Can you recall the first time you put a cigarette between your lips and puffed? Why did you do it? How did it feel?
It may seem like eons have passed since that moment. But whether you remember or not, it doesn’t matter now. You’re hooked. Smoking has become a habit, an addiction even. Without it, your “system” goes awry. It craves for nicotine and the answer is in a slender stick of rolled tobacco leaves.
Needless to say, smoking is a bad habit. It has been constantly and strongly linked to potentially life-threatening diseases. One of them is, of course, the BIG C.
If you believe you’ve had enough and it’s time to kick the habit, bravo! It’s about time. You’re doing yourself a favour, not to mention the people around you. Second-hand smoke may be just as harmful as the smoke you breathe into your lungs.
Now, the question is, “How do you quit?”
Cold turkey? Gradually? Aided with medication?
Quitting smoking is a tricky process. The drive might be strong at first but once withdrawal symptoms kick in, it would be an entirely different story.
To help you ditch the nicotine habit, here is a mindfulness meditation technique that has aided a lot of smokers be “smoke-free”:
Every time you feel the need to smoke, don’t stop yourself. You can smoke but there’s one big condition. You’ll keep yourself aware of every moment starting with the state you’re in. Identify the sensations you’re feeling — the craving, the anxiety behind it, and the response your body makes.
Next, be completely aware of how you reach for the packet of cigarettes you have, the manner you tap it to dislodge a stick or take out a cigarette. Take it out slowly. Feel it between your thumb and index finger. Pay attention to how it looks and how it smells.
Next, light it up. Notice how the flame glows and how the top burns. Bring it to your lips, inhale and exhale slowly. Be aware of every second that passes. Do your best to notice all the sensations — the feeling in your lungs, the odour, the gradual relief from anxiety and the relaxing effect that courses through your body.
Continue to smoke mindfully until you’re done. Be aware of every smoky breath you drew in and out and its effects.
Do this each time you smoke. The increase in consciousness and awareness will help you say goodbye to the nicotine fix forever.