Cravings to smoke can hijack your brain, and in that moment the desire to smoke can feel stronger than anything else. Cravings, if given the opportunity can sabotage all your hard work you have put into quitting and leave you feeling powerless.
What is a strategy that might help?
One method could be, “Play the tape through to the end’ or ‘think it through to the end” is a craving crusher mental exercise that can help bring to awareness and facilitate the “choice” of what you can do and what the outcome will be. This is a technique that can be done at any time or place!
Here is how it works:
The next time you have a strong craving to smoke,
- Think about how you would feel after that cigarette, how would your head, stomach, and tongue feel?
- Think about how you would feel about yourself? How would your friends or family react?
- Think about what might happen next: you most likely would not be able to just have one, and it would not be long and you would be back buying a pack.
- Think about more of the short and long term consequences that you may be facing if you were to smoke again.
If your brain is begging you for a quick fix, play that quick fix out to its longer end. It will remind you that immediate gratification has a downside, which doesn’t align with your new long term goal of being tobacco free.