Terss—the comfort you crave.
How Addiction Works.
Any psychologist can tell you that there are three kinds of addiction: physical, behavioral, and psychological.
What any smoker can tell you is that when you try to quit, they have to deal with three kinds of challenges: withdrawal symptoms, habits, and negative feelings.
Withdrawal symptoms come from physical addiction. Your body and brain get used to nicotine, and when you cut off the supply they start to get unhappy. It’s the most popular image of why quitting is hard: your hands are shaky, you feel sweaty and anxious, your body aches. It’s miserable.
But it also fades. Nicotine cravings usually last between 2 and 5 minutes. And it usually takes 2-3 days for nicotine to leave your body. And medication can help tremendously. If withdrawal were the only barrier to quitting, most of us would probably succeed on our first try.
Instead, the reason smoking can be so hard to kick are the psychological and behavioral sides of addiction. Smoking fills a role in our lives. On the one hand, it gets built into our habits and routines: we have a cigarette after dinner, we pull out our vape on the walk to work. We get used to it, and now every time we have dinner, it feels wrong not to smoke. That’s the “behavioral” side.
On the other hand, there’s the “psychological” aspect. This is the part that’s about feelings: feeling stressed, feeling unhappy, feeling lonely, and wanting to cope with those feelings by smoking. In fact, those feelings are a leading cause of relapse.
To overcome addiction, you’ll need to find ways to handle all three aspects of it. We already talked about the physical part, so let’s zoom in on the psychological and behavioral part of smoking.
What To Do Instead of Smoking.
Here’s a cool piece of science. If you train people to pay close attention to what smoking feels like—how it tastes, how it smells, how it makes their body feel—they quickly start liking it less and less. It gets easier to quit. The same thing happens with alcohol: sure, the initial rush is nice, but after that it doesn’t take long for us to start feeling fuzzy-headed, tense, heavy, and tired. Smoking tends leaves people anxious and stressed.
What that means is that people smoke absent-mindedly. We smoke because we’re used to it. Because it used to feel good. Because we associate smoking with certain times, places, activities, and people.
For a lot of us, we smoke just because we’re bored. In a huge study, boredom turned out to be one of the leading causes of relapse. It’s a powerful psychological trigger: with noting else to do, we turn to what's simple and familiar.
And that shows us what to do about it, and how Terss can help.
Then there’s the science. Most smokers worry that quitting will take away a coping mechanism they depend on. Replacing smoking with another calming, pleasurable sensation takes that worry away. At the same time, one major predictor of successful quitting is having a clear plan. There’s no plan that’s clearer, or more actionable, than to live your life just the way you were. All Terss does is replace your cigarettes; no other changes needed.
And that means that you won’t be trying to ditch some habits and build new ones. You’ll be relying on the same habits—when to smoke, where to smoke, with whom—but you won’t be smoking. You’ll be enjoying the healthy, smoke-free, liberating feeling of the terssing high.
In more scientific terms, our goal was to help smokers handle the behavioral and psychological sides of their addiction. We can make sure that when you get the urge to pull out a cigarette, you have a solid, reliable way of satisfying it. You pull out your Terss instead. The action is familiar, the setting is familiar, and the sensation is familiar. Over time, the deep breathing becomes familiar too.
All together, the deep breathing, relaxation, consistency, stable habits, and lack of major changes is a recipe for success. Terss might not handle the physical side of addiction (although deep breathing does help ward of a nicotine craving, as we discussed here), but it can certainly make the other parts easier to bear.