Quitting Tip: Take One Day at a Time

<div style=”text-align: justify;”>[themecolor]When it comes to quitting smoking. Nothing is more effective than taking things one day at a time. It is extremely important that you don’t focus far into the future, or far into the past. Focusing on never smoking again can actually defeat you. It is better to focus on not smoking for just today than it is to try to focus on never smoking again. Most substance abuse or addiction programs will also teach this basic concept. This concept is also effective for almost all emotional conflicts or mental health issues. By focusing on just today, you can prevent yourself from creating difficult situations in your mind that make your experience more difficult. Avoid starting a thought process where you think,

“What will I do? Will I do if I get upset and can smoke? What will I do if I have a difficult day at work and can’t smoke? What will I do if I have a severe craving around somebody who smokes?”

This is very often negative and self-defeating.


Climb One Mountain at a Time

Nicotine dependence is incredibly strong. It can seem like a climbing a mountain, sometimes Mount Everest itself, if you try to focus on never taking another puff of a cigarette. There is also a grieving process associated with smoking cessation. By taking away your cigarettes, you have taken away a valuable coping skill that you have found useful up until this point. And while smoking is really not a valuable coping skill in the end, you will need to replace smoking with other more healthy coping skills. Focusing on the fact that you have lost your main coping skill for the rest of your life can leave you feeling panicked, upset, and anxious. This is yet another reason why focusing on not smoking just for today is more effective.


Be Patient

You may not realize that quitting smoking is entirely beneficial for you right away. Nicotine withdrawal can change your thought process, and can make you believe that returning to smoking is a better choice. In reality, quitting smoking leads to a healthier, cleaner, and calmer life. Eventually, you will reach the point in your smoking cessation or you no longer have severe cravings or thoughts of returning to smoking. Both when you first quit, and when you reach the point when you no longer want to return to smoking, “one day at a time” can be helpful.

While you may eventually reach the point where you feel as if you no longer have to focus on “just today,” it is important to maintain your focus. Within all forms of drug addiction, a certain egotistical feeling of success is likely to occur shortly after you succeed in quitting for a reasonable period of time. It is during this time when most people think, “just one won’t hurt.” To avoid this type of thinking, start each day with the goal that you will not smoke for one day.


Stay in the Now

This type of thinking is also extremely effective for new quitters who have experienced slips or failures. Rather than see your entire cessation as a big failure, think of it as only “one day.” At the end of the day, your slip is over and done with, and you can start fresh again the next day. When you wake, motivate yourself towards achieving your main goal that day – to refrain from smoking. When you make it to the end of the day without smoking, and you will, congratulate or reward yourself for abstaining from cigarettes. Think about how much healthier you are growing as time goes on. You’ll be well on your way to a healthier life with each day that passes.



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