Quitting Smoking With Meditation

Quitting Smoking With Meditation

Meditation is a ritual we’ve all heard of but can be easily dismissed as pretentious. It’s important though to keep an open mind – if quitting smoking with meditation has worked for others, then surely it’s worth trying regardless of any notions we may have. Once you’ve started on your quit smoking journey, your body begins to navigate the various stages of nicotine withdrawal; meditation will help keep you focussed and effectively quit smoking spiritually.

How Does Meditation Help?

Meditation and nicotine stimulate similar responses in the body. The key difference is that smoking cigarettes is a form of escapism, whereas meditation is about taking control. It has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety, and tackle issues such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and addiction. Self-control and addiction are two areas where meditation has been particularly helpful because meditation stimulates brain activity. Another view is that your brain is a muscle and meditation is the exercise. All our rational and emotional composition is housed in the brain, meaning our mental capacity is increased when the brain is exercised through meditation.

Before Starting

If you can, begin to practice meditation before you have your first cigarette for the day. This will help you maintain control as you work through the stages of nicotine withdrawal. Doing so will give you greater mental strength, so use this clarity to capitalize on the task of quitting smoking with meditation. What you want to experience is a transition from pushing yourself to quit to quitting on autopilot – consistent meditation can effectively provide that transition and enable you to quit smoking without willpower.

How to Meditate

Meditation consists of setting time aside each day – aim for twice a day if you can, around about 20 minutes each – and focusing on your breathing as you rid your psyche of all your accumulated distractions and negative energies, until you reach a state of near-empty peace and tranquillity. Sounds a bit airy-fairy, right? Let me put it into context; you’re focusing solely on the moment. The peace and tranquillity you reach in your mind exists at that moment. It’s like the moment allows a door to open in your mind for negative emotions to pass out, and for positivity to flow in. That doesn’t mean a simple exchange of good and bad emotions, but rather our subconscious communicating with us via images and colors. Ponder as you meditate; what does this color make me feel, what do I associate with it? What can I derive from the images I’m seeing? Sometimes the meaning is clear, sometimes it’s not – don’t overthink it. Just let it flow, your subconscious is doing most of the work, and that’s where most of our mental junk lies.

Quit Smoking Without Willpower

Meditation in the beginning will feel weird, especially if you’ve associated it as an activity of fickle and pretentious people. But stick with it – not only will you get better at it, but you will start to see some more clarity in the images and colors, and start feeling more positive and capable. One of the biggest challenges when quitting is maintaining your willpower, but as mediation becomes a daily routine, you’ll find it easier to quit smoking without willpower, or rather, without focusing on it. Meditation becomes that willpower. 

Easy to Do, But Easy not to Do

Meditation is easy to do every day, but also easy not to do. The “easy-not-to-do” trap is the biggest obstacle we face in simple, daily habits. Consistency is king. As you continue to build up mental stamina through meditation, you’ll develop an inner-strength towards your actions and decisions, and can use this to break the hold nicotine has over you. Quitting smoking with meditation is all about embracing the saying “slow and steady wins the race”.

Quit Smoking Spiritually

Continue to meditate as you work through the stages of nicotine withdrawal and make it a daily routine for life. If you find this helps you in the nicotine withdrawal process, then you won’t want to stop. The mind is exceptionally powerful, and it’s about finding a way to tap into that and making it work for you. Arguably, mediation is a way to quit smoking spiritually, but that might be a heavy concept for some, and that’s fine, each to their own. As you gain more confidence with meditation though, you can investigate more advanced meditation techniques. And from there, you might find other spiritual philosophies and practices you can incorporate into your lifestyle and contribute to your journey to quit smoking without willpower.

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Existence, thinking and stopping smoking

Existence, thinking and stopping smoking

There are many people who tell you rules about how to give up cigarettes. Here are mine:

  • Don’t believe anything anyone has told you about this subject.
  • Relax.
  • Don’t worry.
  • It’s not the most difficult thing in the world.

All you can see on the internet about giving up is, generally, very serious. Pick a “quit date” … Keep a diary … Tell your friends. It’s all very stressful. It’s very focussed on a moment of achievement in the future and not about the present. Human beings don’t work that way. We evolve moment by moment. I gave up smoking by concentrating on the present not by stressing about a “quit date”. I would love to see these so called “experts” “prove” that “quit dates” are a good idea.

Its funny how research suggests that success with giving up smoking is more likely with pharmacological aids and yet heresay and those who work in the field say the cold turkey approach is best.

It was clearly spelled out in the 1964 US Surgeon General’s Report that cigarette smoking was not an addiction and he only came round to the idea in 1988. Nowadays the Surgeon General is advocating the use of pharmalogical aids in quitting smoking.

monument valley

Relax. This is all about observation.

Thinking is not the core of who you are – that has always been the major assertion of Eastern religion. The core of who you really are is that part of you that can watch yourself thinking.

Exist as best you can in any given moment and to connect with the sensations around you – so instead of just thinking, be aware of what’s happening in your whole body. Happiness comes from being present.

Here are some words from Eckhart Tolle:

“Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible”

“You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You can find yourself by coming into the present. Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be”

“There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One With Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realise that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance”

“If you are not familiar with ‘inner body’ awareness, close your eyes for a moment and find out if there is life inside your hands.”

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Meditation to Stop Smoking Now!

Meditation to Stop Smoking Now!

When you close your eyes and concentrate on what you’re experiencing you may find it causes you to ask yourself some pretty weird questions.

“Where am I?”

OK. It may seem obvious on the face of it. You’re in your living room, bedroom or wherever. But what evidence of that do you feel? You feel your bum and back against the chair, your feet against the floor.

But “where” is the feeling and “where” is the feeler? I used to think that my head is up here and the sensation (of feet on floor) is down there. But, with my eyes closed and concentrating on the present moment, I’m not so sure.

With your eyes closed everything’s black. Well, it’s not completely black you can see colours but it’s nothing to concentrate on, nothing to see. There’s no point of reference that says “you are here”. No distance. No scale. No comparison.

Sometimes when I close my eyes and I’m nicely relaxed I am aware of an incredible sensation of largeness. Suddenly I am not bounded by four walls or the limit of my eyesight. The result is the universe inside my head.

Try it now! Close your eyes, just briefly, relax and feel the immensity that is larger than anything you can imagine.

Now, where are you inside this universe. At what point are you? Are you outside looking in? Or inside looking out?

If you completely die to the past at every moment there is no “you”, no experiencer and experienced, just experience.

In my opinion, this brings us to complete selflessness. If there is no you, there is just being. So one is not concerned with one’s own welfare!

This may sound like a contradiction, given what I’ve been saying about selflessness, but when I started self-hypnosis I remember the feeling of complete contentment whilst sitting down and concentrating on my breathing.

And I remember it filtering into the rest of my life. A feeling of happiness coming over me in mundane situations.

I believe that it is this contentment that can suppress any nicotine, alcohol or drug addiction.

If I was happy no matter what – I was fed and watered and had no physical pain – why would I need a cigarette?

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Self hypnosis for stopping smoking

Self hypnosis for stopping smoking

You are twice as likely to quit cigarettes by hypnosis than you are to stop smoking with any nicotine product such as patches and gum.

Hypnosis is a trance-like state that resembles sleep. This can be brought about by many means. People can be in a trance-like state while watching TV, dancing, walking, even driving. It is a state were the subconscious mind takes over from the conscious mind.

The subconscious part of the brain is also referred to as the Ed, the primal area. When in the hypnotised state, all distractions are blocked out and only the specific suggestions are taken in. But because these suggestions are taken in to such a deep, primal area of the brain, they really take root.

hypnosis
Hypnosis is a trance-like state that resembles sleep

So, the question is how do you get into this trance like state so that you can feed suggestions to yourself in order to stop smoking? Do you want the hassle of finding a certified hypnotherapist in your area? Not to mention the expense? You’ve spent enough on cigarettes already!

The answer is that you can do it yourself. You can repeat these suggestions to yourself at times when you are most receptive and most relaxed – just before you fall asleep, for example.

One famous proponent and writer of hypnotherapy was Milton Erickson. He was so severely paralysed with polio that, one night aged 17, he heard doctors telling his mother that he wouldn’t make it through the night, “autohypnotic experience”.

“I was damned if I would die without seeing one more sunset. I saw that vast sunset covering the whole sky. But I know there was also a tree there outside the window, but I blocked it out. I did not do it consciously. I saw all the sunset, but I didn’t see the fence and large boulder that were there. I blocked out everything except the sunset. After I saw the sunset, I lost consciousness for three days. When I finally awakened, I asked my father why they had taken out that fence, tree, and boulder. I did not realize I had blotted them out when I fixed my attention so intensely on the sunset.”

Here we see that intense concentration caused Erickson to see something that wasn’t there. He had moved “out of himself”. Erickson saw that this shift in consciousness could be used successfully in therapy.

Your conscious mind says to you, “oh, I must do the washing up now” so you do the washing up. The subconscious mind makes sure you don’t forget to breathe while you do it.

So this oldest, basest, primal part of the brain is the part you want to talk to in order to give up smoking. So make the suggestions to your subconscious self.

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The Easy Way to Give Up Smoking

The Easy Way to Give Up Smoking

So you want to quit cigarettes? Some people who want to stop smoking will rush down the drug store to buy patches and gum that the major pharmaceutical companies have spent billions of dollars marketing. Well, wait! What if they don’t work? Are the people at your local drug store going to refund the money? No.

Companies like Pfizer didn’t spend all that money so you could try their product once and then stop. They’re not going to invest large amounts of money in a miracle cure. That would mean everyone in the world who wanted to give up cigarettes suddenly stopped smoking. And then who would buy their products? Exactly…

So, don’t buy anything! Put that money back in your pocket where it belongs – believe me, you’ve spent enough on cigarettes already!

How to stop smoking easily

So is there an easy way to quit cigarettes? Yes. Forget about the patches, the gum and all the products. This is about you. It’s not external. You need to strip everything back and think about yourself.

Go into a darkened room when you’re not stressed, don’t have anything else to do and won’t be disturbed for 10-15 minutes.

colorful elephant

Sit down in this room, close you eyes and feel the relaxation increase in your body. This is the easy way to stop smoking.

Concentrate on now. Not of the past mistakes, past experiences and memories. Not on the future, what you’ve got to do and your dreams and aspirations. Forget all that and experience the feelings you have in your body at the present moment.

The universe is constantly changing and forever in a state of flux. There is and never will be one moment when everything does not change. And for this reason there is always something to experience while you have your eyes closed on your own in the darkened room.

Experience the feeling of your bottom against the seat of the chair, your feet on the floor, the air in your lungs being drawn in and out. This is what you should concentrate on and be mindful of other thoughts about the past or the future entering your mind. When they do, notice that they are there and continue to concentrate on your present experiences.

Once you start to do this you will notice that you are becoming more relaxed.

If this is the case then, congratulations! You are starting to control your mind. It’s your mind after all! This is how you begin to hypnotise yourself into living a happier smoke-free life!

What they don’t want you to know

How is this possible? How is one of the most difficult things in the world (stopping smoking) easy? It may be difficult to stop smoking but you (the power of your mind) is capable of great things. We all are. The trick is to harness that greatness. And the way to do that is not by trying. The way to harness the greatness of your subconscious mind is to stop thinking and let it work itself. It just needs a push in the right direction.

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