Fighting the Urge to Smoke

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Jan 24, 2013

Some people feel the thoughts of smoking are going to continually haunt them for the rest of their life. 

Therefore, they rationalize that it would be too exhausting to try to keep fighting against it.  This constant resistance to smoking takes a lot of energy and is an uncomfortable way to live.  A different approach would be to recognize, and even expect, that urges to smoke are a normal response to the changes in the brain, which years of smoking have caused. 

When a person realizes it is ‘normal’ for the urge to smoke to present itself (through associated behavioral, emotional, or environmental triggers), it can take some of the power away from these urges.  The realization that the urges are usually brief is also encouraging.  This knowledge can decrease fear and anxiety. 

There is an old saying: ‘Live life on life’s terms.’  This requires us to not expect to get our way all the time.  We’d like smoking to be permanently erased from our memory, but the reality is we need to accept the addiction for what it is, with all its ugliness.  This acceptance is difficult to swallow, but it can relieve the anxiety and conserve the energy needed to manage urges to smoke.  See the section ‘Re-learn addiction’ on this site. 

You can focus your energy away from smoking.  As the “Beatle,” Paul McCartney said, ‘Let it be.’