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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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 Quit Smoking Cigarettes

How To Quit Smoking Cigarettes

Smoking is a habit that permeates every aspect of life; from nights out to breaks at work, it is easy to become reliant on cigarettes as a crutch. Now you want to break that habit and improve your health and wellbeing but it seems like a mountain to climb. With both the physiological and psychological addiction to tackle it may even seem insurmountable, it isn’t and with some simple techniques you can quit smoking today.

quit-smoking-natural
Natural methods are best when quitting smoking

The first step, as with any addiction, is to plan how you will quit. Choose a day to quit whether that be today, tomorrow or next week and stick to it! Try making a wall chart or calendar to map your progress. It is very encouraging to tick off smoke free dates such as a day, a week, a month and eventually a year. Choose some of the below techniques that you feel are right for you and above all else, have faith in yourself to stick to quitting.

Create A Mantra

A great way to encourage yourself to quit smoking is to create a personal mantra or phrase that will remind you why you’re quitting. For example, ‘Each clear breath renews my health’, would remind you of the health benefits of quitting. This mantra will also be very useful in combination with other techniques you can utilise.

Meditation

Most smokers will tell themselves cigarettes help stress but this is actually a myth, the feeling of relief is only a physiological response to a nicotine craving. There are far better ways to reduce stress. Meditation is a great way to relax and can be fitted into any routine. To get started simply sit and focus on your breathing, try to clear your mind and focus on the sensation of breath going in and out. Once your body relaxes, you can focus on your personal mantra. In this state of relaxation, getting in contact with your subconscious will be easier and you will finish meditation feeling cleansed and pure and definitely not wanting a cigarette! There is a great deal of more detailed advice about meditation available online.

Hypnosis and Self Hypnosis

With hypnosis, one can convince the mind to not smoke again. You can get in contact with clinics that provide hypnosis sessions from professionals who will help you to quit smoking cigarettes, but there are also ways you can utilise self hypnosis. Self hypnosis takes time and effort, it’s something you will have to do every day. Start by repeating your mantra at every opportunity, when cleaning the house for example. This will begin to implant the idea of quitting in your subconscious. Utilise meditation and once you are completely focused, communicate with your subconscious. This will be difficult at first but over time, the idea to quit will flower in your mind and your desire to smoke will evaporate. Again, there is a wealth of knowledge about hypnosis available online, so research and find the technique right for you.

These are just some of the techniques you can use to quit smoking cigarettes but remember, most of all trust in your own will power. If you are struggling, find a likeminded friend to talk to, or better yet to quit with. A partner in quitting can be just what you need to really motivate each other.

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Quit Smoking Cigarettes with Affirmations

Quit Smoking Cigarettes with Affirmations

We have written many times on this site about using the subconscious mind when quitting smoking with self-hypnosis and meditation. But there is also much you can do to with affirmations to quit smoking.

I could simplistically describe affirmations as conscious commands to your subconscious. Just by saying something you can actually effect some negative habits locked in your subconscious.

affirmation-woman-sunset
You can make affirmations by the sun or the star or other celestial objects

People use affirmations to create a positive mindset and live life more consciously instead of blindly following the well-trod paths of the subconscious which may be damaging.

Your thoughts are your reality – in a very real way. If you watch what you are thinking regularly you will be amazed how many negative thoughts and assumptions you make about your everyday life. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could turn them into positive ones?

Affirmations can allow you to disassociate yourself from negative habits. Your conscious affirmation will be at odds with your subconscious habit, forcing it from the shadows of your subconscious mind out into the open of consciousness where you can make a choice to discard it. It really is that simple.

How to make affirmations

When creating affirmations focus on what you want – not on what you don’t want. And focus on something you want to change about yourself.

Start by saying it to yourself over and over. Say your affirmations everyday, as often as you can. Say them in your head and say them out loud. You may even like to write them on a piece of paper and put them in a special place.

Visualisation can work for some people. Some people like to visualise themselves living their dream life already. I’m not so sure about this method as it seems a little like dreaming for me which is too subconscious. If you like to visualise make sure it is conscious visualisation.

Why not try all these methods?

Remember, thoughts are nothing but electrical impulses that form our perception of reality – or form reality. Make sure you are the conscious controller of your thoughts not your subconscious. You are responsible for your thoughts.

Some examples of affirmations

Here are some examples of affirmations.

“I breathe in only clean air” would be a good example of an affirmation for a smoker who wishes to quit smoking cigarettes. Another one of my personal favorites is: “every day in every way I’m getting better and better”.

Here are some more:

  • I am healthy and happy
  • Wealth is pouring into my life
  • I am surrounded by love
  • I deserve all good in my life

The list is really endless.

There is no reason to ever be bored. Whether you are queuing for something, walking, driving, meditating, you can make affirmations. Just make sure you are conscious of the moment you are in and that the affirmation is about yourself.

And, keep at it. It works!

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Quit Smoking Using Meditation and Self-hypnosis

Quit Smoking Using Meditation and Self-hypnosis

The use of meditation and self-hypnosis in quitting addictive habits such as smoking is sadly underplayed in today’s cynical and hard-nosed society. At the most basic level it is simply affirmation of your desire to quit and all the excellent reasons that you should, lending strength and determination to what we know will be a trying and difficult time.

cigarette

Many people include meditation and self-hypnosis (as well as regular hypnosis) in that group of incredible practises used by a semi-hysterical, airy-fairy section of the population; not something for sensible people with careers and responsibilities. This is unfortunate as the medical profession is gradually coming to appreciate just how little is known and understood about the workings of the brain and how it can influence the workings of the body. Scientists are now aware that the principle of mind over matter can have a quantifiable effect on disease and recovery, something ‘old wives’ have been aware of for decades!

What meditation and self-hypnosis does

In the case of an addiction, such as with nicotine, the brain is the affected body part and it is possible to loosen the grip of the substance with meditation or self-hypnosis. Within 10 seconds of lighting a cigarette the nicotine has reached the bloodstream and quickly finds the brain. The way nicotine works in the brain is by affecting the ‘reward’ centre, the place that makes us feel pleasure, releasing extra dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps us to feel well-being and satisfaction. The pleasant feeling does not last very long, so it becomes ‘necessary’ to repeat the act of lighting up over and over throughout the day.

When one meditates one stops thinking and concentrates on feeling. Therefore one is only aware of the very basest and oldest part of the mind – similar to the subconscious. This is the best part of the mind to communicate with when you want to stop bad habits.

The thought of giving up smoking can create feelings akin to panic even in people who are determined to give up the habit and this is also where self-hypnosis and meditation can come in so very useful in allowing the smoker to see through the confusion and stress of withdrawal to a time when cigarettes no longer exert such great control over them. It is easy for someone who has never smoked to say ‘Just give up; it’s expensive and bad for you and you will be happier and healthier without cigarettes in your life’, because they have little or no understanding of just how tightly the habit can hold a person.

meditation

Many a smoker has worked themselves to the point where they agree, yes, it is a disgusting habit and causing smelly breath and browning teeth; yes, it is ruinously expensive, to the point that nearly all spare income is funnelled into the habit; and yes, they want to quit because they are a better person, they do not want to rely on a noxious weed any longer: only to crumble into self-loathing and doubt because they can not get through the week, day or even the next hour without a long satisfying drag on a cigarette at regular intervals…

How to do it

Incorporating meditation or self-hypnosis into a stop-smoking programme can be invaluably helpful and it can be easily and simply achieved. Some people need to have finished their last pack of cigarettes while others, once they reach the pre-specified time, are happy to bin the cigarettes they have left, still others prefer to keep that last pack or last cigarette as a souvenir. If you already meditate on a regular basis, you can begin to include an affirmation about not needing to smoke; about being strong enough to break the hold the habit has on you and about being a worthwhile person who deserves to be free of nicotine.

If you have never meditated before it will take some time to learn how. Once you have mastered the basics and have trained your mind to accept the fact that smoking will cease on such-and-such a day you will find it very much easier to let go of the habit and you will be able to break the binds of nicotine with relative ease. Good luck!

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Meditation to quit smoking

Meditation to quit smoking

There is no specific way to do a meditation to quit smoking. Just normal “mindfulness” meditation will work.

If you’ve tried meditation before and felt that it isn’t for you then it is never too late to start again. In fact, an old Buddhist monk told me once that no one actually “meditates”, people only “practice meditation”. You won’t sit down, close your eyes and immediately empty your mind straightaway, experience the enlightenment and become Buddha.

You try, you practice. And with practice, you get better – just like anything else.

So, don’t worry if you think you aren’t making any progress or if you think you are wasting your time. No time spent practicing meditation is a waste. You are always improving. Teaching your mind mindfulness.

What to do if my mind starts to wonder?

You may be sitting with your eyes closed and realize that, instead of meditating, you have been thinking about what groceries you need to buy. But don’t worry if that’s the case, we all do these things! Just put your mind back on your breathing.

meditation-quit-smoking
The best way to quit smoking is through mediation

Concentrate on the sensation of the breath going in and out of the nose. Watch your breathing and watch your mind. If you are completely in the moment of now – not dwelling on the past breath nor anticipating the next breath – you are doing it right.

It can be frustrating at first that your efforts in mindfulness are continually clouded by everyday thoughts but as long as you keep putting your attention back onto your breath you will start to improve you concentration.

How do I meditate in order to quit smoking?

There is lots of advice about what to affirm or imagine while you are meditating. For example, at the hiatus of your relaxation with the meditation you can affirm “I breathe easier and feel healthier every day” or visualize a mountain stream with crystal clear pure water. However, this is closer to self-hypnosis, as if you are affirming or imagining anything the you are not meditating.

Just the meditation alone will help you stop smoking. Remember to always meditate first thing in the morning before you’ve had a cigarette. Your lungs will be at their cleanest and you’ll will start to hate the thought of having your first cigarette after the meditation that has left you feeling so pure and clean.

Pretty soon, you’ll not want to smoke at all and leave out that first cigarette of the day. Maybe you’ll make it to lunch without having had one. Then see how you feel after lunch, see if you would want to smoke after the meal as normal.

But maybe you don’t want that one either! And so it goes on. See how long you can go without smoking. If you really want one, you can have one. But see if you can make it a full day without smoking.

If you can do that – last a whole day without smoking – then it’s likely that you won’t ever have another cigarette ever again.

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Meditation, Self-Hypnosis and Reality

Stop smoking with meditation

Many people often ask me what has meditation and self-hypnosis got to do with quitting smoking.

The answer is not a lot. Meditation, however, enables you to see life more clearly. It cuts back the filters, preconceptions and prejudices through which we view life and allows us to see things more clearly and make better decisions.

Ever since your very early years, you have been experiencing the world whilst your thoughts have been buzzing and whirring away in the background, clouding your consciousness. Meditation quietens them down.

Language, religion and reality

Between 20,000 and 50,000 years ago human beings in Africa invented a basic language which was a catalyst for human civilisation. During this time there were changes in human behavior including the creation of cave art and sophisticated hunting tools.

Language benefited humans by aiding communication and abstract thinking. However, words superimposed categories and value judgments upon a world that had been whole and perfect.

Just as they divided up the world and recognised the difference between “lions” and “tigers” they also contrived the difference between “good” and “bad”.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – from Hamlet, William Shakespeare; Act II, scene ii

And not only was there are difference between “good” and “bad” but a difference between “you” and “me”.

It is interesting that also at this point, humans started practicing religion. The etymology of the word religion is also interesting, from the latin re-ligare (re: “again”; ligare: “bind, connect”) – to connect again back to something which we’d lost?

All the major religions of the world teach that a bad action against someone else is, in fact, a bad action against yourself:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” – Christianity
“What is hurtful to yourself do not to your fellow man.” – Judaism
“Do unto all men as you would they should unto you.” – Islam
“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.” – Buddhism

Thus emphasising the oneness of the universe. The idea is if you hurt someone else (even whilst apparently benefiting yourself) you are hurting the universe and therefore hurting yourself.

Returning to the source

zen garden

The practice of meditation allows you to experience the world without the confusion of vocabulary. As you concentrate on your breathing and nothing else you begin to appreciate the perfect calmness there is when you are conscious of the present moment and nothing else.

And after regularly practicing meditation you will begin to experience this calmness in the rest of your life which has untold mental and physical benefits.

Self-hypnosis

If you do have a smoking habit – or in fact any other behaviour or habit you want to get rid of – you should start self-hypnosis in exactly the same way as you should start meditation. Sit down and try to concentrate on your breathing.

Although, the purpose of meditation is to try to concentrate on feeling the breaths go in and out and nothing else, with self-hypnosis it is to use self-suggestion at the moment when the concentration is at its most intense and at the point when the relaxation is most pure.

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