In a study published in 2007, researcher Davis and others of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health conducted a study on the impact of mindfulness meditation on 18 smokers with an average smoking history of 19.9 cigarettes per day for 26.4 years. The participants quit smokingduring the program. A biological test was taken after 6 weeks which confirmed that 10 out of the 18 participants (56%) had remained smoking abstinent.
Meditation is all about mindfulness—being aware of the body, thoughts, and feelings in the present moment. Studies have shown that mindfulness is more effective in cases of addiction than avoiding thoughts related to cravings. Such thoughts inevitably surface in recovery, and meditation can offer a method for finding acceptance of these thoughts. Meditation also changes the activity in areas of the brain and enables behavioural and biological changes to occur, benefiting impulsions.
Meditation is a about focusing the mind to a calm and stress free state. Stress can be a major trigger for relapse in a smokers recovery so exercising the mind through meditation has its place in the process.
Mindful meditation is a type of meditation that is used to treat addiction. The reason for this is that it is a style that focuses on individual thoughts; acknowledging those thoughts, accepting and then releasing.
Here is a meditation that is used for such treatments:
1. Sit comfortably with a straight back. Close your eyes, relax and breathe. Watch your breath enter your nose and travel to your lungs. Follow it as you breathe out, emptying your lungs and passing out your nostrils. repeat this 10 times.
2. Slowly, take out a cigarette. There is no hurry, enjoy this process. Start by tapping the cigarette on the packet. Do this with full awareness and alertness. Run your fingers across the cigarette. Feel the smoothness of the paper, the difference between the smooth paper and the filter. It is one of the most beautiful things you can hold and touch. Smell the tabacco and take in the beauty of the cigarette.
3. Light the cigarette. Be fully aware and enjoy the act. Make as many small acts as possible so you can be more and more aware of each act. Slowly and deeply breathe in the smoke. Feel it pass into your mouth, down your throat and into your lungs. Enjoy every moment and be aware of every puff you take from the entire cigarette.
5.Soon you will see the whole process is pointless. Not because someone has told you it is pointless or bad but because you will just see it. It will be from your being, something not from a conscious thought but from within. And then one day, if you drop the habit you drop the habit, If you don’t, you don’t. It is of no consequence.
This may be very conflicting to other methods that you may already have been told about stopping smoking. But try it. Studies have shown this method to be the most effective way to quit smoking as well as other substance abuse when compared to other quit aids and therapies.