Identify Your Triggers
The first step in handling these cravings is identifying what kind of craving it is, physical or psychological. It’s important to realize which type of craving you are having because once you do; you can handle it much better.
If it is a physical craving, think about the actual process that is happening. Your body is simply trying to seek equilibrium. Knowing that this equilibrium could be slowly killing you, you can take a deep breath and realize that you are doing something that is good for your body, not bad. I can tell you first hand that merely knowing what is happening inside your body will ease your craving. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and think about it. The craving will soon pass.
If it is a psychological craving then you must quickly identify the trigger that is causing the craving. Is it boredom, anger, routine or something else? Once you realize the cause of the trigger then you will be able to act upon it by using an alternative to that specific trigger. Chances are, once you have thought about the craving, identified it as a psychological craving and then acted with an alternative action, the craving will almost be gone already! As the days go by, your cravings will become shorter, less strong and farther apart.
Find Alternatives to Triggers
Sit down with a pencil and paper and list as many smoking triggers as you can think of. Skip a line between each trigger. Here is a short list that will help you get started:
Driving your car
Now that you have written down all of your triggers, go back to the beginning of your list and think of at least two alternatives to each trigger. For instance, when driving in your car and you get a craving, you can turn up the CD player and sing loudly, play the drums on your steering wheel, chew 2-3 pieces of gum or call a support buddy on the cell phone.
Once you have completed your trigger/alternative list, carry it with you at all times. Any time you realize a trigger that you don’t have in your list, write it down and come up with alternatives for it. If you are having difficulty finding an alternative, you can find hundreds of them online by doing a web search on your favorite search engine.
Tying it All Together
This is why most people stop smoking successfully only to start smoking again weeks or months later. The physical addiction was broken. It was the psychological addiction that did them in. For this reason, you must identify and act upon your smoking triggers for the rest of your life. It is important to know that you must never take even one puff on a cigarette for the rest of your life, not one. The very next puff you take will have you completely addicted again, both physically and psychologically.