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

Quit cigarette smoking with hypnosis

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

Stop cigarette smoking with hypnosis

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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How to give up smoking weed

Marijuana is illegal in some countries and this article or site does not condone nor condemn those that choose to use it. This site does, however, attempt to deliver people from a cycle of nicotine dependency. We cannot ignore the fact that recreational smoking of marijuana (mixed with cigarette tobacco) has caused nicotine addiction.

marijuana weed hash plant
Marijuana refers to the cannabis plant intended for use for medicinal or recreational purposes

Quit grass first before you stop smoking cigarettes

The UN has estimated that 4% of the world’s adult population (162 million people) use marijuana annually, and about 0.6% (22.5 million) use it daily. However weed, grass, pot, blunt, joints, cannabis, reefer, bong hit, skunk, hash, resin, leb, etc., whatever it is called, is not very addictive. Neither is it as harmful as cigarettes to smoke.

But our natural way to give up smoking needs to be entered into with a clear head. This is why you have to stop smoking marijuana for a few days in order to be cured.

This will be easy for most people. Only a few people smoke cannabis habitually all day everyday. However, there are many reefer smokers who smoke often and would like to curtail it’s use. We have a solution for these people.

If people do seem addicted to marijuana, it may be because they are addicted to the substance they are smoking it with. We need to separate these two substances in the mind before we can commence with treatment.

That is why it is very important for smokers to finish, give to others or throw away any weed or hash that they have on their possession or in their abode. Even hardened pot smokers should find this relatively easy to do.

THC Cannabis
The psychoactive chemical in cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC

Is Marijuana addictive?

There is evidence to suggest that is not physiologically but psychologically addictive and that regular use can cause dependence in 10% of cases. It is reasonable to assume that a great majority of cannabis users are not addicted to the active ingredient although many may feel trapped and isolated by it’s continual use.

Many pot smokers will go through extended periods free of dope when it is, for what ever reason, in short supply. You can always buy cigarettes or alcohol, however, even in this day and age, occasionally the weed can be “sold out” in some areas.

During these periods, recreational users are quite happily abstinent and for this reason, we believe, most users can be taught to relieve themselves of both a marijuana and a cigarette habit relatively easily.

Stop smoking weed for just two weeks

Those wishing to engage in our program need to give up weed first. They can drink alcohol, they can smoke cigarettes but they won’t be able to do cannabis as complete concentration is required.

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More on Meditation to Stop Smoking

More on Meditation to Stop Smoking

Much of the hearsay evidence about smoking cessation is contradictory. How many people have you heard say “giving up smoking was the hardest thing I ever did”. On the other hand I’ve heard some say, “one day I just gave up”.

What seems to be for sure is that everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another.

I started smoking when I was 18 and very quickly developed a 20 a day habit. I immediately noticed a dip in my health – not to mention an increase in my asthma. But still I soldiered on. I tried to give up numerous times, sometimes using gum or patches, but it never worked. Whilst giving up I was incredibly depressed. Every minute of the day I thought about smoking, or felt awkward, or both.

Over three years ago I developed a passing interest in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and from that became interested in self-hypnosis and meditation. For other reasons I started practising self-hypnosis and meditation for a few weeks and then one day stopped smoking! I was 35. I have been free from cigarettes and the desire to smoke for over 3 years. And (whispers) it didn’t hurt!

Don’t put any pressure on yourself to quit – just know that it will come eventually. We need to add a 5 minute routine to your daily life which may increase to 10 or 20 minutes as time goes by.

During these moments, try to concentrate on the present. Don’t think about the past or the future. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Relax! Just as you observe your breathing, observe that you are feeling clean and better and that you want to smoke less.

Through the day concentrate on what you are doing. If you are walking, concentrate on the sensations of you feet on the ground.

Try not to see yourself as an independent animal effected by, or even victimized by, his/her environment. Prefer to see the “outside” world as something that occurs and changes within you as, for all you know, that’s what it is.

All of life happens within this capacity of observation. The desire for a cigarette is just another little thing that goes on within this capacity and it will arise and pass just like your breath.

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Mindfulness and Quitting Smoking Cigarettes

Mindfulness and Quitting Smoking Cigarettes

Mindfulness is a Buddhist meditation method. Right or correct mindfulness is the 7th element of the noble eightfold path. You can use mindfulness to quit smoking cigarettes.

Mindfulness can be defined as maintaining a calm awareness of the sensations and consciousness your experience in the present moment.

So if, for example, you are walking along a path be mindful of the sensation of the path on the souls of your feet, be mindful of the feeling in your legs of the muscles moving and contracting to necessitate the walking motion, or be mindful of your breathing as you’re walking.

Mindfulness is increasingly being used in psychology to help with a variety of conditions including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and drug addiction.

mindfulness
Mindfulness is the moment-to-moment awareness which may allow you to be “liberated” from thoughts, feelings and emotions

I’ve read a few books by Osho, the Indian mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher who had (and has) quite a following worldwide. Osho has something very interesting to say about mindfulness and quitting cigarette smoking.

Osho didn’t see smoking as a problem, rather as a symptom of another problem – beit stress or something else – it was the stress that was the problem and, if you cure that, you will stop smoking without effort.

He also cautioned against trying to stop smoking as the effort against the habit would be counter-productive. It would be like pruning a tree instead of cutting down the tree at the roots. If you prune a tree it will only grow back thicker and bushier next year, whereas if you cut it down at the root, it’ll never grow back.

Any habit that becomes a force, a dominating force over you, is a sin. One should live more in freedom. One should be able to do things not according to habits but according to the situations. Life is continuously changing – it is a flux – and habits are stagnant. The more you are surrounded by habits, the more you are closed to life.

He also counselled to not be worried about your smoking habit. Don’t be ashamed of yourself or embarrassed. This only increases the stress and the general ill feeling that will make you want to smoke – not the other way round.

Osho’s answer was to smoke! But to smoke mindfully! The Zen Buddhists have a famous tea ceremony in which the process of making and drinking tea is practiced mindfully – concentrating and aware on the process throughout the ceremony so no thought or distraction comes into the mind.

So, if you can have a tea ceremony, why not have a cigarette smoking ceremony!

Very slowly take a cigarette out – as slowly as you can, because only if you take it very slowly will you be aware. Don’t do it in a mechanical way, as you always do. Then tap the cigarette on the packet very slowly and for as long as you want. There is no hurry. Then take the lighter… Then start smoking very slowly

All the time, while you take the cigarette out, light it and smoke it be aware of exactly what you are doing at that present moment. Do let one part of the activity of smoking be through the habit. Because mindfulness and meditation teaches you of the difference between an action and a habit.

If you smoke in this way, you will find you will smoke less and less. And then, one day, you will decide not to smoke at all.

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How to give up smoking – thought procedure

How to give up smoking – thought procedure

We all know that smoking is an addiction which, for some people, is deeply lodged in their subconscious mind. So, when wanting to know how to give up smoking, it’s necessary to examine our thought procedures to see if we can change some engrained beliefs as another line of attack against addiction.

In order to understand how thought procedures or thought patterns take a hold of our minds it’s necessary to imagine our brains as a cornfield in high summer. Every time you have a thought, it’s like you running across the cornfield taking a particular path.

Every day we have, literally millions of thoughts, millions of paths through the cornfield. And when you have the same thought twice, you go across the cornfield along the same route two times. And then, if you have the thought a few times, that particular path becomes well worn. The corn is trampled down along this route and therefore it’s easier to run through it.

So, if you have the same thought a few times, it become easier to think it again – just as it’s easier to go through a well-trampled path through our cornfield.

Girl-Thinking-how-to-give-up-smoking
In order to give up smoking it may be an idea to challenge some deeply held beliefs

This is how repeated thoughts become beliefs. But, these beliefs don’t have to be true!

Watch what you think!

When I discovered this, it was actually a life-changing moment. Maybe you were told when you were in school that you weren’t very good at something, for example, a teacher told you that you weren’t very good at math, not very good at spelling, not much when it comes to sports, or maybe, as I was, you were told your weren’t much good at anything!

We naturally believe our teachers when we are young as they are older than us.

This being the case, it is quite possible that you could go through your life thinking that thought, perpetuating the belief that you’re not good at such-an-such, until one day – you’ve thought it so much, it might as well be true!

Trust me, if you think you’re no good at something, the chances are, when you try to do that thing, you’ll be no good at it!

However, I’m a great believer in taking life at face value. If you want to do something like math, reading, writing, sports, anything, just try to do it with an open mind and don’t let any past baggage get in your way. So what if you’re useless at something? Don’t let some idiot teacher from your schooldays stop you from doing anything in later life!

What has this got to do with giving up smoking cigarettes?

You may well ask, and please excuse me for going off-topic!

path-through-a-cornfield
It’s easier to take a well-trod path through a cornfield

However, I want you to think of any common thoughts you may have that are causing beliefs that you would like to change.

Here are some thoughts that you may have thought recently:

  • the only way you can give up smoking is by having tremendous willpower
  • it’s impossible to stop smoking
  • you get pleasure from smoking a cigarette
  • you’re going to put on weight if you stop smoking
  • you’ll suffer physically by quitting because of the withdrawal pains
  • you can’t relax unless you have a cigarette
  • you can’t enjoy a good meal unless you have a cigarette afterwards
  • you’re never totally free from an addiction, like other drug addicts are never really free

Now, the thing is, none of the above statements are actually true!

They are just little thoughts that were some of the millions of thoughts you thought one day. Only, these little thoughts were thought again and again and then perpetuated by some “expert” on TV or some “expert” you happened to talk to.

Slowly over the years some of these little thoughts became beliefs.

What you should do now?

Observe your thinking around cigarettes (and anything else!) see if you have thoughts that you think often that are detrimental to you, or to you giving up. And, when you find yourself thinking them, gently move your mind off these thoughts or counter them with an opposing thought. For example:

“it’s impossible to stop smoking” – hold on, is it? Millions of people have stopped smoking, so why can’t I?

Move your mind toward positive thoughts of accomplishment.

Watch yourself become more positive over the next few weeks after doing this!

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“Stop Smoking – The Essential Guide” review

This is a review of a fantastic little book on quitting smoking called “Stop Smoking – The Essential Guide” by Simon Daubney.

Stop_Smoking the-essential-guide

Simon had a habit of smoking more than 30 cigarettes a day (as I did), and as you may imagine, had struggled a great deal to try and stop. Simon has written down his personal experiences along his journey of quitting cigarettes into words. He has also researched the subject deeply and his hard work will now benefit others who read this book.

Around 100,000 people die each year in the UK alone due to smoking related illnesses like cancer and heart attacks. It is always best to take advice from an expert or someone who has quit smoking cigarettes after seemingly thoroughly addicted. Simon Daubney has experienced the highs and lows of quitting smoking, and his book can help with his own experiences.

I don’t have much faith in the nicotine replacement products marketed by the large pharmaceutical companies. They are mentioned in the publication but he also concentrates on common sense, home-grown experience to guide you through a successful quit.

There is much detail on picking a quit date and a diary and forms for you to fill in to gauge how you’re getting on and your improvement while quitting.

Another interesting section of the book explored the thought processes behind giving up. For example, the arguments for smoking are explored. Statements such as “smoking relives boredom” and “I need to smoke to combat stress”. Daubney forces you to examine these beliefs and challenges you to think about them to see if they are really true.

Similarly, the negative thoughts after quitting are explored. The author impresses upon us to observe our negative thoughts and explore their validity. Usually, if one does this, you can see that the negative thought is not really based in reality and can evaporate after applying logic and seeing how the thought process developed.

There are large sections in the book that explain how to deal with weight gain and increased stress after stopping smoking.

The book is obviously written for the UK market as there are lots of references to the NHS, etc. I hope that the non-UK readers of this site can get hold of a copy easily as the book contains some great facts about smoking addiction as well as some great tips about how to combat it.

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How to get someone to stop smoking

I get a lot of emails and letters from people concerned about their wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, teenage daughter, teenage son, father, mother. All wanting to know the same thing: how to get someone to stop smoking.

how to get someone to stop smoking
Families play an important role in getting the smoker to stop and yet they can be counter-productive

Because very often it is the smoker’s loved ones who actually seem to worry more about the smoking habit. I say “seem to worry more” because very often the smoker is very worried about their smoking habit. They are the ones waking up coughing and in terrible pain, after all. But very often smokers will not seem to be worried. But don’t be fooled. This may just be a coping mechanism.

The first step in trying to get a loved one to stop smoking is the most important step and it’s all about communication.

Talk to them

However, this is easier said than done. Because the last thing you want to do is to stress the smoker or put any pressure on them to quit. This will only make the situation worse. And yet you have to talk. Before we discuss how to talk to a smoker let’s see why we’re talking with the smoker.

What is the purpose of the conversation with the smoker:

  • Find out if they want to quit. Try to gauge how important to the smoker it is to give up cigarettes is. It’s essential that there is a desire to quit.
  • Find out why they want to quit. This is very important. Eliciting the reasons for giving up shows the smoker the need to do so.
  • Find out what has stopped them so far. Have they quit before but relapsed? Or even if not, this will give you fantastic information about what to look out for when they actually try to give up again.
  • To offer your help. There is a limit to what you can do but it’s important that you make the smoker aware that you are there for them. You can buy healthy fruit and snacks for them to eat while they’re giving up. You can enjoy certain hobbies together to take place of the smoking, for example exercise.

So, as you can see from the above, the conversation with the smoker is more about listening than talking. This is extremely important. There is a real limit to your ability to persuade the smoker against smoking. The smoker is probably more aware than you of the damaging consequences of their habit and they don’t need to be reminded of them all the time. This can be counter-productive.

That is why it is better to listen to the smoker rather than to preach. Ask the questions “why do you want to give up”, “how will you give up” and “what’s stopped you giving up before” in a non-accusatory manner. You will never get someone to stop smoking by arguing with them. Period. This goes for whoever we’re talking about, a friend, a parent, a kid.

Lead by example

You can point the smoker towards all the help and advice on how to give up smoking there is.

A lot of the advice will center around increasing exercise, eating well, drinking water and meditation. So, it would be a good idea if you practice and show the benefits of leading a smoke free life yourself to show your loved one the way forward.

This will be 10 times more effective than trying to get someone to stop smoking with words. Get someone to stop smoking with actions.

So, increase your weekly exercise routine, purchase and eat healthier foods, drink more water and less alcohol and, if you like, meditate.

Do this in front of the smoker but don’t explain why.

If the smoker asks, you can explain the benefits of exercise, good eating and drinking and meditation. Explain to them how great you feel. But don’t say it’s because you don’t smoke cigarettes. They will put 2 and 2 together!

How to get someone to stop smoking

So the best way to get someone to stop smoking is to listen to them and then indulge in activities and enjoy them in a way that they can’t until they stop smoking.

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