Practice Your Lines: 16 Things to TELL YOURSELF to Cope With Cravings

Saturday, November 24, 2012

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Researchers have found that ex-smokers who try to rely on “willpower” alone tend to fail. It can be easy to lose sight of the benefits of quitting when a strong craving for a cigarette hits. You might start to lose your focus on staying smokefree. There is no good reason to smoke. You know this.

Here are some things to tell yourself when a craving strikes:

  1. Remind yourself why you wanted to quit.
    “I’m doing this for my health, to smell better, to save money…”

  2. Tell yourself how long you’ve been smokefree.
    “I’ve made it one whole week smokefree. I’m not starting over.”

  3. Remind yourself how you got through urges in the past.
    “Last time I had an urge I called my friend and chewed some gum. I beat that urge without smoking, and I can beat this one too.”

  4. Figure out what is making you crave a cigarette.
    “I’m just feeling stressed right now. I’m going to take the baby for a quick walk to give myself a break.”

  5. Tell yourself that smoking won’t solve your problem.
    “Smoking won’t fix this. It will only make another problem.”

  6. Remind yourself how much your health has improved since you quit smoking.
    “I have more energy and am less winded going up stairs since I quit. I’m not giving that up.”

  7. Tell yourself that you’re strong enough to beat this.
    “Smoking is not an option. I am strong enough to beat this craving.”

  8. Tell yourself that cravings are only temporary.
    “Cravings become weaker and less frequent with every day that I don’t smoke. Even just one puff will feed the cravings and make them stronger.”

  9. Tell yourself there are better rewards after a long day.
    “I deserve a reward after a long day, but there are better rewards than a cigarette. Maybe a favorite meal, a funny movie, or a hot shower will help me relax without ruining my quit attempt.”

  10. Tell yourself that you are strong enough to get through it.
    Even the strongest cravings last less than 3 minutes. The urge will go away whether I smoke or not, and smoking now will just make it even harder for me to quit later. I can find something else to do—anything—until the craving goes away.”

  11. Remind yourself to take quitting one day at a time.
    “I only have to deal with today. Quitting happens one craving, and one decision at a time!”

  12. Remind yourself (and others) that mood changes are common after you quit and smoking won’t help them.
    “My friends and family love me and understand that quitting smoking now is the best gift I can give them. Cranky or not, I am not doing them any favors by continuing to smoke.”

  13. Tell yourself N.O.P.E (Not One Puff Ever)!
    “I have never smoked just one before. I don’t want to undo all my progress by smoking a cigarette now. Plus, every cigarette that I smoke feeds the habit and makes it that much harder to quit.”

  14. Remind yourself that quitting is not impossible.
    “Quitting and staying away from cigarettes is hard, but it’s not impossible. About 40 million Americans have quit smoking. If other people can do it, so can I. It is too important to give up on.”

  15. Remind yourself of the benefits of a smokefree life.              
    No matter how long I’ve been smoking, my body will benefit from quitting. The healing process starts right away, and before long, I will start to feel healthier and look better.”

  16. Remind yourself that the health effects of smoking are very real.
    “It’s true that some people get lucky. But there is no way of knowing whether I will be one of the lucky ones, and I am not willing to risk my life. The only safe choice is to quit smoking now.

Together
we are strong enough to quit


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at a time.

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one decision
at a time.

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