One of the most annoying habits among humans is that of habits itself. Confused? What I mean is that once we humans get into a routine with our daily activities and duties, we tend to normalize a practice by learning a way of doing something which we then internalize and practice over and over again. For example, if you teach a child that wearing shoes the wrong way is actually the right way, the child will go on wearing the right foot on the left and the left on the right.
However, when the child grows up and sees that everyone else wears shoes in a different way than he does, he will soon realize that this is not the way that shoes are supposed to be worn. However, realizing this will not be difficult because it will involve admitting that he is wrong in his own ways. Moreover, it will involve him coming to believe that what he has learnt and acted upon for the most part of his life is wrong.
This realization (Awakening) is always unsettling and difficult to accept and so for the longest of times, the child will not want to change how he wears his shoes. So, a simple matter of learning how to wear his shoes will take a much longer time for the child even if he realizes the way he wore his shoes was wrong. This is the power of habits; they keep you from doing the right things for the longest of times even when you know you are wrong.
Smoking is a prime example of this very scenario. You will meet thousands of people who would agree that cigarettes are harming their health and that it is not a good practice even for people around them. They will even agree that they should just quit. However, when it comes to really quitting they will falter. They will make excuses or want to not talk about it because they feel bad. No matter what the case, they will fail to explain why they cannot quit.
You might say that smoking is not just about it being a habit, but also about addiction. You might argue that changing a habit is far easier than addiction. But if I were to ask you to explain what an addiction is, you might revert to the same definition that I used earlier for habits: reverting to a way of doing something that we have come to believe as normal.
How to Quit Smoking With Meditation?
But, I still might cut these smokers some slack because quitting cigarettes is kind of a big deal and requires extreme discipline. However, it does not mean that quitting cigarettes is impossible. In fact, some of the most effective ways to quit smoking revolve around meditation.
Meditation can simply be defined as contemplation. So, how could contemplation help you quit cigarettes? Well, meditation, in this regard also implies certain actions to back up those thoughts. So, here are 10 hacks to help you quit smoking with meditation:
Although every smoker believes that they already realize the effects that smoking will have on them in the future, they have never really thought about it because they are in denial. So, sitting down and simply thinking about the problem is the best way to start. Once you are completely aware of the repercussions, you will be more willing to make a serious effort to quit.
You just cannot quit smoking by just deciding once that you want to. It requires constant hard work. So, you constantly need to remind yourself why you want to quit smoking and keep pushing yourself to do better.
3. Breathing Exercise
Meditation is not just about contemplation, it involves breathing exercises, through which your body finds a way to relax and release the stress and anxiety that it has gathered throughout the day. When trying to give up smoking the stress can be great and so you will find it beneficial to use breathing exercises to help calm you down.
4. Alternative Methods
A major reason that we are addicted to smoking is the dopamine release that accompanies smoking. However, if you find an alternative way to release this beloved dopamine, how better off could you be? Try to find what brings you happiness (exercise and so forth release dopamine) and focus your thoughts on this to keep yourself calm when you face anxiety.
Another important hack to quit smoking with meditation is to identify the potential stressors. Once you know what trivial things cause you stress you should focus on staying away from them so that you don’t need to resort to smoking.
6. Power Poses
Asana poses in Yoga are another way to meditate. Power poses help you to alleviate stress, anxiety and help you to retain a positive outlook and keep striving for what you want to achieve.
Helping yourself exercise control over the minor things in life will help you regain control over the larger things. Try to stick to a strict regime and let go of your laziness so that you find it easier to stick to your plan of letting go of cigarettes for good. Without self-control, you will not achieve anything.
8. Develop a Network
Think about all the people that could help you out in your exercise of quitting cigarettes. Once you have names, try to reach out to them and ask them to help. This will give you a support network and anytime you feel like relapsing to that bad habit, call up any one of those people so that they may help.
Reading as a habit is much more rewarding compared to smoking. It will not only help you gain knowledge but also keep you thinking about the various mysteries of life rather than just wasting your time with smoking.
10. Pain vs Pleasure
Many people advocate the practice of pushing your fingernail in your cuticle to reinforce your message. Although this method is very drastic, it has often helped people understand that the pain that they will have to bear as a result of their habit will be much greater than the momentary pleasure that they receive.