1. Expect them and even anticipate them.
Cravings loose quite a bit of their power when you remove the element of surprise. Think about it . . . during your unsuccessful quits wasn’t it the whim or crave of the moment that made you pull into the convenience store? Especially expect cravings to come during activities that you have never performed while being quit, during stressful times and during times of lull or boredom.
2. Recognize them as lies.
Again, cravings loose quite a bit of their power when we uncover the boldface lies they present to us. Nicotine never helped us solve a problem, ease emotional pain or release stress. It only made us think it did. One of the best lessons we addicts can learn is that cravings present to us a false reality; they are the lies of the enemy.
3. Develop a plan to change your focus.
Cravings are most powerful when they capture our attention and hold it. The more we focus on the craving, the more vulnerable we will be to the false scenarios they present. Thus, it is critical for us to have alternatives to present when we are faced with a crave. Call some quit brothers/sisters; Drink a tall glass of water; Eat a Tootsie Roll . . . . Do whatever it takes to shift you mind and thoughts elsewhere. Make a plan.
4. Avoid places and circumstances that present huge temptations.
Sometimes it is simply best to run and not to fight. These areas of vulnerability will be different for each of us, but we are strongest when we are aware of our weaknesses. There will come a time when you will be strong enough to face your big temptations, but only fools rush in where even the most veteran quitters fear to trod. Know your soft spots and protect them!
5. Some hate and derision goes a long way.
One of the responses that has helped me the most is to maintain a healthy, anger toward cravings. HereÂ’s the way it works: when a craving comes I laugh at it in the face and give it the finger (literally). Hate what the crave is trying to do to you. Give it the boot. Spit at it. Nicotine has no honor or dignity that deserves any better response.
6. Call a quit brother or sister.
Each of us goes through phases of strength and weakness, especially early on during our quits. Be humble and vulnerable enough to call out for help when you need it. It is the only way you will succeed.