Our cravings feature is one of the most important features of the app. You can log each craving as it happens, record its location on a map and make notes about what helped and what made things harder. You can also log how you are feeling, what you are doing and who you are with when a craving strikes.
Logging cravings makes it easier to stop smoking by helping you understand a behaviour we often perform automatically. Most of us smoke in response to a trigger, like after a meal or when we feel bored. We don’t usually ask ourselves ‘do I really want to smoke now?’ We smoke because it’s what we’ve taught ourselves to do in these situations and because a part of our brain has fooled us into thinking a cigarette will make us feel better (that’s the dopamine response part, I’ll write about that later).
But we don’t need cigarettes to make ourselves feel better. We got through these times with no bother before we smoked and we can get through them now, even though the habit has formed. Habits are behaviours performed without much thought. To change a habit we need to become more aware of what we’re doing. When we start to notice how we respond to a situation we have a chance to act in a different way.
So logging a craving allows you to start breaking the habit of smoking. Instead of automatically responding to a desire to smoke you pause, and that pause is sometimes all you need to resist lighting up.
To give yourself an even better chance of resisting use the notes field. The immediate benefit of making notes is that you get more time to think about whether you truly want to smoke, plus you can vent about anything that’s difficult, annoying or frustrating – which can be a relief in itself. The more lasting benefit is that notes help you deal with the next craving. They’ll be great reminders of what to avoid or prepare for. Or they will bring to mind, and provide a record of, the things you are doing that work.
Super cravings crushers also record how they are feeling, what they are doing and who they are with. As with all the features of our Cravings section, this is designed to help you understand what’s going on when a craving hits. When we think about the feelings, situations and people that trigger cravings we put ourselves in a much better position to manage them.
Pro users get graphs that quickly show the main triggers. These are really useful because it’s not easy to remember all the things that lead to a craving. Let’s say you think you usually crave when anxious but notice that actually it’s when you are bored. If you weren’t aware that boredom was a big trigger you might find yourself caught out in moments of downtime. Whereas, once you identify that boredom is a trigger you can find other ways to amuse yourself.
There is actually a fourth benefit of logging cravings, this involves using the diary. If you log each day’s cravings and their severity you will (hopefully!) see both decreasing over time. Our graphs help fix faults in memory. We tend to think the way we feel now is the way we’ve always felt and always will feel. Seeing that, in fact, your cravings are getting fewer in number and less severe shows that you’re making progress, which can give you the strength to carry on.