The following technique of desire will help you overcome any craving, however strong, as it takes advantage of the way your brain works.
I first taught this longing technique during my TED talk on quitting smoking. In the next few lines I want to show you why it works and how to use it step by step.
How cravings works
Mental cravings are just positive thoughts about smoking that create positive feelings about smoking. This is one of the principles of the CBQ method.
When you have a desire, an internal dialogue takes place in your head.
And it goes something like this:
– “I want a cigarette.”
– “I shouldn’t smoke.”
– “But I need one, otherwise X bad thing will happen.” “I won’t be able to finish, relax, sleep, have fun,” and so on.
So what can you do when the wistful mind tells you these wistful thoughts?
Most people either give in or try to resist their cravings with willpower, which is exhausting and rarely works in the long run.
But there is another way.
What makes cravings overwhelming and what to do about it
Cravings are just thoughts.
And while thoughts can’t hurt, break, or make you do anything, they can be very persuasive if you let them through.
Our thoughts can even affect our bodies.
Imagine dragging your fingernails across a chalkboard.
Did you get the chills?
You haven’t touched a blackboard, but your thoughts have influenced your body.
If you think, “I just need a cigarette,” it can affect your body and make you experience the desire more physically – even if it is an emotional one. Learn the difference between mental and physical desires here.
The solution is to Replace the word “cigarette” with another word.
If you replace the word “cigarette” with another, you can replace the thought of smoking with a new thought.
You cannot have two thoughts at the same time. That can’t happen!
So you can always replace a thought you don’t like with a new thought.
I call this “changing the channel in your head” and it’s a very effective way to overcome cravings.
Replace the thought “I need a cigarette” with “I need air, freedom, strength, health”.
The words we use to speak to ourselves give meaning to our experiences. By changing the words that you feed your mind, you can change your emotional state. Because our emotions are influenced by the images we create in our heads.
You will not imagine, feel, and do the same things when you think “I need a smoke” and “I need freedom”. So you will experience your cravings in a completely different way.
The “replace” craving technique
When you have a craving, follow the steps below. Read them through first so you know what to do.
Step 1. Take a deep breath.
Step 2. Acknowledge that all of your thoughts are around the word cigarette / vaping.
Step 3. Replace the word cigarette / puff / blow / pinch with another word.
Some examples are: “popcorn”, “air”, “power”, “freedom”.
Use any word or phrase that resonates with you. By doing this, you change the negative effects of your internal dialogue and, with it, the way in which you experience your cravings.
The next time you feel like it, keep saying, “I want air.”
Step 4. Beginning See Pictures of you breathing deeply instead of imagining smoking.
Step 5. Notice how you do feeling when you take a deep breath.
Step 6. what do you Listen?
Change your internal dialogue and whenever you want to say “cigarette” or “smoking” say the same thing, but use your substitute word:
- “Popcorn sounds good now. “” I would like
eat Popcorn now. ”
- “I would like air now. ”“All I want is a little Air.“
Keep all your senses focused on your substitute word. You can pick any word or phrase as long as it creates a vivid representation in your head.
Step 7. The desire is over!
Over time, your substitute word will become automatic.
And you can use this exercise to help overcome any type of cravings!
Did you like this longing technique from the CBQ method?
The CBQ Method is a 4-step method specifically designed to help you overcome mental addiction, change your attitude towards smoking, and break the habit. Mental addiction is the majority of smoking addiction, so overcoming it will make it easy to quit.
To get started with the CBQ method, click here for the free CBQ basics video.
If you need help and assistance, join our Facebook support group for CBQ methods. We have thousands of members who are on the same journey as you. And we publish tips every day to help you quit smoking and stay smoke-free.
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