12 Aug 2019
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You are doing an amazing job and I have a really good feeling about your quit. I DO think you will stick with it for sure. I wanted to share a couple of tips that really helped me stick with my quit.
1. Learn something new. As you may already know, nicotine stimulates dopamine in our brains and when we quit we need to find other ways to produce the "feel good" emotions. After doing some research, I discovered that one of the biggest producers of dopamine is learning. For me, I started to pick different countries that held interest for me and learned a bit about the culture and traditional cooking. I then picked a recipe from this country, bought everything I needed and prepared a meal. I started with Morocco and I'm now doing a lot of Nigerian cooking (my husband loves it as I've never been the cook in the family). Learning something new also helps with cravings as it forces one to focus on something else.
2. I also learned that our brains do not easily accept "negative" thoughts. For example, when we start to crave a cigarette the first thing we say is "I want to smoke! I CAN'T SMOKE!" And this is all we can think of. It's freaking torture. When I started to feel that craving seeping into my thoughts I would say (and yes, sometimes out loud), "I really want to fill my belly with four deep breaths." And I would, and the craving would subside. Sometimes I had to do this about a thousand times a day … but it works.
3. I stopped being afraid of the process and accepted this was going to suck. I was healing from an awful addiction and it was going to take work and time.
4. I started to meditate. HUGE difference and trust me, I never bought into the whole "mindfulness" stuff, but hells ya, it works.
5. I kept, and still keep a quit journal. When I just wanted to give up I would write down a page of who I was as a smoker (and really visualize myself smoking in a snowstorm, struggling to light up a cigarette under an umbrella, how I smelled, etc.), and then write another page of who I wanted to become as a non smoker … clean, fresh, in control over my addiction and empowered.
I hope that some of this might help you, cec57, because I really want you to succeed. Just keep doing what you're doing because you're doing brilliantly!