I used to get really fidgety if I couldn’t have a smoke when I wanted it. When I was at work I would look forward to getting home so I could smoke as much as I wanted. This was especially true when I’d had a bad experience. Perhaps somebody had yelled at me. All I wanted to do was get home quickly so I could smoke and start feeling good again. Then one day I thought about it differently. I was letting them win. The person who was driving me up the wall was driving me to smoke and ruin my health. Of course, that person didn’t have a gun to my head. I was doing the smoking. I was choosing something bad to counter something bad.
I wasn’t getting back at them by smoking, I was harming myself. I was actually reinforcing the harm that they had done. From that point on, I chose to go for a walk or write in my journal about how I felt, or both. This way, I didn’t compound the problem.