Be Prepared to Stop

January 5, 2016

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Be Prepared to Stop: Detours You Can Take to Help Manage Tobacco Cravings
Photo Courtesy of: Ellen Gibbs 

Detours You Can Take to Help Manage Tobacco Cravings

We’ve all been there: A bump in the road, a sharp turn, an unexpected stop. Sometimes we’re too harsh on ourselves and we let one little upset reverse our entire progression forward-- but it doesn’t have to be this way. One bad day does not define nor denote how far you’ve come. While it’s important to forgive our bad days, it’s just as important to learn from them. Once you can detect what triggers a craving you can take an alternative route to prevent yourself from veering off the road to success.

Here are some of my favorite strategies for coping with cravings.

#1 Writing

It could be a letter to a friend, a letter to yourself, a journal you keep by your nightstand, there’s no wrong way to write. Jot down your thoughts as soon as they appear in your mind, no need to worry over grammar or spelling. This is how I write in my own time, uncut and free from judgment. Remember, these words are only for you, so let the thoughts pour from pen to paper.

#2 Drawing

My uncle struggled his entire life with addiction, and one of the activities he found to be the most helpful was drawing. You don’t have to be a Picasso to draw, and some people find it less stressful than picking up a pen and finding the words to express how they’re feeling. Have you heard of these coloring books? Yep, they’re for grown-ups. Cognitive Neuroscientist, Stan Rodski has been in the business of brains for over thirty years, and his studies, along with countless others, have shown the stress reducing and relaxation enhancing benefits to the activity. So grab your kids’ box of crayons and get coloring.

#3 Take a Walk

Is the room starting to feel like it’s caving in? Are you feeling anxious? Take a walk. A recent study by The National Academy of Sciences showed that being outside and immersing yourself in nature has been shown to lower levels of stress, and improve overall mood.

Find the technique that works for you. There’s a slew of online resources that want to help. Remember, you have control of the wheel, don’t let one bad decision have you spiraling out of control.

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