When you have a craving to smoke, you arrive at a fork in the road. There are many paths forward. You can either choose to smoke, or you can choose a different path. There are lots of ways to deal with cravings. We're committed to helping you find the ones that work for you.
Why do cravings happen?
Cigarettes deliver high doses of nicotine, which changes your brain. Your brain links smoking to specific activities, social situations, needs, feelings, and times of day. These are known as triggers. When a trigger happens, your brain expects a dose of nicotine. These triggers then cause an urge or craving to smoke.
The more you smoke, the more your brain links smoking with good feelings. So, the more you smoke, the harder it becomes to quit.
This cycle is one of the reasons why quitting smoking can be so tough. Learning how to beat your cravings is an important part of quitting.
When you're ready, set your quit date. This will give you the time you need to get ready—and give you something to work toward.
Your Cravings Toolbox
Use this tool to figure out when and why you smoke. Once you know when you smoke, and what your cravings are, it will be easier to figure out strategies to beat them.
Now that you know what your triggers are, come up with a plan to beat them. Having a plan ahead of time will help you once a craving comes.
Cravings are just thoughts that come into your mind. Don't deny their existence. Let them come in, sit down and complain for a minute and then let them go. Learn how to get mindful and let cravings pass.
Try out a relaxation strategy. These techniques can help you feel calm, relaxed, and grounded
The EX Community is full of great ideas for dealing with cravings. Take a look at what others have done to cope with their own triggers.