Welcome to Day 4 of the 5-day Freedom From Smoking e-Course!
By now you should be tracking your smoking daily using the Habit Tracker, broken down smoking into multiple steps, and completed through the Trigger, Action, and Rewards Worksheet.
Now that we’ve finished talking about awareness and avoidance, I want to talk to you about the third A.
One way to frame it is “association” but I prefer the tactical word aversion. In order to quit smoking, you must make yourself no longer like smoking.
The best way to do this is through aversive conditioning. Aversive conditioning is the process where you feel a negative stimulus at the same time you smoke.
Whether biting your nails, smoking a cigarette, or eating sugar… If you feel a slightly negative sensation at the same time, your brain will associate those two stimuli together until you stop liking the habit.
Assuming you’ve done your homework from the last three days… It’s time to start the first day of your aversion therapy! Aversion training is the backbone of the Pavlok method, classical Pavlovian conditioning.
For this exercise, all you need is a rubber band. If you’ve taken advantage of our $169 + free shipping offer (using code THANKSSHIPPING), you can do this with your Pavlok.
Step 1: Using a rubber band (or Pavlok), you’ll imagine yourself smoking and snap the band at the same time.
Please listen to the short audio file. Make sure you have a rubber band (and a comfortable chair) before you begin.
Step 2: Using your Triggers, Actions, and Rewards Worksheet, refer to it to choose an alternative behavior at least once today. If you lost the link, it’s located here.
Pay attention to your cravings, and use something other than smoking to address a trigger.
Step 3: Try to put off your bad habit for at least ten minutes.
For example, if you start craving a cigarette, and you think it’s because you’re feeling down or tired, you can try going for a brisk walk instead.
If you still want the cigarette after 10 minutes of walking, you can go ahead and have it (but we encourage you to resist, if you can!).
You guys have all be doing great so far. We hope your first aversion session goes smoothly!