The Pay Off

You know that Nicotine is a drug and that it acts on your body. But what you may not realize is that you have two physical connections to nicotine. The first - physical addiction - is obvious. But the second – physical conditioning - is easily overlooked.
Nicotine stimulates the brain, relaxes muscles and suppresses hunger - an extremely useful drug. Ask yourself which is faster and easier:

• Deep breathe to clear your head - or smoke?
• Stretch to relax tense muscles - or smoke?
• Eat properly - or smoke?

Because you 'like' how smoking takes care of your needs and simplifies your life, you form a strong emotional attachment to it. Why should you care how it works when all you need to know is that it does - fast and effectively? So the physical pay off gets hidden beneath an emotional pay off.

A cigarette:

· Floods synapses Calms me

· Fires synapses Wakes me up

· Increases blood sugar Suppresses my hunger

When you decide the long term costs of smoking outweigh the short term benefits, you try to stop. Now you miss it and crave it. So you need to find substitutes for nicotine. But until you know exactly what this drug did for you can't know how to best replace it. And the fastest and easiest way to find out, is to get back to the basics and begin with your body. Otherwise your emotional attachment will cloud and delay your ability to find the most effective alternatives. Then you will waste most of your time trying to psychoanalyze and/or resist your cravings rather than using them.

Cravings are simply your body's way of saying; "I need and I need it now - I need food, comfort/relief, stimulation, relaxation, time out etc." They are your body’s way of insisting that you take care of yourself and it’s always your choice how to do that. When you give your body what truly needs (once past the physical addiction), you will never crave nicotine.

You don't need to deal with the deep rooted source of your anger, for example, you just need to deal with the effect that it has on your body (tense muscles) which triggers a craving for relief (nicotine or stretching). As soon as you take care of your body’s needs in a timely, appropriate and effective way, your craving for nicotine will dissipate.

In the beginning ‘Life after Nicotine’ requires a certain amount of thoughtful preparation and practice. But it quickly becomes your new automatic behavior and only then is your quit/relapse cycle finally broken.