The reason you signed up for a 20 day program was likely because smoking may cause you severe harm.
List all the costs of smoking for you __________________________________________________________________________________________________
What is your motivation for stopping smoking now?
Have you tried to quit smoking before? ________
Why did that attempt fail? ___________________________________________________
Strive to learn from people who have quit. We will follow several people to see how they did it – Ty, Sue, Tom, Joy and TJ Sue is rebel. TJ’s health is getting bad. Tom gets bored easily.
Sue is struggling to believe what her new friends are telling her about the destruction smoking brings. But she is going to the doctor more often than anyone as young as she is. So she said to herself twice today: smoking has caused me destruction, it has in the past and it will in the future (unless I quit).
Tom gets bored easily (which leads him right to smoking) so he wrote down what he planned to do today (instead of smoking).
TJ hit rock bottom so hard that he will do anything to avoid falling back. He printed out the following strategy.
Cravings come in waves. They feel like they’ll last forever but if you can endure for 20 minutes or so, they always dissipate into nothingness.
And fortunately, the more often you resist those cravings, the weaker they get and the less frequently they bother you.
If you can hold on for just a few minutes, you can almost always overcome your cravings. To help you with this, here’s an easy-to-remember coping strategy (The Four Ds) to get you safely past the 20 minute danger zone.
The Four Ds
This is a classic relapse prevention technique. The Ds stand for:
So the next time you feel a craving, remember The Four Ds and avoid a permanent mistake caused by a temporary urge.
Here are 20 solid distraction ideas that will keep you occupied just long enough. Try any or all that make sense to you, or better yet, come up with a list of your own.
You may want to write down a few go-to distraction tasks and keep them on your person (see the example chart at the end of this article). This way you won’t be left scrambling for distraction ideas when already struggling with cravings – you’ll have your ideas planned out and ready to go.
20 Distraction Ideas for Cravings
10.Do a progressive muscle relaxation exercise or write in a journal
11.Catch up on work for a few minutes
12.Prepare an interesting snack, and then enjoy it
13.Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
14.If you’re tempted to drink or use at home, then get out of the house and go for a drive. This can be a risky. Don’t get in the car if you’ll steer by autopilot to the nearest bar or drug dealer
15.Play a challenging video game
16.Do bicycle maintenance
17.Cut the grass
18.Walk out and get a coffee
19.Fix that thing that needs fixing – replace burnt-out light bulbs or dead batteries, etc.
20.Water all the plants or groom your pet
The next time you feel a craving coming on, take a moment to feel it in your body, and then tell yourself that it’s going to pass if you can just wait it out – and then use one of the 20 methods listed above (or any others you can think of) to distract yourself while you wait for that urge to disappear.
And since the more tools you have at your disposal the better your odds of success, learn how to urge surf as well – it’s a fantastic mindfulness technique that lets you glide with attention right over the peak of a craving.
Make a Relapse Prevention Card to Take with You
OK, you’ve read this far, and if you think the 4 Ds make sense, take 5 minutes to write a relapse prevention card to carry around with you. Do it right now (before you get distracted 🙂 and you maximize your odds of having it ready when you need it.
Fold a paper into four squares:
Negative Expectations – When you’re about to relapse you tend to focus on positive expectations and gloss-over negative expectations.
Some examples of positive expectations are:
Some examples of negative expectations are:
By writing down accurate negative expectation statements you provide a counter-balance for the positive expectation statements your addicted mind manufactures all on its own.
An Example Relapse Prevention Card
The Four Ds
Distraction Ideas – write down 5 that will work for you
Reasons for quitting
(By the end of the 20 days you will be more focused on the negative aspects of smoking and you will be much less impressed with the positives).
Thomas Vilord said “If you have goals and procrastination you have nothing. If you have goals and take action you can have anything that you want.”
Quitting Addiction Quote by Barnaby Keeney “No man or woman is uniformly successful… we must all expect a rather high percentage of failure in the things we attempt.”
I will give you new things to think about and focus on. I will help you develop a dynamic organized system which will give you the weapons you need to fight your addiction.
Never forget the #1 rule for quitting smoking: Never give up.
Tomorrow please find day two which is the eleventh article of the column on the left.