Stop Smoking by Writing
How I wrote my way out of smoking -- online.
Writing Helps You Deal With Emotions as You Quit Smoking
Writing not only helps you identify tough times and roadblocks to quitting,
it may also help soothe your emotions as you quit smoking. Some researchers are
now studying how useful it is to have an expressive diary or other options for
getting out your emotions -- like a blog or online forum -- while kicking the
"One thing I know is that writing things down in whatever form you choose
really helps. It makes you more committed to the cause and gives you an outlet
when things seem grim or impossibly difficult," wrote Tony, one of two British
friends who chronicled their quit journey online at "Help Me Quit Smoking."
"We know that the practice of writing down your feelings is very therapeutic
for certain conditions and addictions, particularly if they are fueled by
emotional factors," says Lirio Covey, PhD, director of the smoking-cessation
clinic at Columbia University in New York.
Tips for Writing to Help You Stop Smoking
How can you make the most of journaling, blogging, emails to friends, or
other ways of writing about your experience to help you stop smoking?
- Don't do "parking lot journaling." Covey notes that some of her patients
would fill in their stop-smoking journal in the parking lot before coming to
see her. The journal is about you, not about getting a gold star from your
- Periodically review your past entries, emails, or forum posts to see if
they contain clues to your smoking triggers. If you broke down and had a
cigarette on Sunday, how were you feeling? What were you doing? Write about
what you can do to prepare for the next time you feel that way.
- Take advantage of online communities for support. In addition to the ALA's
Freedom From Smoking program, you can seek support on WebMD's Smoking Cessation Message Board or post your own journal at
Quit Smoking Journals.com.