“No, I must not smoke. But I can’t stay without smoking. What do I do?”
“Just 1 more drag, and I’ll feel good. But I promised my wife I won’t.”
“Smoking makes me feel good. But I must resist it.”
These thoughts. Do they seem familiar?
In Deepak Chopra’s famous book, The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success, he stresses the need to receive with open arms whatever happens to you. When faced with a problem, opt to accept the problem rather than resist it. Resistance only generates mental turbulence.
How do you connect this wisdom to quitting smoking? In your path of quitting smoking, there is a high probability of you getting the above-mentioned thoughts of resistance. But, your success lies not in your counteracting these cravings but in accepting them. Wondering how? Read on.
Why Accepting Cravings Can Help You Quit Smoking?
Raga: It is referred to as an attachment. It manifests in craving. It is a kind of anxious energy.
Dvesha: It is referred to as the tendency of distracting oneself from pressing problems.
Both Raga and Dvesha do a constant tug-of-war in your mind, making you uncomfortable, restless and agitated.
Your resistance to cigarette cravings enhances this tug-of-war in your mind. The more you resist, the more you end up enslaving yourself to Raga and Dvesha. But if you choose to accept cigarette cravings and let go of them, you become free in your mind.
Freedom from cigarette smoking comes from accepting it, not resisting it.
How To Accept Cigarette Cravings?
Here’s how you can beat Raga and Dvesha at their game.
Step 1: Track your sensations
Identify your emotion. Get a sense of what is happening in your mind as clearly as possible. What is prompting you to smoke — Loneliness, boredom, tiredness, frustration, helplessness, or something else?
Open up your inner space. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t critique your feeling. Don’t overthink or overanalyse. Embrace the sensation wholeheartedly. Don’t say this to yourself — Oh, why am I getting this thought? Rather say this to yourself — So, what if I’m getting this thought?
Step 2: Stop what you are doing
Simply pause. If you are at work while getting this cue to smoke, pause your work, take a deep breath or go for a short stroll.
Step 3: Reflect on your feelings
Are your experiencing tension or tightness in your jaw, chest or belly? Acknowledge it; don’t fight it. This uneasiness is temporary and eases shortly. This practice helps you build a greater tolerance for change.
Step 4: Smoke mindfully
Light up your cigarette. But this time, pay attention to the act of smoking — The taste, the smoke travelling down your throat and the smoke exiting your mouth. After smoking the cigarette, ask yourself how you feel. Has your mood really changed?
Your answer may be a yes or no. If it is a yes, then that’s the start of your process of disliking the idea of smoking. If it is a no, then practice smoking mindfully, and you will get there soon.
Step 5: Non-identify yourself with smoking
Tell yourself that smoking doesn’t define you. Whether you have been smoking for years or just started, tell yourself that it is merely a habit. And, like any other habit, it can be unlearned.
How To Unlearn The Habit Of Smoking?
You need to do is follow a scientific process. This process entails taking anti-smoking tablets and practising mindfulness.
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In other words, these tablets naturally and safely empower you to do away with cigarette smoking. When you don’t feel the need to rely on cigarettes to feel good, you automatically unlearn the habit of smoking.
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Knowledge is power. Recognition is relieving. Acceptance is fulfilling. Join the dots; connect these statements to your quitting-smoking journey.
The lesson you learn is that if you feel like smoking, know why it happens, recognize your trigger, accept it, and take out a cigarette from the pack. But smoke mindfully.
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