Thursday, October 04, 2012
I'm not saying it's hard, but it's not easy either. Thankfully I, with a little help, have done my homework and I think I have kicked the habit this time.
I have been unsuccessful at quitting smoking for the last year. I have tried and tried. I tried weaning myself off and I tried quitting cold turkey. Neither method worked. I did not try the gum or the patch, but from the experience of my family and friends, those things don't really work anyway. I tried changing my mindset and deciding that I hated it and didn't want it anymore. Even that didn't work. Here is what I've learned.
Dopamine is a chemical that your brain naturally produces. When you start smoking, your brain stops producing dopamine on its own because the cigarette forces your brain to produce it unnaturally. When I was trying to quit, it wasn't because I was addicted to the habit itself or the nicotine. I was addicted to the dopamine rush that I couldn't seem to get any other way.
Your brain doesn't produce dopamine without a trigger. The triggers that I found worked for me best were exercise, loud music (where I could feel it thump in my chest), and keeping busy. Whenever I would start craving for a cigarette, I would go turn on some thumping music and dance around the living room for 5 minutes. If I wasn't at home, I would walk a little faster at the store while I grocery shopped to get my blood moving.
While I am at home, it's a little more difficult, but if I keep myself busy, I'm too distracted to want to smoke (or eat emotionally, for that matter).
Some people might say that I'm wrong, and that's ok. I am just sharing what worked for me. I have not had a cigarette in 16 days and I'm feeling great. It's become second nature to start my day with thumping music and "drop and give me 20" whenever I want to smoke.
Thanks to my dad for the research and thanks to my husband and family for the tremendous support.
To all those smokers out there who want to quit, you can do it! It's all in your head. :-) Thanks for reading.