Practicing Mindfulness for Craving and Stress Relief

Mindfulness is being intentionally aware of what you’re sensing and feeling. It’s a lot like simply “paying attention.” Mindfulness can help you get through triggers and cravings. It can also help reduce stress.

You can practice mindfulness when you’re not experiencing a craving or stress. It’s like getting ready for a long hike by taking shorter, easier hikes first. Practicing mindfulness when your mind is calm can help you be ready to use this tool when you’re having a tough time.

The more you practice mindfulness, the easier it will be to deal with your triggers. You’ll still feel cravings, but they won’t control you as much. Mindfulness can help you choose to react in a way that fits with the smoke-free vision you have for yourself.

The RAINE Mindfulness Method

  • Recognize the craving or stressful sensation. Take a breath and say to yourself, “I’m feeling a craving right now” or “I’m feeling stressed right now.”

  • Accept the moment. Acknowledge that it’s happening, instead of trying to ignore, judge or fight it.

  • Investigate the experience. Ask yourself: “What is happening in my body and mind right now? How do I feel?”

  • Note what is happening around you: your location, who you’re with, what time of day it is. (We have a great tool to help you keep track of these notes, too.)

  • Encourage yourself with a mantra. Repeat your mantra to yourself to reinforce your decision not to smoke and get through this moment.

This exercise puts some time between your craving and smoking. By the time you go through all the steps, your craving might have passed – and you’ll feel proud of yourself for getting through that hard moment! Practice it often. See what else you notice by practicing mindfulness.

Next up today, let’s get you even more ready to quit by writing a goodbye letter to tobacco.