Call it an urge, a craving, an impulse – whatever. You ingest many substances based on temptation. Your body gives a signal if it needs or wants something and your task is to satisfy it. The entire process may not involve your conscious mind!
Some people have a strong urge to eat – and they become obese. Other have impulses to drink – and they become alcoholics. Some have excessive urges to smoke many cigarettes each day and get an elevated risk of lung cancer. Some have strong temptations to buy things – which can bring financial problems.
The amount of urges we have throughout the day may reflect how strong your life is influenced by need or want.
Fortunately, impulses are essentially transient – they won’t nag you the whole time, they may diminish if you let them. When dealing with an impulse, try not to satisfy it and it will weaken.
Controlling the Urge to Smoke
A good way to cut back on (or stop) smoking is by avoiding your favorite smoking time. For many people, this is the after-meal cigarettes. The other is “morning puffs.” Smoking is a strong habit and a predictable behavior, which will repeat itself without any deliberate intent and conscious thought. An individual lights up due to a compelling urge to do so and it is even stronger at certain emotional condition and times of the days. It means, you need to eliminate the most powerful urge in a day, which means you will only need to confront weaker urges. You need to develop a plan of action, which allows you to outlast the urge, for example:
• Substitute your smoking time with other form of pleasures and there’s no denying that smokers gain pleasure from nicotine intake. So, you need a strong substitute, you are the one who can decide on the best substitute as each person’s case is unique.
• Talk with yourself to resist the urge, for example, say, “Don’t worry, this will pass!” over and over again.
• Trust the higher power to guide you through the smoking cessation program. Do you have ample faith in overcoming the urge to take just one more cigarette?
• Relax and engage in affirmative visualization. Give you mind positive subject to focus on other than the cigarette. Imagine yourself doing something enjoyable where you commonly don’t smoke.
• Have a tasty low-calorie snack rather than a cigarette during your smoking time.
• Take enough time for journaling. Spend about ten minutes at the end of the day, write down your progress and your emotional state for today. It’s okay to admit that you still have a strong urge to smoke, being honest to yourself is often good.
Most successful quitters are those who can devise an effective self-help program and if you’re completely committed to this program, then you have a good odd for success. Don’t be afraid and be creative!
Controlling Caffeine Intake
Controlling caffeine is a quantitative matter. Our body shouldn’t get more than 250 mg of caffeine each day.
• At certain times of the day (especially, the moment when you don’t really need caffeine), substitute coffee with tea. (Tea has less caffeine).
• Alternating between decaf and caffeinated coffee.
• Drink thinner coffee or mix it with milk to replace half of the coffee.
• Avoid or cut back on certain OTC drugs, such as NoDoz, Excedrin, or Bromo-Seltzer.
• Rather than soda, choose juices from real fruits.
• Don’t drink more than two cans of soda each day.
• Count your daily caffeine intake (in milligrams).
• Don’t drink more than two cups of coffee at one sitting.
Controlling Alcohol Intake
If you have drinking problem, a number of common-sense rules can restrain your urge to drink.
• Don’t drink alone. Married people, especially those with children, are less likely to drink and smoke, than people who are unmarried and live alone. It may be hard to believe, when we’re in good company, it is less likely for us to abuse alcohol (Of course, socializing with your close friends at a bar, doesn’t count).
• Eat enough food before drinking. Food soaks up alcohol and your nervous system will be less affected, high-protein foods are more effective in reducing the effects of alcohol.
• Alternate between nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks at the bar. That way, you may cut your alcohol intake significantly.
• Don’t rush. Aggressive drinkers tend to drink faster and end up ingesting more alcohol. If possible, drink once in an hour, to allow your body to get rid of the alcohol.
• Ask to become the designated driver. Your friends will appreciate it and you can still socialize while significantly reducing your alcohol intake.
• Always let others to pour. You might tend to pour more alcohol than necessary if it is your glass.
• Drink only when you’re happy. Remember, alcohol isn’t exactly a stimulant, it works like a depressant. Of course, initially, it will arouse your mental state, but after a moment of euphoria, you’ll face a downturn. Those with clinical depression should completely avoid drinking alcohol!
• Avoid competition. Seeing who get drunk first is an adolescents’ game – and dangerous for people with specific health problems.
• Don’t drink before going to a bar. Get rid of alcoholic beverages at home, to allow a clean system before socializing.
• Don’t use alcohol to prove your manhood, sports activity should be a better choice.
• If you still drink excessively, consider finding professional helps.