Beating an addiction to nicotine takes a lot of willpower and determination. You should feel great about yourself for making it so far. Now’s the time to focus on sticking with it.
Keeping Your Guard Up
Your body has changed since you began to smoke. Your brain has learned to crave nicotine. So certain places, people, or events can trigger a strong urge to smoke, even years after quitting. That’s why you should never take a puff again, no matter how long it has been since you quit.
At first, you may not be able to do things as well as when you were smoking. Don’t worry. This won’t last long. Your mind and body just need to get used to being without nicotine.
After you’ve quit, the urge to smoke often hits at the same times. For many people, the hardest place to resist the urge is at home. And many urges hit when someone else is smoking nearby. Look at your Craving Journal (PDF) to see when you might be tempted. Then use the skills you’ve learned to get through your urges without smoking.
As you go through the first days and weeks without smoking, keep a positive outlook. Don’t blame or punish yourself if you do have a cigarette. Don’t think of smoking as “all or none.” Instead, take it one day at a time. Remember that quitting is a learning process.
Now that you aren’t buying cigarettes, you probably have more spending money. Think about starting a “money jar” if you haven’t already. Put your cigarette money aside for each day you don’t smoke. Soon you’ll have enough money to buy a reward for yourself.
Cancer Institute, N. (2009). Quit Smoking and Sticking with It. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 8, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/quit-smoking-and-sticking-with-it/0001552
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.