In this article, you will discover an effective 3-minute craving exercise called “Climbing the Craving.” You can use this mindfulness-based technique to overcome intense cigarette cravings, food cravings, or drug-related cravings without resisting them with willpower.
Read on to discover why this craving technique works and how to use it step by step.
Why this Mindfulness Craving Technique Works
There are two types of cravings: physical and mental. A physical craving is a hunger-like feeling you experience when your body is low on nicotine and lasts three to ten minutes. However, mental cravings are very different because they are thoughts! The CBQ Method teaches that “Cravings are just positive thoughts about smoking that create positive feelings about smoking.” In other words, cravings are thoughts that imply there is a benefit from smoking at a particular moment, either by enhancing a situation or avoiding a catastrophe. For example, craving thoughts can sound like “I need a cigarette to enjoy this evening” or “If I don’t smoke, I will feel anxious.” What makes physical and mental cravings overwhelming is the idea that something bad will happen if you don’t smoke.
Mindfulness is an effective way to manage and let go of an urge without resisting it and without feeling overwhelmed or overpowered by it. Instead of thinking about a craving as something unmanageable that happens to you, mindfulness helps you think of a craving as a passing experience that can’t hurt you.
In the “Climbing the Craving” mindfulness technique, you will picture yourself climbing a mountain that has an upward slope, a peak, and a downward slope. The mountain is a metaphor for your craving that also peaks and then subsides.
Let’s get to it!
If you have a craving now, do the following steps. Read through them first so you’ll know what to do. Alternatively, you can listen to this craving technique by clicking here.
If you don’t have a craving now, read through the steps and save this page so you can come back to it when you need it.
The 3-Minute Craving Technique “Climbing the Craving.”
Step 1. Take a few moments to notice where you experience the urge to smoke.
Is it your stomach? Head? Chest? Leg? Where exactly do you feel the craving? Close to the center? More to the right? To the left? Does it feel like it’s on the surface or inside?
Allow your attention to go to the exact spot where you experience the urge to smoke.
Step 2. Once you locate that spot, place your hand over it.
Step 3. While you keep touching that spot, start picturing yourself climbing a mountain.
The mountain is your craving. The mountain is as high as the intensity of your craving. Imagine this as high as you need to.
Step 4. Keep climbing the mountain…
Now, much like the mountain, the craving will have a peak and then go downhill. It will get stronger, but at some point, it will fade away.
The more you feel the craving getting tense, the closer you are to the mountaintop.
Step 5. Focus on the mountain: What do you see? What do you feel? What do you hear while climbing it?
Step 6. Allow your pace to follow the ups and downs of your emotions. You may take two steps forward and one step back but keep going.
Step 7. When your craving peaks and you think you have reached the top of the mountain, stand tall and put a flag on the summit. Push the pole down to the ground! A flag means that you conquered that craving.
Step 8. When the craving starts to fade away, it’s time to go down the mountain. From that point onwards, the craving will start fading away.
With practice, this exercise will help you manage your cravings without resisting them with willpower but by using your mindpower instead. You can discover the difference between willpower and mindpower in this short video.
Can You Quit Smoking Using Craving Techniques?
Quitting smoking is a process that happens when you change how you think about smoking and break the habit. Craving techniques are very effective tools to use the moment you’re craving, but techniques are not a process that takes you from a smoker to a happy non-smoker. Relying on techniques without changing your relationship with nicotine will likely lead to short-term results.
To benefit the most, start experimenting with different mindpower techniques before you quit smoking and specifically when you are on the third quit smoking stage of the CBQ Method “Change Your Smoking Pattern.”
More CBQ Method Strategies for Overcoming Cravings
- How To Overcome Mental Cravings
- Craving Technique “Replace” – from Nasia Davos’ TEDx Talk
- Step-by-Step Craving Technique from the CBQ Method – “The Recast Technique”
- Willpower vs. Mindpower to Quit Smoking
- How Long Cravings Last
This content is the intellectual property of the CBQ Method.
Hi, Nasia Davos here. In this video you will learn a three minute exercise to help you get over any cigarette craving no matter where you are or how intense it is. And the great thing is that you can use the same technique to overcome any food or drug related craving that causes you anxiety or irritation.
If you don’t know how to go through a craving then, when you experience one you will feel anxious or confused and overwhelmed. And the problem is that this anxiety will keep building up until you smoke to stop the craving.
But what makes cravings so overwhelming? Listen, cravings are positive thoughts about smoking. That’s one of the principles of the CBQ method. And what makes a craving so overwhelming is the thought that it will not pass unless you give in and smoke.
What’s the solution to this? Well to think about the craving in a different way so it can pass easily. So the exercise we’ll do together now it’s called Climbing the Craving and it can help you go through a craving because it occupies your mind during the craving, it turns off the craving mind, and it makes you think of your craving not something that happens to you but something you experience.
So now let’s do the exercise together step by step it’s very easy. If you have cravings now do the exercise with me and pause the video anytime you need to. If you don’t have a craving now practice and save this video so you can come back to it when you need it.
Okay here we go. Take a few moments now to notice where you experience the urge to smoke. Is it your stomach? Your head? Your chest? Your leg? And where is it? Close to the center? More to the right? To the left? Does it feel like it’s on the surface or inside? Allow your attention to go to the exact spot where you experience the craving and once you find that spot I want you to touch it; just touch it. While you keep touching that spot start picturing yourself climbing a mountain.
The mountain is your craving; the mountain is as high as the intensity of your craving imagine this as high as you need to. Keep climbing the mountain. Now much like the mountain the craving will have a peak and then downhill. It will get stronger but at some point it will fade away. Keep climbing… Now the more you feel the craving the closer you are to the mountain top.
Focus on the mountain: What do you see? What do you feel? And what do you hear while climbing it? Allow your pace to follow the ups and downs of your emotions. You may take two steps forward one step back but keep on going. When you think you have reached the top of the mountain stand tall, and put a flag. Push it to the ground!
A flag means that you conquered that craving. And when the craving starts to fade away it’s time to go down the mountain. And from that point onwards the craving will start disappearing and that’s your craving technique.
Picturing yourself climbing a mountain while you experience a craving will help you manage it and go through it without smoking. But please keep in mind that craving techniques alone are not enough to help you quit. Quitting smoking is a process that comes down to the decision to live as a happy non-smoker and also go through the stages of change.
But if you’re ready to quit or if you’re on your journey craving techniques will help you achieve your goal. Thanks for watching.
Thank you so much for watching. If you want to learn more about how to quit smoking, check the links I put for you in the description of this video and make sure you subscribe to this channel to get more videos like this. Have a great day and see you soon.