Journaling to Become an

JournalJournaling is a great way to learn how to identify and cope with uncomfortable feelings. In general, we are uncomfortable feeling uncomfortable and end up trying to numb or get rid of these feelings somehow. In some cases, people may cope with these uncomfortable feelings in a harmful way - by smoking, drinking, or emotionally eating/bingeing for example. We often cling to the "good" feelings doing whatever we can to keep ourselves feeling good. The bottom line is, we will ALL experience uncomfortable feelings at some time and it's good that we experience a wide range of emotions. If we can learn to accept the "good" and the "bad" as they are, temporary feelings, we can learn live our life in a more satisfying way.

So, where does writing fit in? Before we can accept our feelings, we must first be able to identify what those feelings are and how they've impacted our day. Writing about your feelings every day may help you uncover some root reasons as to why you are smoking, and help you deal with these feelings in a more positive way.

  1. You can pick up a cheap notebook at almost any convenience store. It doesn't have to be fancy although, if you'd like it to be, that works too.
  2. Pick a time of day that you can write in a journal consistently. Maybe it's right when you get up for the day, or just before bed. Just pick a time that you can have 5-10 minutes to yourself. You DESERVE this time!
  3. Once you've picked your time, it's logical to keep your journal in the place where you are at that time of day. Perhaps bedside, or in a desk drawer.
  4. At first, you may have to add "write in journal" to your to-do list until it becomes habit.
  5. Finally, just write! Don't worry about grammar, spelling or what your handwriting looks like. Just get your pen moving and you'll be surprised at what comes out.

If you have a tough time getting started, here are some topics you can write about.
  • What do you admire about yourself?
  • What qualities will improve by becoming an ex-smoker?
  • What emotions are typically present when you have a desire to smoke?
  • What do these emotions feel like in your body?
  • How do physical cravings feel different from emotional cravings?
  • When you have emotional cravings, what do you really need?
  • What coping methods work best for you?
  • What unexpected triggers have you faced and how did you cope with them?
  • How does it feel to become an ex-smoker?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5-years?

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