If the commercials are correct, more people in the US die from smoking related illnesses than from all the major ones combined. Now that’s a scary thought! But if you’re a smoker, then I’m going to assume that an even scarier one is having to deal with the anxiety you are trying to cover by smoking in the first place. Well thank goodness there’s meditation to give you hand.
Checkout this latest Intent post from Pragito Dove on the art of quitting smoking using meditation. According to Dove, since the point of any meditation practice is to become more aware of what you are doing, thinking, and feeling at any given moment all the while staying mindful without reacting, why not apply the technique when you want to stop smoking (or rather, to stop picking the cigarette back up). Below is her (non) smoking meditation used to deal with the underlying anxiety.
Whenever you think about smoking a cigarette, become aware of taking the pack out of your pocket slowly, with full awareness. Then take the cigarette out of the pack with full awareness, slowly – not in the old hurried way, unconscious and mechanical. Start tapping the cigarette on the pack very alertly. Listen to the sound, then smell the cigarette and enjoy the beauty of it…just as in the Zen tradition when the tea kettle starts boiling and the aroma of the tea reaches your senses.
Then put the cigarette in your mouth with full awareness, light it, inhale with full awareness, slowly. Savor the taste, the smell, the sensation of the smoke entering your lungs. Enjoy every small action, every part of it and you will become more and more aware. As you release the smoke from your lungs, relax, enjoy the sensation and feelings in your body, be aware, go slowly, then take another puff.
The secret, I found, of breaking a habit such as smoking is to bring awareness to it. To deautomotize yourself from a mechanical habit brings great liberation. Once you bring it out into the light of conscious awareness, and SEE what it is, sooner or later,it simply drops away.
Read more from Dove on using meditation to stop smoking here.