Having once been an avid smoker many, many years ago, I understand the nature of addiction and the potential hardships of breaking any unhealthy behavior pattern. I chose to write about smoking but you can consider any bad habit you might have that you would like to drop.
Next to food, nicotine has proven to be one of the most addictive substances, so if you or someone you care for still clings to smoking, chewing or vaping, read on!
There is so much help available for smokers that even the heaviest can break this unhealthy habit. A good place to start is with your GP, where you can voice your desire to quit and your need for support. You can get gum or patches to help with the physical cravings and counseling, nutrition and acupuncture for the mental/emotional component.
Massage can be a wonderful way to calm your cravings and reward yourself at the same time. While on the table you will enter an altered state of consciousness, if you choose to, which allows body and mind to disengage from the everyday stress of being a new non-smoker. You will feel uplifted, energized and self-assured.
When I decided to quit after almost 20 years of smoking, I planned months ahead because I knew it might be hard. I created a calendar with my proposed quit date and wrote in as many pleasurable activities as I could for immediately after. I adopted a positive mindset and told myself there was simply no way for me to ever smoke again…ever.
When midnight on that date rolled around, there I was smoking a last cigarette and feeling really anxious. I told myself as the deadline passed that I was already a non-smoker and that the worst was over. I had already quit! I cleansed for a couple of days (my first cleanse) and encouraged myself every day by saying over and over; “I’ve already been a non-smoker for two days now, for three days now, for four days now”.
As time passed the physical cravings began to diminish but I continued to need mental and emotional support for many months afterwards. This is where many people fail when they think they can go it alone. All it takes is a stressful event or a casual invitation and you can be right back smoking again.
I absolutely dissociated from smokers and environments where I used to smoke. It’s a well-known fact that we must change our surroundings, social engagements, and friends, if necessary, to stop any habit. There’s too much risk involved for our minds to easily give in.
There’s also the ritual involved in any habit. For smoking, it begins with purchasing the cigarettes and matches or a lighter, then opening the pack, taking out a cigarette, lighting it, taking the first puff, there’s the feeling of holding a cigarette between the fingers and between our lips, how we tap it to loosen the ashes, how we put the cigarette out and how we dispose of them. The oral sensation of smoking also plays a role and is most likely why so many people take to eating more upon stopping, not to mention, food tastes so much better. Find a healthy hobby to replace the habit.
Even later on, I would sometimes dream that I was smoking and wake up in a full-blown panic! As I said, the addictive mechanism is strong and it can be very unsettling when this happens. Just remember, you’re dealing with not only the conscious mind but also the subconscious mind. In reality, you’re making a choice for your health and no amount of “using” dreams can deter you.
If you want to give yourself an enduring gift of better health, I encourage you to quit a nicotine habit and keep in mind the ways that massage can help you succeed. Here are five ways massage can help you be powerful in embracing a healthier life:
- Positive reinforcement – You remember that you absolutely can do this!
- Altered state of consciousness – Refresh your outlook, think again.
- Part of a healthy lifestyle – Very important to see yourself differently.
- Calm your cravings – Find your calm and grounded center over and over again.
- Massage as reward – We all need a pat on the back, especially when letting go of a bad habit.