“Pavlov’s Dogs” And Their Similarity With Your Smoking Habit


“Pavlov’s Dogs” And Their Similarity With Your Smoking Habit

The Beginning

A recovering Alcoholic once told me that the hardest part of recovery was to learn that its ok to feel uncomfortable. Its normal to feel uncomfortable at times but most of us will try hard to avoid anything not to feel uneasy or uncomfortable. We humans tend to go like babies or children to the nearest “soother or dummy or comfort blanket” we can find.

With Smoking and thinking of becoming healthy and smoke free we then automatically begin to miss our “old friend” .This is even before we have decided completely to say goodbye and then what happens ? Well I don’t have to tell you the thoughts of stopping for some people is enough for them to dive right into that pack of fags and smoke themselves sick!.

Its uncomfortable letting go of old habits or friends that just are not right for us anymore. We dither and dather and think and think and most times thats all we do and go right back to doing what we have always done. Why do we do this to ourselves?… well its because we have developed a habit over time.

So yes it is uncomfortable to move away from the smoking habit, it is uncomfortable to turn away from any habit. Think of people you know who bite their nails, why do they do that?. Think about a child sucking his thumb at 4 years of age and refusing to give it up, why does he do that?..

 

Even a child eventually puts away childish things. Things like thumb sucking, carrying a comfort blanket around everywhere and throwing toddler tantrums. And believe it or not that is exactly what your mind is doing to you every time you say to yourself “oh i just wish I could stop” If a child was allowed to keep sucking a soother until he was 20 years old people would laugh at him and point. The point is that the child most likely was uncomfortable giving up the soother but the grown up in charge of him prepared him for it and found other exciting things to do and have instead and after a while they replaced completely all the feeling he believed the soother was giving him.

A doctor called “Pavlov” became famous decades ago when he trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell. There was no food in the room with them , there was no scent of food but he had trained them to expect food when a bell sounded. The bell became associated in the brains of the dog with food. It became an association. This is important because your brain does the same thing with smoking. You get up in the morning and have a coffee, the coffee is a trigger for a cigarette. You meet a friend and he is smoking¬† and this lights up a trigger for you to do the same. You have a break at work and this triggers the association of wanting a cigarette. You get out or into the car and this too can be a trigger, just like “Pavlov’s Dogs”.

Habits are just habits, we tend to build them up in our heads as something that cannot be changed but yes they can. Yes it will be uncomfortable for a little while as your mind adjusts to taking orders from you for a change. Yes you have to take charge of that “screaming little toddler” in your head that is saying ” i want, I want , I want”. You have to take charge and expect that toddler inside you to protest but you have to be the grown up about it. Expect the screams and tantrums but as I said already even a child puts away the soother eventually so you can do it too with a little forcefulness with yourself for a change. Are you ready to give up that “soother” and find another less dangerous toy?

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