Avoiding things you enjoy: I've been thinking... - No Smoking Day

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Avoiding things you enjoy

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I've been thinking, the problem I am coming across alot recently is the things I used to do that I enjoyed I now have to avoid at all costs because I really crave when I do them. Things like my art work and my video editing, playing around with my computer, reading, pratically anything I used to like doing I now have to avoid at all costs. I think thats why I'm so unhappy most of the time now, because I cant do any of those things anymore so I have no "fun" time what so ever.

I hadnt really thought about it until tonight and now I have it is all becoming quite clear...my unhappyness is not due to not being able to smoke per-se, more not being able to do the things I used to love because they make me want to smoke.

If anyones got any tips for this I would very much appreciate them. I dont want to have to stop doing the activities I enjoy for the rest of my life to avoid craving!

11 Replies

Hello James,

I've not been around much recently- so Hello :D

My only answer for you is to practice facing the craving.

I have a theory that it takes about 20 times of doing something that you used to associate with smoking before the association is lost.

So - say you always used to get in the car after work & light up - now you don't. I think if you face it head on 20 times then you will just about conquer it.

I think that is why - even deep into quit time you will suddenly get a pang - but it's something you don't do every week - so you haven't faced it enough yet....am I making any sense?

I went on holiday last week - notmally after check in I would not go though security straight away - but return outside for the last fag. I still went outside then thought "what am I doing out here?" then realised why it felt strange.

So - take your favourite hobby / activity and practice and practice till the association is broken :D:D

Hi James :D

So glad you finally found out why you're so unhappy but why avoid things you enjoy because you quit with a little practice you will still be able to enjoy these things

We all have things we associate with smoking,if we all gave up things we like for that reason none of us would stick it out

So why not buy yourself some gum or hard boiled sweets maybe and go back to the things you enjoyed before, I don't mean start them all again at the same time that's up to you, but take them one at a time I know it will probably be hard to start with but each time you do it the easier it will become and that's a trigger out of the way,and it won't be long before you can do all these things again and your life will once again be enjoyable. OK it may make you want to for the first couple of times but I am sure you can do this

At least give it a try you have nothing to lose after all and a lot of pleasure to gain

I had one of those moments yesterday when I went in the garden to do some weeding and for the first time in ages I wanted a fag ,not a crave exactly but the thought was there, went out there again today and it wasn't a problem for me



James..... it's not the cigarette that made the occasion special.... it is the event itself. And an association is simply learned and you can unlearn it as long as you don't sit around and mope..... which will only serve to make that cigarette 'special'. It's not.

I used to be on the phone all the time and chain smoke..... when I quit I had a hard time being on the phone.... I always called my mom and she was starting to miss the calls.... first they were short when I started to call again, now they are almost back to normal.... when I get a crave I breathe deep...... and a glass of wine is known to help, too......;) be positive, think of the things you have gained such as freedom from the addiction.

Maybe try hypnosis to help change those associations if you feel you can't on your own...... I seem to be one of a few only who promote hypnosis but I swear by it. Good luck!!

Hi, JamesG, Don't quit doing the things you enjoy, try changing the place you do them if possible. Like reading, do that in another room where you did not smoke. If not possible, like the computer, just tell yourself when you sit to use it that you are not smoking today, and start your project. If you have another smoking thought just say "no, i choose not to smoke! I choose health, I choose wealth, I choose freedom, and I choose not to smoke" By the time you get that all out, hopefully, the thought of smoking will be gone or at least at an easier level to handle. Hope this helps you.


I agree totaly with F2Q keep doing the things with out smoking as much as you can and your brain will ajust. i used to smoke really bad when I used the PC. But now I come on here to take my mind off smoking. Try it with one of your fun things and see if you agree. xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thanks so much for all your replies folks. I've read each one carefully and they have all made good sense. I'll certainly be taking the advice and going for it head-on as it were, and re-starting my hobbies. There's some good stuff to remember in each reply, and I'm going to hold on to them and read them each time I get a craving.

Thanks again for all the excellent support, its very much appreciated. I'll post on this thread again soon to update on how I get on :D:D

Well I said I'd post on the thread again and here I am. The replies to my post really have been a massive help. They all make so much sense and I think about them during my day.

I like F2Q's point about doing things 20 times to get used to them, and I am busy training my brain to get used to things again.

As I've said, I think there's some excellent points in all the replies and hopefully they will help others who stumble on my thread too.

Thanks again :)

Hi James :D

You sound much more cheerful today glad to be able to help you



JamesG thanks for your post, very helpful.

I've been avoiding things i used to do just cos of the smoking association. I totally agree with what forcedtoquit says, the 20 times thing, its so true, thats how we form habits, done enough times it becomes one.

I stopped talking to people on the phone just a hi/bye type convo, its gradually getting to be a bit longer than that. Although funnily enough its been handy washing up and having a phone convo at same time lol cig would get wet hehe. Seriously the fact is not cig smoking is not a deprivation its a bonus and thats what we need to reinforce. The fact that i used to see it as a treat, a break, a stress reliever... i need to forget that,which isnt easy, but with time,20 times, we'll get there.

All the best, you arent alone.. 17 days phew.. and still here.. there must be one time i quit and stay stopped for good.

the thing i found that helps is breaking the cycle.... for example i would eat dinner, have a fag then probably wash up.. i read that you have to skip the middle part... so after dinner ( the time when i find it the hardest) i go straight onto the washing up.... that way i trick my mind to think ive had one... does that make sense lol

Congrats on the 17 days (18 now) Angela. Its always nice to know theres others going through the same sort of things and having the same thoughts.

The breaking the cycle thing definetly makes sense jewls, good way to get the washing up done too :D

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