Zen of the Quit


Resistance is Futile


In fact, resistance is worse than futile, it’s self-defeating.

Nearly every site that offers advice on how to quit smoking has a list of ways to resist cravings for a cigarette. Yet, telling a quitter that they should resist craves is some of the worst advice I can imagine.

Because resisting a crave gives it a strength that it wouldn’t otherwise have. There’s an old saying, “What you resist persists.” And it’s true; when you resist a crave, it persists. It becomes stronger when you fight it, and it gets stronger in exact proportion to the strength of your resistance.

So how should you deal with a crave, then?

Simple: accept that craves are a normal part of recovery, and that you’re going to have them. When they happen, just notice that they’re happening, and let them go. Say to yourself, “Having a crave,” and say it with the same feeling that you would put into saying, “It’s Tuesday.” It’s nothing to get worked up about; it just is.

Then continue doing whatever you were doing, or move on to the next thing you have to do, without giving it a second thought.

Sitting really helps with this.

More on this as we go on.

(If you're feeling a bit lost, it may be helpful to go back to the first post and follow along in order.)

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