One Day at a Time
to light up a cigarette is going to be with you for a
while after you've given up smoking. Small urges may crop
up for the rest of your life, so you're going to have to
learn to deal with them. Just as you learned how to
smoke, you have to learn how not to smoke.
Getting Through the Short Run
Don't look too far ahead during the beginning stages of quitting. Break the day into segments and concentrate on getting through a few hours at a time without smoking. When you get through one stretch successfully, go on to the next, and then the next. Let your first victories be small ones. They'll add up to the big one.
Getting Through the Urges
By this time, you should know exactly what situations trigger your desire for smokingbeing with certain friends, riding in a car, a ringing telephone, the end of a meal. Sometimes you can avoid the situation entirely but often you'll have to change your own behavior. Just about all smokers enjoy a cigarette at the end of a meal. This can be a critical point. Instead of lighting up, leave the table as soon as you're finished. Keep your mind off cigarettes and take up new post-meal activities. This is just one example of how to change your routine. Try to avoid the situations in which you routinely smoked.
Filling the Void
There's going to be some empty time in your life once cigarettes are gone. To keep your hands busy, try holding a pencil or rolling a toothpick through your fingers. Keep your mouth busy by chewing a toothpick or eating celery, carrots or sugarless gum. Occupy your free time with activities that don't allow you to hold a cigaretteteam sports, aerobic exercise or homework. Keep your mind and hands busy and don't focus on the fact that you're not smoking.
Breathe deeply to help you relax or imagine yourself away from temptation. When stress closes in, pretend you're relaxing on the beach, in the woods or in the mountains. Learn to switch the signals that trigger your urges.
These are just a few of the things you can do to carry you from day to day. Try to develop your own methods that will carry you over the humps and detour you around the cravings.