10 Ways Journaling Can Help You Quit Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Just about every self-help book and discussion talks about the essence of journaling in getting rid of negative behaviors. In this article, let’s talk about how journaling can increase your chance of quitting smoking for good.



Assess your smoking patterns.

Many people smoke for reasons they don’t know. They just believe that smoking benefits them or makes them feel good. But ask them in what way exactly does it benefit them and they are less likely to provide an explanation. “Knowing is half Young-woman-writing-letter-to--46209574the battle”, so they say. A journal helps you identify patterns in your behavior which play an important role in breaking negative habits.

Discover your strengths and weaknesses. Journaling allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to getting rid of negative behaviors. Maybe you tend to be impatient, less confident, or pessimistic that’s why you find it hard to quit. Still, you may figure out that despite these, you are very strong willed and dedicated.

Know your triggers. One of the most important tips in quitting smoking is identifying your smoking triggers. During the first weeks of smoking cessation, you may experience intense nicotine craving. However, craving does not occur without a trigger. It could be your smoking friend, your morning coffee, etc.

Debunk your false beliefs. Journaling also allows you to pinpoint the smoking myths which you unconsciously believe. For instance, if you are like most smokers, you believe that cigarette smoking has the ability to reduce your stress levels. But this is a myth that tobacco companies have been trying to make people believe in for so long. The truth is – smoking doesn’t relieve you from stress. Rather, it makes your body more vulnerable to stress-related illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

Know where you went wrong. A quit journal can also help you determine what went wrong with your past attempts to quit smoking.

Create a definite course of action. Once you have clearly identified your past mistakes, you can create a better course of action for your next attempt.

Explore solutions. Did quitting cold turkey work for you? There are plenty of quit smoking strategies that are tried and tested to work. However, they are not suitable for everyone. What worked for others may not work for you. Your quit journal helps you explore the best quit smoking method to increase your chances of success.

Convert negative energy into positive. Scientific research suggests that journaling can really uplift our mood. How? Well, it helps you focus on your thoughts and feelings and eliminate those that won’t benefit your well-being. In every entry you make on your quit journal, don’t forget to cite at least three positive things that happened to you on that day. Maybe you were able to say ‘no’ to cigarettes, you completed a 30-minute fitness routine, you successfully ditched your smoking fantasies, and so on.

Get more focused on your goal. All the above benefits can greatly help you stick to your goal of quitting smoking for good. Journaling can significantly increase your motivation to stop this deadly habit.


A quit journal is a powerful tool that you can try. Make sure to write everyday – talk about the quit challenges and victories you have gone through. The art of writing can really do a long way in your journey to a cigarette-free life.


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