“I want a(nother) cigarette… “
I hear that in my head on a regular basis, sometimes within 3 minutes of finishing one.
This morning, I asked myself: “What part of “I” wants what part of that cigarette?” Mouth? hands? lungs? brain chemistry? blood chemistry? brain habit? (which one(s)?) body habit?
Is it the smoke? the smell? the broncho-dilator effect? the blood vessel dilation? the muscle relaxant effect? the muscle-movements of inhaling? the tiny little division of attention needed to type AND hold a cigarette between my fingers? a ‘cool factor’ (This is what a writer, writing looks like – from really old movies, don’chya know)?
Am I really hungry? thirsty? resisting some Authority? …my own Authority? Am I bored? scared? confused? excited? (forgot one: horny?) (also: really, really relaxed ~wink~)
One thing I’m certain of, is that it’s not – as the sound-bites would have us believe – “all about the nicotine” — there’s a ton of other things (emotional, logical and physical) going on, too.
And a “smoke break” has a different effect than a cigarette *at the same time*. ~ Sometimes the best thing to do is to get up and get away from the project. ~ Sometimes, what’s really called for is that boost in the *right-here-right-now*. When I want to stretch and widen my focus, give my attention room to wander, “Must go outside” is useful. When I need more focus on the project at hand, the last thing that would help me is to put it all down and go somewhere else and risk losing track of what I was doing.
I’ve been more-or-less successful in keeping to 1 pack per day or longer (20 smokes in 24 hours) but some days are far, far from that goal.
I do smoke much less when I only buy one or two packs at a time, not by the carton. (There’s no longer a price differential, so using the “scarcity” trick does come in handy!) Another “trick” I’ve just thought of while writing this is “What else could today’s $8 be used for?”
I can’t give a general answer to any of those questions because they’re all situational: “It depends…” is the only accurate generalization that applies! Maybe simply digging up the questions will help find more deeper answers, though…?
Bright Monday Blessings to you, my friends ~
PS: This article definitely shouldn’t stay buried deep in the comments: http://www.fluentself.com/blog/habits/smokers-edition/