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How can meditation help you quit smoking


How can meditation help you quit smoking

Are you trying to quit smoking? Now is always the right time (especially with World No Tobacco Day on the horizon). But before you kick the habit, it can be a good idea to rally support, and pack lots of techniques in your toolkit. So you’ll have the very best chance of quitting smoking for good.
Meditation is one such technique you could try. It’s helped many people calm their mind, ease stress, and become more aware of their habits and behaviours. Some people even find that a regular meditation practice doesn’t only help them quit cigarettes – it also transforms their whole life!
So, let’s look at how meditation might help you:

Meditating to quit smoking

There’s been a lot of research in recent years highlighting how meditating can help take the edge of the urge to smoke.
One study found that in the smoker’s brain, the regions linked to self-control are less active than in the non-smoker’s brain. And this has led researchers to suggest quitting smoking is less about wanting to quit, and more about boosting self-control. (source)
And what’s one way to practise more self-control? You guess it – meditation. And specifically, mindfulness meditation. By adopting a regular practice, it’s possible to reduce the unconscious triggers that prompt you to light up.
In fact, one study found that people who did mindfulness meditation for two weeks had a 60% reduction in smoking – without even knowing it. Lead author Yi-Yuan Tang explained, “If you improve the self-control network in the brain and moderate stress-reactivity, then it's possible to reduce smoking.' (source)
There are many other ways meditation helps people quit smoking. For instance, it’s been shown to lower stress levels. It also opens your eyes and awareness to your unconscious habits, beliefs and thoughts.

Next steps

Thinking about quitting smoking? Meditation can be a great technique to practise while you go through the process. Remember to arm yourself with information, a support circle, and different techniques that you can draw on when a craving hits. It’s all about finding what works for you.

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