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How breathing can help you quit smoking
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How breathing can help you quit smoking

by Andrea Roca andrea roca
Live Healthy | Tips

One of the benefits of yoga is to live a healthier life.  Once you choose yoga, eventually, whether you like it or not, or whether you are aware or not, you'll start living a healthier life, not only physically but also in your emotions, and your thoughts.  You'll take care of what you eat, what you say and what you feel.

But transition is never easy; one of the problems we face when we start taking this path seriously is when we know we must quit a bad habit because it's killing us.  Today we are going to talk about one of them: smoking.

Why is it so hard to quit?

The main statement that explains the reason why quitting smoking is so hard, is because we’ve become addicted to nicotine, one of the main substances in every single cigarette.  When we try to quit, it's hard because the body sticks to it just like it was cocaine or any kind of drug; so we decide to buy those electronic cigarettes and buy our daily nicotine dose hoping that someday our body won't need it anymore.

How about if nicotine was not the problem at all? Yes, nicotine has nothing to do with the fact that you can't stop lighting cigarettes, every time you have a hard time or are feeling stress, so the first step right here is to take responsibility of your own actions and blaming your body of needing a substance makes you powerless over the circumstance because you just accepted that your body and cravings are just stronger than you.

Starts with this easy question: When do you smoke the most? What are the situations when you just cannot resist lighting a cigarette?

The answer is usually the same among us; we smoke when we are feeling: stressed, sad, angry, mad, and disappointed to name a few or when we are in a social setting that makes us face our fears.

When you are feeling stressed or angry that means you are breathing very fast, you feel you can barely breathe, your heart is beating fast, and you have a headache; so you decide this is a situation that requires a cigarette, so even though you had already decided to quit smoking you light a cigarette and what happens?; you start breathing; the cigarette helps you control your breathing, it forces you to inhale, retain the breath a little bit and exhale, over and over again with a regular rhythm; you cannot miss an exhale or an inhale, you cannot do it very fast either cause you could choke; so you just follow the rhythm, you surrender to it and suddenly you feel calmer, your headache disappears, you start breathing mindfully and slowly and, Tada!! Suddenly you find yourself stress-free.

Breathing controls everything

So next time you feel you need desperately a cigarette try to do the following;

  • Identify your feelings.- What am I feeling? Do I really think I need a cigarette?
  • Connect with your breathing.- How is my breathing? Am I breathing to fast? How do I feel?
  • Control your breathing.- Inhale, retain a second or two, close your eyes and exhale; over and over again.
  • Surrender to the rhythm. 

At the beginning if controlling your breathing is just too hard, you can take a pen to pretend it's a cigarette, and start working with regular cycles of breathing, little by little you'll develop the ability to control your it without using any tool.

After a minute or two you'll see you feel better, you'll feel calmer you'll think clearer just as if you were smoking, but without hurting yourself.

Give it a try, you seriously have nothing to loose.