Smoking Triggers

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Joined: January 7th, 2009, 7:13 pm

February 3rd, 2001, 12:38 pm #11

THANK YOU JOEL,YOU HAVE ONCE AGAIN ANSWERED MY QUESTION!!!
YQS SISSY(WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT YOU?)
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

February 7th, 2001, 7:41 am #12

I saw the habit/addiction debate issue up today. I am pressed for time to read it clearly but just bringing up a few articles on the difference between the two. They are both real phenomena and the first few days you all dealt with both of them concurrently. The important point to recognize is that you all got through both of them at that time. Now you have the triggers without the withdrawal complicating it. It is in a sense then a much "easier" to overcome battle, as long as you keep your initial ammunition and thus motivation to quit strong. That is the key now to overcome these obstacles. Keep reinforcing why you quit and remembering what it was truley like to be a full-fledged smoker with all of its inherent risks. By doing this you will overcome the thoughts and successfully and equally important happily never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

February 10th, 2001, 3:12 am #13

Another article for Roadmaster on how a specific stress may be a trigger. But a trigger will not cause a relapse, just a thought. A relapse will only occur if the thought leads to a puff.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

March 13th, 2001, 9:20 pm #14

I saw where Joy posed a question to what is a craving. There are different kinds of "cravings" and different reasons for those kinds. Physical cravings are from the body demand of nicotine experienced during withdrawal. Psychological cravings or are really just thoughts of desire for cigarettes being elicited by a trigger. Then there are thoughts caused by triggers that are not actual cravings or desires, but just thoughts that "I used to smoke when I do did this," or even sometimes thoughts of, "Boy, am I glad I quit smoking." Those are smoking thoughts, but not a longing for smoking but more an appreciation of not smoking. I will bring up one other article that clarifies the difference between the physical and the psychological. Both are real but both will dissipate with time and experience. They will continue on a path of general easing as long as you stay focused on your resolve to stay free and as long as you never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

April 13th, 2001, 8:56 pm #15

Not just for Beccy, Joel, also for Anne - thank you for always having the right post at the right time for those of us who haven't read them before!!!!
anne
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Joined: January 7th, 2009, 6:59 pm

May 11th, 2001, 2:33 am #16

Thanks Joel. Knew I's seen this page somewhere. Found it easily as it was in a Post on the Board. Perfect. Yep, a small crisis passing now .... albeit a little too slowly. Stress, anger set me off big time. Yeah, I wouldn't feel comfortable enough to day to be exposed to sickerttes, not for a few more hours or so anyway. Calming down tho, fianlly spending time there at Freedom. Zep can always finds these real gross pictures of sick lungs. the nicorttee needle etc. Going to do everything I can to relax myself. Thank you. Still mad, but I'm on top of the situation now, and I know my rights. Smoking wouldn't cause anygood feels, perhaps a fleeting momemt or any solution. And then the guilt. Be ashamed, actually, like a weakly. sunshineray 14th day (gees 2 weeks, 1l2 way to green!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

July 21st, 2001, 6:47 pm #17

Again, as talked about in the string "Thought that seem worse than the first day urges," these thoughts are being triggered by associations. They have real reasons for occuring, but sometimes a person will not be able to recognize what the exact situation triggering the thought actually is. But whether or not you ever identify the exact cause of the trigger, you still break it or at least weaken it significantly none the less. For whatever it was that was causing it, you survived it without a cigarette and have taught yourself that the specific circumstance was doable without a cigarette. As more and more time passes, totally new experiences become more sporadic and these thoughts become much less infrequent. Preventing triggers from occuring may not be in any idividuals conscious control, but overcoming the thoughts and even squelching them quickly are under concsious controls. Focus all your attention on why you quit and why you don't want to go back to smoking and you will always have the ability to happily never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

July 28th, 2001, 9:37 pm #18

For Daniela:

Paying bills (even paying off bills) can still be a trigger. It is a matter of just getting it done the first time and the association will become weaker, and after numerous times will be broken all together. Eventually not smoking will become the habit. But it takes time and more accurately, experience to break these associations. Keep focused on how much you don't want to be a smoker and deal with all the risks and consequences that go along with maintaining an expensive and lethal addicition. Keep remembering why you are here and you will stay clear in your resolve to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

August 3rd, 2001, 10:28 pm #19

jmhonline

this is what helped me that day. Take care.
Daniela
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

August 9th, 2001, 12:43 am #20

For Shacky Rose:

Being stuck in the house with a broken car can be a trigger as well as causing a bit of cabin fever kind of syndrome.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

September 8th, 2001, 6:25 am #21

For Marty, I was looking all over for this one....hope it helps.

Also, for those of you rooting on your first Football season......no matter what the score is...you remain a winner as long as you remember to never take another puff.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

September 9th, 2001, 6:19 pm #22

For Tiptoe:

Breaking the triggers to smoking is what makes your life as an ex-smoker become comfortable. The only way to break triggers is by experiencing them and overcoming them without smoking. People always ask, "How long is it before I can do this or that without wanting a cigarette?" Time is not the issue though, it is how long is it before you do the activity over and over enough again to break all the associations that particular activity, person, or event. The sooner you start living life to its fullest, the sooner you start to feel that not smoking is a great way to live life to its fullest. It is a life where everything that was possible before is still possible, and one in which some things that were not possible because of physical limitations may now be possible, and a life that will last longer and be better in countless ways as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: January 7th, 2009, 7:42 pm

November 27th, 2001, 12:04 pm #23

Joel you're right about those triggers being associated with just about any activity that lasted for more than about 20 minutes. I am amazed at how predictable those urges are becoming. Almost everything I do was in one way or another associated with the deadly "reward" of a smoke. I can now almost anticipate them and just give them a tiny grunt of acknowledgement....so I used to smoke after this activity too. Well, thank God I don't have to light up anymore. I am steadily becoming free! YQF Michele
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zoo
Joined: January 7th, 2009, 6:58 pm

December 5th, 2001, 1:05 am #24

Thank god for this website and education this site provides. I was hit with a real stressful situation this weekend. By far the most stressful situation I had this quit. I am in a family business, which is not always easy to work in. Sunday night after an argument on by way home the WaWa's seemed liked they were just calling me in to by a pack of cigg's. Instead I went home and went for a run. I feel my getting through that situation I should be able to get through anything. Now that the situation is pertty much resolved, I am sooooooooo! glad I did not smoke. This site has taught me a lot.

z00,
3 months 11 days no smoke
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

December 14th, 2001, 11:35 am #25

I'm not even sure that what happens to me is a trigger - sort of - I definitely think about cigarettes in the same place and time - driving home from work - I don't want to smoke - yet thoughts of a cigarette keep coming up on the drive home. Reading about triggers, I should be well past this I've done this drive without a cigarette for more than two months. I'm feeling a little like a particularly backward Pavlov's dog that keeps on salivating though dinner has not appeared for weeks! I still have some thoughts when I sit in my old favorite chair and I haven't smoked there in six months. I'm sure this will pass eventually - I'm not going to smoke because I think of a cigarette - any suggestions are most welcome. Maybe I'm being bothered by nothing. Thanks for listening.

yqf Lorraine

Two months, two days, 23 hours, 4 minutes and 31 seconds. 649 cigarettes not smoked, saving $208.01. Life saved: 2 days, 6 hours, 5 minutes.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

December 14th, 2001, 11:55 am #26

Thanks Marty and John - I've been reading and I think I'm catching on - what I'm experiencing are not craves - just smoking memories - arising unbidden from prior conditioning - but I'm not craving a cigarette. And I can choose to think about something else - kept feeling that I should meet and greet , etc.. but they aren't triggers just memories. Whew that's better. yqf Lorraine
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

December 21st, 2001, 7:55 pm #27

The upcoming holiday and preparations will often cause a number of these triggers. Don't let any of them throw you--you will survive them all and break the triggers as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

January 5th, 2002, 12:52 am #28

Weekend Triggers Are Here!
If this is your very first nicotine free weekend then keep in mind that the weekend can bring with it new situations, locations, events, emotions and the possibility of encountering unreconditioned crave habit triggers. For example, as Joel says, the Sunday newspaper is bigger and thicker and often took three or four cigarettes to read.
Keep your coping tools and plans handy and ready to go! You can handle three minutes - look at a clock! The trigger could be as subtle as ice cubes hitting the bottom of tall glass or a lazy stroll through the backyard : )) Remember, your subconscious mind is incapable of independent reasoning and just a single encounter is usually sufficient to cause it to break the trigger link and give up trying. It's amazing! Have a great weekend! YQB John : )
Last edited by John (Gold) on April 21st, 2009, 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 7th, 2009, 6:58 pm

January 27th, 2002, 6:57 pm #29

This is real - Weekend Triggers. I quit on a Tuesday and from Tuesday through Friday, my life is pretty much routine. By Friday, I was beginning to feel great and began to let my guard down on these Triggers.

On Saturday, more than once, I got hit with some of the hardest "craves", I have had. One was going to a movie theater with my non-smoking sister. Now we don't go very often but when we do, I use to hang outside the door "smoking" until she would flagg me in saying "come on the movie is starting", Then when the movie was over, I would race out the door and start puffing right away. She would wait in her car until I was done. It was like I couldn't concentrate on the end of the movie, because I was too busy worrying how patient she was going to be while I had one more smoke.

I felt all those craves come up, very strongly on Saturday. I had not anticipated them, but I do carry lollipops with me wherever I go. And as we were leaving I told her I needed a bottle of water, right away!! Drinking water haas been the best think for handling my craves. Thanks for the great trigger and crave information!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

January 27th, 2002, 7:12 pm #30

Hello Lablover:

I just wrote a reply to you, actually two replies that addresses the issue of thoughts you had not anticipated under the post "starting your first smoke free weekend." Ignore the second post there, I forgot where this one was when I went to attach a note here, but as you see now I have found it.

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

March 21st, 2002, 3:42 am #31

Identifying triggers often brings a sense of relief to a person for they then understand why a particular thought is happening. But sometimes the trigger is totally unidentifiable. Whether you figure out the underlying event or circumstance or not does not really make a difference. As long as you get through it without smoking you break the trigger. How you get through the moment is the more important issue. It is not by trying not to think about it or pretending the thought is not there. It is the opposite you need to do.

Think about the cigarette, the tens of thousands of others that will go with it, and then the problems that went with those tens of thousands of cigarettes. Remember full-fledged smoking; the smells, the expense, the social ramifications, the constant withdrawals being experienced every 20 minutes or so until you were able to get your next fix, the physical problems it may have been causing or was eventually leading to. Remember how annoying they had gotten to in the end to make you initially quit.

Then remember the grip they had on you, how hard the quitting process was, whatever emotional and physical pain you went through to first quit. Remember cigarettes how they were at the end of your smoking. These memories and feelings, if accurately recalled will become very powerful tools to squelch the fantasy of a cigarette and bring back the initial motivation prompting the quit.

Once viewed in this light, these thoughts will not last long. A certain degree of relief and gratitude will be felt within seconds of focusing on smoking. Relief that it was only a thought, and gratitude to yourself that you have put that smelly, expensive, ridiculous and worst of all, deadly practice of smoking behind you. You will remain free from nicotine's powerful and deadly grip again by having once again remembered why you quit and why you decided months ago to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

April 6th, 2002, 5:18 am #32

You are so thoughtful Joel. I was reading along this string and there my name pops up. I don't particularly understand this current trigger I'm going through however I'm going to focus on, remember how it was in the first day of your quit and how awful it was......this seems to be working for me today. Perhaps another day i'll understand what it was all about but in the meantime, I don't plan on smoking today.
Thanks again.
Diana
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

April 27th, 2002, 4:14 am #33

"Time doesn't teach you how not to smoke, experience does. The more thing you experience and the sooner, the more you recognize that their is life after smoking"




Who is this guy Joel... ?? he's pretty darned good, I think....
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

July 9th, 2002, 12:24 am #34

For Rick. Triggers can be big events or small events--bad things happening or glorious things happenings. While triggers can come from many different things--the way to overcome each of them successfully is always the same--it is simply knowing that to stay smoke free simply requires knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

July 9th, 2002, 3:00 am #35

I can't thank you enough Joel for explaining how the process works - it helps SO MUCH to understand where those lightening bolts come from.

Yesterday I was surprised by a huge crave while visiting at a friend's house. Putting my Freedom lessons to work, I embraced the crave and tried to figure out what triggered it. I realized that I had always smoked while sitting at that kitchen table, reminded myself that I can NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF, accepted that this was simply another trigger to be reconditioned and moved on!!! I was able to hold my friend's newborn daughter rather than exiling myself outside to feed my addiction!!!!! Talk about positive reinforcement!

With your support and encouragement and shared knowledge,
I remain nicotine-free for 13D17H56M.
Honored to be a member of the Freedom family,
Alyson
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