Recognizing Needs

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Sal GOLD.ffn
Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

16 Apr 2004, 09:37 #31

For our new quitters.
Life will get better and better as you adjust to being free from nicotine.
In any situation, always remember to never take another puff. The crave will end whether you feed it or not.
NOT works really well!

cal amity
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:37

12 May 2004, 06:58 #32

this is one of the best posts! i was dehydrated all day and though i wanted a cig! oh... read read read ! amity

Sal GOLD.ffn
Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

15 May 2004, 08:28 #33

Image Learn to investigate your body's craves. You feel something... DON'T assume it's a nicotine crave.
Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 11 Jul 2009, 03:00, edited 1 time in total.

Toast (GOLD )
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Jun 2004, 02:26 #34

"Learn to investigate your body's craves. You feel something... DON'T assume it's a nicotine crave. Sure, they come now and then, but our body uses similar feelings to get us to fill the daily needs of life. Go through the list. Are you hungry, tired, thirsty, angry, restless, run down? Do you need to eat, sleep, drink, vent, exercise, rest? Your body and mind have real needs, and it has ways of asking for them. Learn to listen, and you'll find that they might not be asking for nicotine as often as you thought. Learn to answer the needs by fulfilling them, instead of replacing them with nicotine, and you'll find health benefits you might not have expected."

What a smart OMan that OBob is!

Image Melissa

36 months
Last edited by Toast (GOLD ) on 11 Jul 2009, 03:01, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

30 Jun 2004, 23:41 #35

This is by far one of the best analytical articles about craving. However, while I do realize that we have to examine our craves, I find it very difficult to satisfy that crave; albeit not for nicotine. For example, I used to sit in my back yard and smoke when I relax. I am unable at this time to sit in my back yard any more, because it triggers a crave - whatever that crave may be. I am now virtually unable to relax at all. So I keep myself busy by working during the time that I used to relax, smoke and even ponder over matters in my life. I am certainly unable to do that now. I simply cannot relax. I am able to work and function, jog and walk, but I am unable to relax. Therefore, recognizing what the crave really is, is one thing, and satisfying that newly discovered crave, is yet another. If you have any ideas, please help. I truly need to sit, relax and ponder. Is that possible now? I don't know. All I can hope for is that one day, out in the future, I may re-learn to relax.

Two weeks, two days free and healing.

IrishLotus GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

01 Jul 2004, 02:45 #36

Hi Aida...I noticed your question hidden in this post here. Hmmmm...relaxing.

Now that you say it, I DO remember early on in my quit that I kept myself busy a lot to get past most of my cravings. In fact, I think it is difficult for many people to relax in general, smokers, ex smokers and never smokers alike! It sounds strange, but when you think about it, one of the hardest things to get our minds do is absolutely nothing!

Have you ever been to a yoga class? The first class I ever went to we talked about "quieting the mind" or "sitting quietly with our thoughts". My teacher observed that most Westerners can't even sit still when they sit, we use rocking chairs! ANYWAY, I had started studying yoga and buddhism about a year before I quit smoking, so I was already familiar with this idea of learning how to "sit" with my antsy feelings. It's no easy feat, Aida, to sit still and just let the thoughts whir by in our brains. It takes practice to quiet one's mind. I know it may sound simple but, I have found that the only way we can relax is to do it. Image

Try it. Sit in a quiet place and practice letting the thoughts float by like little bubbles in your head. Don't latch on to any, just observe them as they pass by. If you need help, focus on your breathing, say to yourself as you breathe in and out "Breathing fresh air in" "Breathing stressed air out". I'm sure you can find plenty of helpful books on practicing meditation and relaxation exercises at your local library or even on the internet.

Also, here's a great thread from my fabulous quit friend Parker that touches on this "letting things go" philosophy in regards to craves: Don't Get Discouraged!

Otherwise, keep reading and listening to the things your body is trying to tell you. Practice Patience and trust in the fact that this WILL get better. Oh, and a huge congratulations on half green!


645 days of FREEDOM and I am happy as a clam!
Last edited by IrishLotus GOLD on 11 Jul 2009, 03:05, edited 1 time in total.

OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

01 Jul 2004, 03:59 #37

Hi Aida,

Here's where I think you may benefit from a new approach. You say that, "I am unable at this time to sit in my back yard any more, because it triggers a crave - whatever that crave may be."

While that may be true the first couple times you sit in your backyard, it won't be true over time. At 2 weeks, you're right at the point where many quitters experience their most challenging patch. You're fresh out of the physical challenges of withdrawal and the other physical adjustments your body makes when nicotine is removed from the equation, and you're finding yourself confronted by raw, mental triggers. This is unsettling, and at first overwhelming. It's a different kind of challenge, and takes a different kind of approach.

As opposed to the raw white-knuckling that often characterizes the "physical phase", the mental challenges requre an understanding of the nature of the challenge, and a readjustment of the manner in which you deal with the challenge.

Essentially, you need to understand...

a) that triggers are reconditioned by experiencing a situation smoke-free. If you used to smoke during sitting in the back yard, you'll very likely encounter a trigger the first time or 2 or 3 you sit out in the back yard. However, each time you sit in the back yard, and DON'T feed the trigger, that trigger weakens. Eventually, sitting in the back yard will be no more associated with smoking than taking a shower.

b) that the best way to recondition these triggers is not to avoid them; but rather to confront them, and in doing so, beat them. Avoiding situations like sitting in the back yard, and replacing it with other activities merely builds the fear of that situation up in your mind. You create a crisis out of a mere challenge.

It also leads you to mistakenly blame the loss of an important activity (sitting in your back yard and relaxing in this case) on your quit... jeopardizing your commitment to that quit. The TRUTH is that ANYTHING you did as a smoker, you will be able to do as an ex-smoker without being harassed by your addiction. This is true AS LONG as you commit to living through each trigger-situation smoke-free.

IMPORTANT: This is NOT what it feels like to be an ex-smoker Aida. This is what it feels like to be Aida 16 days removed from ending her enslavement to the planets strongest addictive substance. I remember distinctly that my 16th and 17th days were probably the most challenging of my entire quit (not that there weren't other challenges in the future). Face these triggers head-on. Confront them and defeat them. As the hours and days pile up, so will the list of reconditioned activities that you will be able to enjoy smoke-free.

Ex-smokers can and DO relax. Being a smoker didn't remove this ability from you. You simply need to allow yourself the time to do the healing necessary to remember how.

Here are some important posts for you to read that pertain to what I've just covered here. I have a couple more I want to dig up, and will be back with them in a minute.

Monster under the bed

Embracing craves
Smoking triggers
The evolution of triggers
Triggers, should I avoid them?

This gets better. I promise.
ImageBob (2 and a half years free)
Last edited by OBob Gold on 11 Jul 2009, 02:32, edited 1 time in total.

OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

01 Jul 2004, 04:06 #38

I am different, I'll never be comfortable
Tell a newbie how many seconds a day you still want a cigarette

And, as evidence that, despite my 2.5 years of freedom, I started out with the same challenges... compare this post...

And on the seventh day

with this one...


It really works. It requires some patience and some willingness to confront your fear (and in doing so to weaken that fear). Take it One day at a time . You'll get to where you want to be.

Last edited by OBob Gold on 11 Jul 2009, 02:49, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

01 Jul 2004, 21:54 #39

Dear Lotus & Bob:

Thanx for responding to my "hidden question" :>) I feel that I must start learning how to live my daily life all over again like a baby learning her first steps. It may even be more challenging than just a learning process because first we have to un-learn what we have conditioned our body and mind to do, and then learn how to live & function all over again. Some task! huh?
I copied and pasted every article that you both suggested. Luckily it is slow in the office this week, so I will close now and go home. Perhaps I may venture into my beautiful backyard and "sit" and read the articles. May be I will un-learn to sit & smoke, and then learn to sit and read, in my back yard. Thanx again and happy 4th to all.

Free and healing two weeks three days and nine hours.

FearNothingDK GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

03 Jul 2004, 23:24 #40

I thought I would bring this back to the top again, because I know for me when I was a newbie reading this really helped me.

I hadn't realized that we converted our basic needs into craves and learned to give ourselves a hit of nicotine instead of providing our bodies with what it needed - like water, food, sleep, etc.

It is sick really, when you think about it.

It took some work and time to learn to listen to my needs and know what they actually were. It was a huge learning process.

It is comforting to know what it is I am REALLY craving now and to be able to satisfy those cravings and feel so much better afterwards.

Thanks again for this Bob!


Sandy - Bronze - 4 months & 4 days