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So, last night I was sitting in my living room after the lady who cleans my house left. She had found an empty Marlboro Ultra Light box somewhere and for some reason, decided to leave it on the coffee table next to my computer. I ignored it for a while but didn't throw it away...until I found myself reaching for it without thinking about it. I was back in my smoking days ready to have another cig while I surfed the web.
The worse part was, after I caught myself and realized what I was doing, I STILL wanted that cigarette. Six months and two weeks into being smoke-free and that empty box had me back to my old ways. Fortunately, I kept on my path eventhough my soul really wanted a drag or two.
Which got me thinking about triggers.
In addition to nicotine cravings, reminders in your daily life of times when you used to smoke may trigger you to smoke. Triggers are the moods, feelings, places, or things you do in your daily life that turn on your desire to smoke.Of course those are only a few triggers that may confront us in our daily life. Just seeing an empty pack made my subconscious go back to what it used to know. Triggers not only make it difficult to quit smoking, but as my experience shows, can start a person trying to quit to start smoking again. So what can we do?
Triggers may include any of the following:
•Being around smokers.
•Starting the day.
•Being in a car.
•Drinking coffee or tea.
•Enjoying a meal.
•Drinking an alcoholic beverage.
WebMD suggests keeping a log of when you smoke before you actually quit. Keep track of when you smoke, where, what activity preceeds the desire for a cigarette, how intense is the craving (on a scale of 1 to 5), who you are with and how you feel while you are smoking. Be as exact as you can on the details and keep track of at least one weekday and one weekend day because routines differ during the week compared with the weekend.
Review that list and make note of what are the strongest triggers and which are the most desired times and places for a cigarette. Then, before your quit date, change your routine.
If you’re used to smoking in the car, for example, practice driving short distances without smoking. If coffee triggers a craving, practice taking your coffee break without having a cigarette. Have a glass of wine but don’t accompany it with a cigarette. Focus on breaking your own most powerful triggers in advance of quitting.The more you can change your routine, the more you break the hold of triggers and the easier it will be to avoid them. Of course, there are some triggers we cannot avoid. What then?
Don't be afraid. Accepting that there are some things that will cause you to crave a cigarette will make it easier for you to ride it out when the trigger hits you.
Remember, each time you resist a trigger and don’t light up, you’ve lessened its power over you. Most cravings only last a few minutes. If you can ride them out, you’ll be one step closer to a lifetime free of nicotine.THE Buddy List
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