Quitting cigarettes use is one of the best decisions you can make, but the recovery process is nothing short of a nightmare. Although many of you would long for an overnight withdrawal period, the fact of the matter is that cutting off your nicotine supply is equivalent to slicing off a limb. With that in mind, you can see why the process of withdrawal is so difficult for abstaining smokers. However, you will definitely be able to succeed if you can easily identify which triggers can set you off. Fortunately, you can create a game plan for how you can respond to these urges and how to alleviate your symptoms properly. Let’s take a closer look at how you can identify four triggers that take place during withdrawal.
All about Associations
Keep in mind that cravings are triggered by specific stimuli, created after you develop connections between people, places, and/or things. For example, you may have smoked frequently in a public space by a bridge, so once you see that bridge while you are recovering, you may feel an urge to get a cigarette. On the other hand, you may find that a former smoking buddy, who also happens to be a close friend, can easily set you off. Mental associations are the key here.
To identify the four most powerful triggers and memorize them for your benefit, just remember the word HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired):
- Hungry: If you are starving, the answer to that growling stomach is delicious food, not a nasty cigarette. If you are concerned about putting on too much weight, though, you can always turn to low-calorie alternatives like roasted seaweed, celery, baby carrots, frozen grapes, or fresh apples.
- Angry: Here is a huge trigger for smokers (and for the rest of the world). Rather than lashing out at friends and family, learn how to cope with your irritability and find a way to calm that raging, boiling brain.
- Lonely: For people recovering from cigarette use, you may begin to realize you don’t have as many friends as you used to have, given the fact that half of them were probably smokers. On the flip side, you may have plenty of friends but feel extremely isolated. Regardless, get up and walk around your neighborhood, visit a park, go see a movie, or go on a vacation. You never know who you’ll meet.
- Tired: Once you’ve weaned yourself off a stimulant, your body will show you just how tired you really are. You will definitely feel an urge to return to nicotine for more boosts, but you should just succumb to the natural feeling of your body. Take a nap and go to bed early, so you get 8 to 9 hours of sleep. We call it beauty sleep for a reason.
Seeking Treatment for Cigarette Use
Remember that addiction can be triggered by one shot of alcohol or a single puff of a cigarette, but the true danger of this sickness is that you cannot fully determine how much you have to consume before your mind forms an attachment. Social smoking is just as dangerous as chronic smoking, on many levels, but you do not have to smoke to have a good time. Remember, drugs cannot determine if you have fun and do not have control over your life.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug abuse or addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.