Regardless of whether or not you smoke, cigarettes affect everyone and the associated connotation is a negative one. The days of wondering whether statistics are wrong are over, it’s definitely bad for you. So let’s face it folks, smoking is out of fashion and it’s time for all of us to quit. Being a smoker for more than half my life, I understand how difficult even the thought of quitting is. For people who never have been physically dependent on a substance, be patient with loved ones if they are attempting to make this leap. The journey will not be easy, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, your health!!
Cigarettes produce free radicals which impair our cells through oxidation, the body’s equivalent to rusting. Oxidation begins when a molecule loses one electron which orbit its nucleus. Now this molecule is unstable and seeks to re balance itself by taking an electron from another molecule. In turn the free radical inflicts molecular damage, thus destroying enzymes, proteins, and cells. When DNA is attacked genetic mutations result and are passed on, often in the form of Cancer, Alzheimer, Parkinson’s and other diseases. Continuous exposure, such as daily smoking, intensifies damage. It’s important to understand free radicals are not only attributed to pollutant exposure, formation accompanies normal and essential biological processes, and thus can never be totally eliminated. Anti-oxidants, however can help control the formation. The anti-oxidants found in fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals latch onto free radicals, neutralizing them. Avoiding saturated fat, which speeds up production of radicals is another important tip. Sadly, most American diets don’t contain nearly enough anti-oxidants to counteract a regular exposure such as smoking, so give it up!
So where do we begin? I think communing with one’s own brain stem is essential. The brain stem is linked directly to the spinal cord and is responsible for telling our bodies to do things we don’t have to think about, like breathing or digesting. Sadly, when a substance becomes a physical addiction, the brain stem tells the body when that substance is needed. Tell yourself how bad this is for you, make a list of all the bad things that can result and keep this list in your head ready for viewing every time you reach for that pack. I believe this is where hypnosis could be beneficial to some. Never underestimate the power of your own thoughts, a little dialogue between you and brain stem could very well be step one.
During your journey of smoking cessation, keep a daily journal. List three main reasons for quitting, and three main reasons why you started in the first place. Each day record how you feel, what situations triggered cravings, how you dealt with the triggers at the time, and some ways to better deal with or counteract them in the coming days.
How about some alternative therapies? There are ways to deal with the insanity one may experience when removing a substance the body relies on. To lessen oral fixations, sip water or tea, or eat crunchy vegetables and fruits, Julienne slicing is helpful. Some people suggest having a buddy to call for support, although in my opinion talking on the phone would only make things worse. Vigorous tasks such as cleaning, exercise, yoga, gardening, or laundry may help to distract from the trigger situation. Deep belly breathing or pranayama exercises will help as well.
Worry stones to rub or even wire wrapping stones help when stress, anxiety, or fidgeting become a problem. We sell stones sculpted with a thumb divot, but some times you find a nice flat piece in the one or two dollar stone bowls. Whatever the shape, it is the personal energy relationship between the user and stone is all that matters. Some suggestions for stone meditations;
- Amber: Helps manifest desires into reality, cleanses environment by drawing away negative energy
- Amethyst: A great stone for addictions and compulsions.
- Carnelian: Held in, or worn on hand to silence anger. Promotes peace and harmony, dispels depression, prevents insanity and thoughts of doubt.
- Citrine: Removes toxic ways of thinking, counteracts depression.
- Calcite: Purification
- Fluorite:Stress, purification, harmony in relationships
- Hematite: Grounds when feeling “spaced out” reduces stress via metaphysical energy, aids in “re-birth of self”
- Kunzite: Another great addiction stone, it also counteracts rage and tension.
- Lepidolite: Soothes anger, hatred, negative emotions, to quiet the home, place lepidolite in a circle around a pink candle, perhaps a reiki charged pink Love or Manifest a Miracle candle. Visualize a peaceful home environment.
- Rose Quartz: Helps develop self love, a gentle teacher of tolerance.
- Topaz: Worn or carried it relieves depression, anger, fear, anxiety, frenzies, and all other disturbances.
- Silver: A metal spiritually linked to the moon which amplifies and stores gemstone energy.
Herbs and essential oils can also be a helpful part of therapy. For an easy to use option, try something premixed, like Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Teas containing chamomile, mullein, licorice root, black pepper, lobelia, yerba santa, and other detox herbs will help the body flush out toxins. Eating high fiber and warming foods such as cayenne or black pepper will help control bronchiospasms and aid in digestive functions which cease to work properly during smoking cessation. Warming foods also help increase metabolism which in turn prevents weight gain.
Lastly, some aromatherapy for thought. Essential oils stimulate our sense of smell, behaviors, emotions, and hormones. Mix a combination by using 10-15 drops of an essential oil combination per one ounce of carrier oil, such as jojoba or sweet almond. Apply your smoking cessation formula to one area such as; soles of feet, back of neck or hands, inside of ankles, back of knees, or insides of wrists. During cravings, open the bottle and inhale deeply, essences are used to curb. Use a combination of these oils to make a total of 10-15 drops EO:
- Black Pepper (preferred at least five drops)
- Clary Sage (for spazoids)
Add the oil blend to one ounce of any carrier oil to properly dilute.
This is a harsh transition, so go easy on yourself and others during this time and know the pain doesn’t last forever. Nap often, take hot baths, walks, be calm, and eat healthy. Best of luck and will power to all who wish to be smoke free!!!