“I’ll smoke for one last time and tomorrow, I’ll stay smoke-free again!” Sounds familiar? Well, it isn’t you alone who experience this kind of feeling. Smoking cessation experts call it ‘junkie thinking’ – one’s psychological urge to light up during and even after the smoking cessation period.
But did you know that just one cigarette can spoil all your quit smoking efforts and get you back into the habit. There’s no such thing as ‘one last cigarette’. There will always be another. Even if you’re not smoking for several years now, junkie thinking may come when you least expect it. So before you get hooked to nicotine addiction again, here are some coping mechanisms to help you out:
1. Don’t forget your reasons to quit.
Don’t ever think that just because you were able to stop smoking for several months or years now, you can still quit after lighting up a cigarette. When you feel the urge to smoke, think of the reasons why you quit in the first place. Keep your memory fresh. Remember that people who go back to smoking often takes years to quit again.
2. Don’t forget your smoking triggers.
Do you still remember the time when you were undergoing withdrawal period? What were your usual smoking triggers? Was it coffee and soft drinks? Was it going to bars and night clubs? Was it seeing other people smoke? Whenever possible, you want to avoid these smoking triggers to prevent your mind from experiencing junkie thinking.
3. Go deeper.
If you’re seriously planning to smoke again, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Why did I quit smoking in the first place?
- If I go back to this habit, will I be happy?
- Will I get sick if I smoke again?
- Is it worth going back to the habit I worked so hard to eliminate from my life?
- Will stopping this habit be much easier next time?
- Is there anything good that will happen if I light up today?
4. Be mindful.
Meditation is a scientifically proven way to keep yourself committed in your quit smoking goals. If you feel the urge to light up, go the quiet place. Sit up straight and close your eyes. Be mindful of your surroundings. Check your body and look for areas that are tensed and relax them. Breathe in and out deeply. Then, start contemplating about quitting smoking. Try answering the questions mentioned in tip number 3.
5. Seek help.
If you think the smoking thoughts you’re having are already too overwhelming, consider seeking help from a qualified smoking cessation specialist. Ask your doctor or therapist for effective strategies in dealing with smoking urge.
Being smoke-free will bring you better health and lots of happiness. Never allow junkie thinking get you back into the habit you’ve successfully removed in your life. Because when it comes to quitting smoking, you will never know if you will be as lucky as before.