts about your ability to resist it. Use positive self talk statements to combat your negative thoughts. Talk loud if you have to and reward yourself, be kind to yourself!