HOW CAN I COMFORT MYSELF OTHER THAN BY SMOKING?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I’m having difficulties in stopping smoking. I’ve been a smoker all my adult life but I’ve been vaping for a few months (using an e-cigarette). However, lately I tend to fluctuate between vaping and having a few cigarettes a day when I’m tired, lonely or down.

I have identified that I smoke cigarettes by way of seeking comfort—to go unconscious for a few minutes in order to distract me from my feelings. In what ways can I go to myself for comfort as opposed to going to a cigarette? I hope I manage getting off the cigarettes and vaping in the long run for good.

—Desperately Seeking Comfort (Argentina)

DEAR D.S.C.:

Good awareness about your reasons for having smoked.

To comfort yourself, when you crave a cigarette, instead do some small thing that your body wants—do a nice stretch or have a healthy snack or take a whiff of one of your favorite essential oils. And consistently replace the ritual of smoking with whatever reward for your body you choose at trigger points of smoking—when you feel down or after dinner, or whenever you normally would have smoked.

Congratulations on taking care of and honoring your body and also for consciously changing old patterns. Good on you!

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