Self Talk

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Apr 20, 2012

Sometimes people who smoke find themselves in an internal debate “should I smoke or not smoke?”  This is normal.  Once a person is addicted to tobacco, it can feel very important to smoke.  A smoker’s mind begins to rationalize continuing to smoke with thoughts like “One won’t hurt.”, “My health isn’t that bad.”, “Smoking is one of my few enjoyments in life.”, or “I’ll quit another time.”

You can counter these with some strong ‘Self Talk’.  For example, “One will hurt and I will have more than one!” or “I will guarantee bad health if I keep smoking!” or “There are other enjoyments in life, and the consequences are not worth any enjoyment from smoking anyway!”

Other examples of self-talk that sustains smoking are, “I smoke with friends, and it helps me enjoy their company.”, or “Smoking calms me down.”  “If I stop smoking I’ll be alone.”  Some self talk here could be: “I like sharing time with friends, but this does not require smoking.”  Or, “I can control my mood without smoking, after all I have done that many times when I was not able to smoke.”

The challenge is that we react impulsively to the physical and mental cues or triggers and it becomes difficult to counter that impulse with ‘self talk’.  Self control over an addictive behavior takes some practice, but with practice it does improve and strengthen.  Keep at it.  Counter the thoughts that encourage smoking.  Put other tools like those you find at www.becomeanex.org in place to support being smoke-free.  It is hard to stop, but you can do it.