10 Ways to Overcome the Mental Part of Addiction

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Fighting the urge to quit smoking now is all in the head as they say, and most of the thought process — giving in and giving up — happens in your mind. There are different ways to overcome the mental part of addiction. Although it should be challenging at first, it is possible. How you handle the situation plays a great part in keeping things in perspective.

1. Keep your hands busy

If your mind is preoccupied with things that have to be done, you hit two birds with one stone.  You become more productive and get the craving out of your head.

2. Write it down

One way to release the tension and anxiety that you feel while in the process of quitting is to write it down. All the thoughts that are going through inside your mind would vanish as you move from one topic to another. Apart from writing how you feel, move from one topic to another. Think and write of something happy and memorable for you.

3. Keep a record of your progress

If you have a calendar or a diary that will help you remember of how long you have gone from your last stick, it makes you feel better about the whole process. Something tangible is always a great way to remind you of how strong your self-control has been.

4. Have post-its


Have a list of the good things that has happened to you since your last puff. Write these down on post-its and stick them where you would see them every day. You can change them as often as you want. There is only one rule: keep it positive and encouraging.

5. Choose your companions wisely

Aside from the fact that people who are with you greatly affects how you think, knowing that you are around people who truly understand what you are going through greatly help. It would be one thing off your mind if you know that you have people around you that keep you safe and away from the vice.

6. Look for mental activities

You may not be into crossword puzzles or games, but other types of games and mental preoccupation certainly helps. It could be reading or playing competitive games physically or mentally.


7. Update your environment

If your room or house was initially set-up to be a smoking zone, change the furniture around to make it non-conducive to smoking. If it would be such a hassle to light a stick, you might as well don’t.

8. Give yourself a pat on the back

Promise to reward yourself for every week that has passed without a smoke. Being pre-occupied with the prize at the end of the week or a “grand prize” at the end of the month should keep your mind off of smoking and onto the prize more. It gives you something to look forward to, something like a light at the end of the tunnel.

9. Observe yourself


Give yourself some thinking time and look back into the why, when and where you last smoked. See what triggered you to do so and modify that part of your lifestyle. If you are used to smoking after a meal, try to eat with somebody that can spark a conversation without having to excuse yourself. Write down your tendencies and how you intend to deal with them. Be as honest as possible.

10. Go Physical

If you feel that the anxiety is building up, get yourself some fresh air. You don’t have to play a physical sport — a walk in the park will do. Burn off the excess energy that is possibly causing your anxiety. Let your mind wander into other things to help you feel less fixated on getting a smoke.


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