Knowing how to overcome emotional cravings is part of Stage Three of the CBQ Method: Change Your Smoking Pattern.
Here’s what you need to know so that you can overcome food cravings easily.
What are Spiritual Desires?
There are two types of cravings: physical and mental.
The physical desire is a twitch, a feeling of hunger in your stomach when your body is low on nicotine.
Emotional desires are just positive thoughts about smoking that evoke positive feelings about smoking.
Principles of the CBQ method
Thoughts like “I just need a cigarette.”
“A cigarette would make me feel better.”
“If I don’t smoke, I won’t enjoy my day.”
Or “Just one move doesn’t matter.”
All of these are wistful thoughts.
But remember, thoughts can’t hurt, break, or make you do something – but they can be very overwhelming if you don’t know how to handle them – and I’ll show you how to do it in a moment.
How long does cravings last?
The physical desire lasts about 3 minutes each. The physical cravings go away 3 to 5 days after you stop smoking, as by then almost all of the nicotine is gone from your body. So if you stay nicotine-free for 5 days or more, you will be done with physical addiction and cravings.
Spiritual desire is a little different. Since they are thoughts, they can last hours, months, and even years if you don’t handle them. The mental desire disappears when you change your mind about smoking.
So any mental desire will last as long as you entertain the thought of smoking. For example, if you have an emotional desire like “I need a cigarette right now” and you start thinking, “Yes, maybe I need it.” And then you imagine you smoke the first puff and feel relief … then you add fuel to the fire and prolong the mental desire.
You have a wistful mind that is causing your soul cravings
Imagine your wistful spirit as a golem from the Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, imagine a wretched and needy creature who just wants its precious solution.
And the wistful mind communicates with you in the form of a thought like “I just need a cigarette” or “A cigarette would make me feel better”.
Why do you even have a desire for it?
The reason you have cravings is because nicotine has hijacked your brain and made it believe that you need nicotine to survive – just like you need food.
For example, when you eat, your brain releases dopamine, which makes you feel rewarded and want to eat again. The brain does this so that you can keep eating and survive (if it didn’t release dopamine while eating, you’d forget to eat and die).
Unfortunately, nicotine affects your brain in the same way. It hijacks the dopamine receptors in your brain, creating the impression that you need nicotine to survive.
So your brain is reminding you to smoke through your craving mind because it thinks you need nicotine to survive.
But of course you don’t need nicotine to survive. Your brain just has outdated information.
In other words, the biological part of your brain has been completely hijacked. So you have to use the intellectual part of your brain to rewire the biological part.
How to deal with wistful thoughts
A desire is a thought and there are many ways to manage your thoughts.
1) Reply back to the request. When the wistful mind tells you that I just need a cigarette, you may either disagree or ignore it. You can say, “No, I don’t. You are wrong,” or you can say, “Okay, I heard you, now I’ll move on.”
2) Let the longing thought pass. A recent study found that we have 6,200 thoughts every day! So just let the wistful thoughts disappear from your head as if they were one of the thousands of thoughts you have every day. Don’t interact with them, try not to think about them, try not to entertain them … just let them pass mindfully.
3) Replace the wistful thoughts. You cannot have two thoughts at the same time. In order to You can always replace a thought you don’t like with a new thought. Imagine watching TV and changing channels. Or that you change the station on the radio. You can do the same with your brain. If you have a thought you don’t like, you can replace it. You can say “next thought please” and there will always be a new thought available. See how it works in my TED talk.
Will you always have spiritual need?
Your brain is a learning machine. Just as you programmed your brain to think about smoking, you can reprogram it to stop thinking about it.
The more you put yourself in situations where you and didn’t smoke before … and you feel good about yourself in those situations, the more information your brain gets and sees, “Hey, we didn’t smoke and nothing bad happened to us is “. With this new information, you can rewire your brain as it will give you proof that you don’t need nicotine to survive. In time, it won’t remind you to get it!
A desire is a state of will
A mental desire is a state of will, but what do you want?
Has this happened to you before? You quit smoking and that feeling of wanting stays with you for a while. So you think that smoking has left a void, and you try to fill that void with other vices like food and alcohol.
But here’s the thing. Everyone feels like they want – smokers, non-smokers, never smokers. But as smokers we have learned to respond to this feeling by smoking. In reality, we don’t want the cigarette nobody wants rolled grass with toxic chemicals. What you want is to change how you feel.
So if you have an emotional need, it is a sign that you are missing some of your emotional needs. We all need to feel certainty, love, security, comfort, and relief. But when you have a desire, you really long for an emotional need to be met. You long to feel a certain way.
What should I do?
When you have emotional need, ask yourself, “What do I really need now?” or “What am I missing in my life right now?”
Find what you need, helpfully meet that need, and the need will go away.
For example, let’s say you are home alone and feel that something is missing. Ask yourself, “What do I really need now?” Perhaps you will find yourself feeling lonely and in need of a connection.
Then ask yourself, “How can I help meet this need?” Perhaps a phone call to a loved one gives you part of that connection. And when you have searched for it, you will see that the desire will go away.
Or if after an argument, instead of reaching for a cigarette, you’re scared of asking yourself, “What do I really need now?” Maybe to feel relaxed and safe.
Then ask yourself, “How else can I meet this need?” Maybe take a deep breath, write a journal, go for a walk, practice gratitude, there are many ways to feel relaxed and secure.
Or let’s say you are in a social situation and everyone smokes and you crave a cigarette. Ask yourself, “What do I really need now?” Maybe it’s because of connecting and feeling belonging, or not feeling uncomfortable with your hand.
Then ask yourself, “How else can I do this?” Perhaps you’ll change the conversation or hold a glass of water in the hand you smoked before. There is a solution for everything.
- Mental cravings are positive thoughts about smoking that create positive feelings about smoking.
- The wistful mind is reminding you to smoke – through your wistful thoughts – because it believes you need nicotine to survive.
- You can overcome your wistful thoughts – replace them, let them pass, answer them. Do not act on them.
- A craving is a state of deficiency, but you want to meet a need (don’t breathe chemicals). Help meet this need, and the need will go away.
Overcoming mental addiction and especially overcoming mental cravings is part of the third phase of smoking cessation of the CBQ method: change your smoking pattern. The CBQ Method has a total of four phases, all of which are important in transforming you from a smoker into a happy non-smoker.
If you want to overcome mental addiction and change the way you view smoking, make sure you get the basic video of the CBQ method.
The CBQ Method is a 4-step method specifically designed to help you overcome psychological addiction, change your attitude towards smoking, and break the habit. Mental addiction is the bulk of smoking addiction, so overcoming it will make it easier to quit.
Click here for the basic video on the CBQ method
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