Smoking Triggers

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Mar 2002, 03:42 #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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Dida (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

06 Apr 2002, 05:18 #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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richard This is It GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

27 Apr 2002, 04:14 #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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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Jul 2002, 00:24 #34

Image 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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Alyson GOLD.ffn
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

09 Jul 2002, 03:00 #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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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Aug 2002, 18:49 #36

Image For Lilac:

Different people, places and activities will still trigger thoughts, all though over time new triggers become more sporadic. The trick is to always be reminding yourself of what smoking was really like, of why you first quit smoking and of why you never want to go back to the active addiction, even in those in-between times where smoking thoughts are not occurring. By constantly reminding yourself of the full implications of smoking, when you do encounter triggers you are sufficiently reinforced to squelch them and renew your commitment once again to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Aug 2002, 18:00 #37

Sometimes the triggers don't make so much sense, at least on the surface. The trick is just to always have your guard up, being prepared daily for anything. For no matter how long you are off smoking, triggers can and will occur.
Sometimes triggers will be obvious and easy to identify, like running into an old friend who is a chain smoker and you always smoked with them in the past. Sometimes they will be less obvious though, like when it is an old friend who has always been a non-smoker. Whenever you were with them in the past, you too would never smoke because they were around. So why would they make you think of a cigarette?

Well, before you would ever go to see them, you would smoke a few extra cigarettes just to be able to stay with them a little longer. Or more likely, the trigger wouldn't happen when you first see them, but rather as soon as they would leave. More accurately, it would hit as soon as you were out of their line of vision. In the past, that is when you would instantly light up. Even though you never smoked in their presence, you were still a smoker when with them. This association will last until these initial first encounters with them breaking the pattern and mindset that you are a smoker in this particular circumstance.

As more and more time passes, experiences like this become more sporadic. But keep focused daily. When you wake up say today is another day you will not smoke. So if these rare occurrences happen, you are ready. And again at the end of the day congratulate yourself for another victorious day without smoking.

Hang in there and don't let the triggers get you. Make each one just another learning experience. The lesson, no matter what triggers a thought, to beat it, Never Take Another Puff!
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sandy
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:42

17 Jan 2003, 22:10 #38

Sick kids is a trigger I didn't anticipate. I have been home with sick kids for 3 days and I have had alot of thoughts about smoking. Still haven't, but it has been tough.
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MareBear GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

18 Jan 2003, 01:20 #39

Sandy, think of how much better you feel being there for your sick kids without having to step away to feed your addiction. Not to mention, you are healthier so you have a better chance of not catching what your kids have.

I hope your kids don't get sick again, but being kids they probably will, and the next time won't be so bad. Joel's list of triggers above could have been my list. Now I can do all those things without thinking of smoking (paying bills was the toughest but it was overcome!).

Last night, and into the wee hours of this morning, my husband and I were in the Veterinary emergency clinic trying to decide whether or not to put our dear kitty to sleep (we didn't--she's better, for nowImage) and it didn't even occur to me, until I opened this thread, that I never thought about having a cigarette. We were in there for three hours and it didn't even enter my mind. It's a trigger that I overcame on a previous vet visit (unfortunately there have been many of those, but you see what I mean).
MareBearImage
7 1/2 months
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Sal GOLD.ffn
Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

13 Feb 2003, 11:36 #40

Very interesting thread to read on my green day. I wonder what triggers are out there that will surprise me? A thread like this is Image what makes all the difference in the keeping of one's educated quit.
ImageSal
One month, 20 hours, 37 minutes and 13 seconds.
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