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Quitting smoking: the agony and the good

It’s easy to divide smoking into agony and OK categories. The agony associated with smoking is well known. It is no secret that smoking has caused millions of deaths and that smoking remains one of the riskiest activities that large numbers of people still engage in.

Good or good is on the pleasure side of the equation. Most of my clients who quit smoking admit that they don’t even like cigarettes, a small percentage say they like to smoke, yet none admit that they love it. Perhaps these people are not looking to quit smoking.

But a common response is that they think smoking feels good or that it feels good. Having a deadly habit that offers a good relationship with the potential for death, or at least a serious illness and a much shorter life expectancy, sounds like a bad deal.

So what is the problem and why would you want to keep doing something that will affect you a lot sooner or later? The reason is that smoking fulfills some need for you. It is bringing you closer to a good feeling, or moving you away from some negative feeling.

If not, what is the point of breathing in toxic smoke that negatively impacts every single cell in your body?

A positive feeling can be to relax. But there are many ways to relax. Wherever you are reading this, just follow it.

Standing or sitting … just let the jaw relax to the shoulders, then to the hips, then to the legs. Take five long, slow, deep breaths. Now think of a time, place, person or event that makes you happy or makes you feel good. Take another five breaths.

You have just relaxed your body and mind much more than any cigarette could, and all without toxic chemicals and completely free.

A negative feeling can be stress, worry, or anxiety. However, there are many healthier ways to put these feelings aside.

Follow again. Stand up straight and remember a time when you felt successful, when you created a plan and achieved it. Remember every detail of that success. Time, place, people, event, etc. When you feel good, watch your posture and breathing.

Point out a place on your body where you feel the good feeling and see if there is a color. Just hold that pose and breathe deeply for at least 2 minutes. See how you feel better.

Of course, it probably didn’t solve your core problems, but neither will any number of cigarettes. And again there are no downsides, plus you’re in control. So use these techniques and you may wonder why you would ever want to smoke again.

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