Smoking Cessation Articles

Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully: Day 17 – Feeling Check

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Smoking Meditation: Day 16

Feeling Check

smokesomov

In the 1970s H. J. Eysenck and Kieron O’Connor (1979, 147), of the University of Psychiatry in London, postulated what now seems obvious, that “the major incentive for smoking is constituted by the physiological and psychological effects of nicotine,” and found that these effects were, in fact, “twofold” and “contradictory”: “people smoke because they are bored and wish to raise their level of arousal, while on the other hand, people smoke because they are tense and overaroused, and wish to reduce their level of arousal.” As you get ready to smoke today, right before you smoke, ask yourself, Am I overaroused or underaroused? Do I wish to up my level of arousal or tamp it down? Jot the answers on the pack with an up or down arrow, or with a plus or minus sign. So, if you want to up your level of arousal, mark the pack with a plus sign or an upward arrow; if you are trying to calm down and reduce your level of arousal, mark the pack with a minus sign or downward arrow. In other words, before you smoke, do a “feeling check.”

Read the Original/Introductory post (for context)

Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, Ph.D. & Marla Somova, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, 2012)

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Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully: Day 16: Change Posture

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Smoking Meditation: Day 16

Change Posture

smokesomov

Smoking comes with postures: sitting postures, pacing postures, leaning postures. What’s yours? Study your smoking posture and try to change it throughout the day. For example, if you smoke sitting down, try standing a few times. If you tend to smoke leaning on a wall, try squatting. If you smoke sitting with your legs crossed and your smoking elbow resting on your knee, with an air of bohemian distance from the hubbub of the world, try crossing your legs differently than you usually do, or go for a walk with your cigarette. The bottom line is to reposition yourself for change!

Read the Original/Introductory post (for context)

Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, Ph.D. & Marla Somova, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, 2012)

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Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully: Day 15: Change the Lip Grip

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Smoking Meditation: Day 15

Change the Lip Grip

smokesomov

The lip grip is one of those smoking-behavior subtleties that goes entirely unnoticed until your lips numb out on Novocain after a trip to the dentist’s office. As you smoke your next several cigarettes today, notice your default lip-grip position. Notice if the cigarette “lands” in the same spot between your lips or if it widely travels around your mouth. Notice if you pout your lips forward to accommodate the butt or if you clench the filter in your teeth for hands-off smoking. Study this aspect of your unconscious behavior to bring it into the habit-changing limelight of self-awareness. And change it.

Read the Original/Introductory post (for context)

Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, Ph.D. & Marla Somova, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, 2012)

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Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully: Day 14: Time a Smoke

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Smoking Meditation: Day 14

Time a Smoke

smokesomov

Time a smoke. Get your watch ready, and start the timer as you light the cig. No need to rush. It’s business as usual. Note the time when you are done. Write down the duration of the experience on the back of the pack. Repeat this practice a few times throughout the day to get the average. Ponder what accounts for variability in duration.

Read the Original/Introductory post (for context)

Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, Ph.D. & Marla Somova, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, 2012)

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Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully: Day 13: Flick Contest

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Smoking Meditation: Day 13

Flick Contest

smokesomov

There’s nothing like being able to flick a cigarette butt with a carefree gesture. No, littering isn’t nice, nor is it legal. However, this smoking meditation isn’t about littering, but about the sheer simple joy of flicking a butt.


Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully: Day 11: Puff Dynamics

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Smoking Meditation: Day 11

Puff Dynamics

smokesomov

Back in the late 1970s, researchers used “miniature flowmeters” that were “actually incorporated into the cigarette” to study puff dynamics. They noted that most smokers “reduce their puff volume after the first three or four” puffs and that “under conditions of stress, both puff duration and puff interval were shortened.”

As you smoke today, take note of these puff dynamics. Pay attention to how your “puff volume” varies in the course of smoking any given cigarette. Do you indeed begin with deeper puffs and later render them more shallow? Do you tend to take quicker and shallower puffs when you feel stressed? Is there a difference in your puff dynamics depending on whether you are tense or relaxed when you begin smoking? Smoke on that to infuse your smoking behavior with a dose of mindfulness.

Read the Original/Introductory post (for context)

Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, Ph.D. & Marla Somova, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, 2012)

reference: Thornton 1978, 394

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Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully: Day 9: Change Brands

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

smokesomovSmoking Meditation Day 9

Change Brands

Smoking is a marriage to a brand. A brand is ownership (to brand is to own). Break your bonds. Un-brand yourself. Dare to be disloyal for a day. Reclaim your smoking sovereignty: you are free to inhale any smoke you want. Dare to have an affair with a different brand. Change your brand to change your mind today. Buy a pack of something unfamiliar today and smoke it instead of your favorites.

Context:

Awareness-Building & Pattern-Interruption: Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully

The goal is simple: take the next three months to awaken the smoking zombie. The daily objective is to try out the various awareness-building, pattern-interrupting smoking meditations. Approach these exercises as meditative play. Consider each exercise to be an investment in mindfulness. Smoke mindfully to quit mindfully.  Feel free to reuse the exercises you like, but avoid developing favorites. Comfort, the cousin of habit, is counterproductive at this point. What we want is to muck up the mindlessness of the smoking process. So, change is the name of the game here. Keep your mind limber and your smoking hands guessing.

Read the Original/Introductory post (for context)

Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, Ph.D. & Marla Somova, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, 2012)

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Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully: Day 8: Just Smoke

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

smokesomovSmoking Meditation Day 8

Just Smoke

Zen trainers tend to instruct: when you eat, just eat; when you walk, just walk. The idea is to commit to the present, to pledge allegiance to the here and now of your life, whatever you happen to be doing. Today, when you smoke, just smoke. Kill the TV, set the coffee aside, break away from work; in other words, avoid multitasking by mixing smoking with either work or pleasure. Just smoke. Enjoy it while you still do.

Context:

Awareness-Building & Pattern-Interruption: Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully

The goal is simple: take the next three months to awaken the smoking zombie. The daily objective is to try out the various awareness-building, pattern-interrupting smoking meditations. Approach these exercises as meditative play. Consider each exercise to be an investment in mindfulness. Smoke mindfully to quit mindfully.  Feel free to reuse the exercises you like, but avoid developing favorites. Comfort, the cousin of habit, is counterproductive at this point. What we want is to muck up the mindlessness of the smoking process. So, change is the name of the game here. Keep your mind limber and your smoking hands guessing.

Read the Original/Introductory post (for context)

Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, Ph.D. & Marla Somova, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, 2012)

Related posts:


Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully : Day 7: Change How You Enlighten

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

smokesomovSmoking Meditation Day 7

Change How You Enlighten

Smoking is pyrotechnics: the cigarette is a fuse, your lungs a bomb of pleasure and worry. Today’s objective is to change how you set yourself on fire. Make time today to get a new lighter, a lighter you wouldn’t intuitively use. For example, if you are into classy metal lighters, get a cheap plastic lighter with a cheesy theme. If you prefer a minimalist, slick, urban look, get something gaudy or camouflaged. Show some behavioral plasticity: pick the wrong color of plastic; if you don’t like yellow, get yellow; if you like white, get black. The bottom line is: undermine the seamless mindlessness of your lighting choices. Set out a charge of change. Startle the smoking zombie into wakening. Change how you enlighten this smoking habit of yours.

Here’s a tip: if your finances allow, buy a dozen or so different lighters and keep rotating them throughout the day today and in the weeks to come. If you light with matches, try a lighter, if only for a day. If you never use matches, get a box (in addition to new lighters) and light up with a match a few times today and in the weeks to come.

Context:

Awareness-Building & Pattern-Interruption: Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully

The goal is simple: take the next three months to awaken the smoking zombie. The daily objective is to try out the various awareness-building, pattern-interrupting smoking meditations. Approach these exercises as meditative play. Consider each exercise to be an investment in mindfulness. Smoke mindfully to quit mindfully.  Feel free to reuse the exercises you like, but avoid developing favorites. Comfort, the cousin of habit, is counterproductive at this point. What we want is to muck up the mindlessness of the smoking process. So, change is the name of the game here. Keep your mind limber and your smoking hands guessing.

Read the Original/Introductory post (for context)

Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, Ph.D. & Marla Somova, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, 2012)

Related posts:


Mindful Smoking/Awakening the Smoking Zombie: Day 6: Deal Yourself a Hand

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

smokesomovSmoking Meditation Day 6

Deal Yourself a Hand

Consider starting to collect empty smoke packs, and cut out the fronts and backs to make a deck of playing cards. A typical deck has fifty-two cards. If you smoke a pack a day, you get to save two playing cards (front and back) a day. With this in mind, you’ll have a full deck by day 26.  As you collect the cutouts, use a black marker to mark them as if they were playing cards. It’s important to draw the card marks right on the outer design sides (not on the inner or blank sides).

Once you gather a full deck, get someone to play a few card games with you. Notice how the significance of these designs begins to fade out of your mind. Recognize that these designs and symbols have no independent meaning without you. You are the meaning maker. The meaning isn’t in the pieces of paper, but in your mind. The designs have the meaning that you assign to them. They can mean “smoking” or “playing.” When it comes to matters of meaning, meaning is the hand that we deal to ourselves. So, play the hand that you choose to deal yourself, not the one that’s been handed to you by tobacco marketing.

Ask yourself today: Am I playing to win, or am I playing to lose?

 

Context:

Awareness-Building & Pattern-Interruption: Smoke Mindfully to Quit Mindfully

The goal is simple: take the next three months to awaken the smoking zombie. The daily objective is to try out the various awareness-building, pattern-interrupting smoking meditations. Approach these exercises as meditative play. Consider each exercise to be an investment in mindfulness. Smoke mindfully to quit mindfully.  Feel free to reuse the exercises you like, but avoid developing favorites. Comfort, the cousin of habit, is counterproductive at this point. What we want is to muck up the mindlessness of the smoking process. So, change is the name of the game here. Keep your mind limber and your smoking hands guessing.

Read the Original/Introductory post (for context)

Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, …


Reinventing the Meal
Reinventing the Meal
Present Perfect
Eating the Moment
The Lotus Effect The Smoke-Free Smoke Break
Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. is the author of The Lotus Effect, Present Perfect, The Smoke-Free Smoke Break, and Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time.


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