How to Quit Smoking With Mindfulness
If you want to learn how to quit smoking with mindfulness, you are in for a journey. Smoking and nicotine addiction is a hard habit to break, and contrary to what many “gurus” will tell you, there is no simple solution. That said, you can use mindfulness to break your habit, and this short article will explain how you can quit smoking with mindfulness.
It begins with understanding your craving. What is it about the habit that urges you to light another cigarette, or inhale more vapor? How do you feel when that urge comes on? Where in your body do you feel that urge? Is it a minor pull or a major rush to get your next hit?
Knowing how smoking affects you will go a long way in allowing you to understand your habit, and how to break it using mindfulness. Only you will know what it will take to break your habit. This will usually come after learning mindfulness, and using it to tap into your feelings. It’s your feelings and experience that will tell you how to stop smoking.
Here is one strong exercise to get you into your body and give you an understanding of what is happening to you when you need that hit. Try this the next time you feel the urge to light up. Give yourself patience with this stuff, as it’s not going to happen overnight, but with time, it may work for you.
- When you feel the urge to smoke, or reach for another cigarette, don’t stop yourself, just go with it.
- Pay attention to how you feel? Is there a part of your body that feels different than normal right now? Is there a taste in your mouth? Are you nervous? Sweating? Anxious? Take note of this.
- Light it up and take a drag. I know, I know, you want to quit, but go with it here.
- How do you feel now? Are you still anxious? Are you getting calm? Does anything in your body feel different? Make a note of EVERYTHING you feel.
- Once you stop smoking, pay attention to how you feel. How long can you go before the urge returns?
- When the urge returns, is it similar to your last urge? Do you feel the same? What is drawing you to that cigarette or vape pen?
- Start writing down the answers to those questions.
In time, you will understand your craving on a level that most never will. This is your key into beating back your addiction. Once you understand the pull, you can begin to use mindfulness techniques to mitigate it.
Practicing mindfulness here will show you your own path. It will lay bare what you need to do to beat back smoking. It will give you the map you need, and here is how.
Once you understand your addiction, when those feelings come up, you can deal with each one one at a time. If it’s anxiety, you can practice breathing techniques to calm yourself down. That won’t kill the whole urge to smoke, but it can alleviate one of your triggers and go a long way toward helping you get mindful and calm down. In time, this can help you stop smoking if it’s triggered by anxiety.
Most nicotine addiction is chemical, and that’s not easily broken with just mindfulness alone. Anyone trying to sell you anything relating to that should raise an alarm in you. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Mindfulness helps you see your addiction for what it is, and you can then use tools like meditation, CBT, or even a nicotine patch to reduce your body’s dependency on nicotine, and do so in a conscious way. You can also simultaneously work on your addictive traits, which is something being mindful can help with tremendously.