Why You Should Quit Smoking: Of course smoking is very bad for the health. You might get less colds and flu and enjoy a socially more active life while you are a smoker, but giving up smoking will give you benefits to your health which will far outweigh any positives for remaining a smoker. For a start, your life-span will surely be extended.
Smoking damages your eyesight. All that smoke drifting up past the delicate eye membranes actually causes damage to the nerves and the lens of the eye. The sinuses and ears are affected, and you lose your sense of smell.
Chronic Lung Disease results from long term smoking. Apart from the obvious damage to the lungs, the heart is affected, your veins get clogged, your blood pressure rises, you run the risk of getting arthritis if you do not already have it, and you are more likely to get cancer anywhere in the body than people who don’t smoke. If you smoke and also work in a toxic environment or use herbicides and pesticides, then you are more at risk of getting lung cancer, emphysema, melanoma, heart disease or some other degenerative disease than are non-smokers.
But giving up smoking can be so, so, difficult. Here are some suggestions which might be helpful in getting you on your way to recovery from smoking.
First, you need to change your mindset. Breathing exercises and meditation can help with this. Alternate Nostril Breathing is very good for people giving up smoking. This exercise, while being relaxing, oxygenates the blood and helps clear the lungs of toxins. Deep relaxation exercise such as Yoga Nidra is very good for the general physical and mental health, but also gives you the opportunity to visualize the improvements and changes you wish to make in your life while you are in a deeply relaxed state of mind. Regular, daily practice of yoga nidra where you state your affirmations to yourself, will really help you in giving up smoking. Other types of meditation are also helpful, as is regular prayer.
See my post on YOGA NIDRA and post on YOGA BREATH and SLEEPING WELL
The best thing is to give up drinking alcohol at the same time, or even before, you plan on giving up smoking. The two go together like a horse and cart. If you continue to drink, you will always feel there is something missing each time you have that glass of wine or that beer. But the other reason is that all alcohol is acid-forming and an acid body makes it very hard to give up smoking. This can be a good part of the reason we become addicted to alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs. Changing the diet to an alkaline one, which includes most fruit and vegetables, is very helpful.
People with hypoglycaemia, that is, fluctuating blood sugar levels, might find it difficult to give up alcohol and smoking. A diet devoid of sugar, wheat and yeast products including bread, and dairy products is important in the case of people with low blood sugar levels. Yeast foods are problematic and are best left out of the diet as they contribute to people getting candida. Yeast foods include all alcohol, vinegar, tomato sauce, soya sauce and bread.
Brown rice should be substituted for bread. Rice is absorbed as sugar more slowly into the bloodstream which means that the blood sugar remains more constant. This is favourable to your health and your emotional state, as you will not feel so tired, depressed or inclined to take a cigarette. Another point in favour of substituting rice for bread, and other wheat-based foods like pasta, is that rice, especially brown rice, is less likely than wheat to make you fat.
Eat plenty of green vegetables, root vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, eggs , fish,whole grains like buckwheat and rice, and meats in moderate amounts. Eat at regular meal-times. Snack on nuts, almonds and a little dried fruit, or fresh fruit, raw carrots and celery during the day. Almonds are a good quality protein: half a dozen a day is a good amount to begin with, then you can increase the amount to about ten. The combination of nuts and fresh and dried fruits, carrots and celery, can be eaten whenever you have a craving for a cigarette and will not cause you to put on weight, so long as you are avoiding sugars, wheat and dairy products. Eating nuts and fruits etc during the day will help you prevent low-blood sugar which will help you in giving up smoking.
A diet insufficient in the essential vitamins and minerals can also make us less inclined to give up smoking. Insufficient intake of the essentials can leave us with a semi-permanent state of depression which alcohol and cigarettes – and coffee – temporarily relieve.
A booster of B complex vitamins is important to help with general health and improve your stress levels. Take the stated dose. Niacin is very good, but you do need to talk to a health professional about this one, as it can cause a sudden but temporary rise in temperature in some people. If you are able to take it, then it is very good for flushing toxins out of the brain: this effect also helps counteract depression and helps with memory loss.
1000mg of vitamin C morning and night is a good and safe detoxifyer as well as a mild sedative which will help counteract the desire for tobacco. If you do not have candida infection, then standard Vitamin C is fine, but calcium ascorbate is the best form to take, because it is alkaline.
Zinc, magnesium and selenium in moderate doses, all help to counteract stress, depression and the desire for a cigarette.
Homeopathy may be of help. Read about one remedy which has helped many people http://merrilynhope.com/homeopathic-remedy-to-reduce-craving-for-tobacco/
NOTE: Talk to your health professional to make sure these supplements are not conflicting with any other medication you may be on before you add these to your anti-smoking regime.
Richard Webster has devoted many years to helping people with behavioural problems, including people’s addiction to smoking. He published a booklet which accompanied some tapes called ‘Ezi-Stop’. This was published by Prestige Marketing 1995.
Richard recommends baking soda to keep the body alkaline. You can brush your teeth with it: a small amount is absorbed through the tissues of the mouth and into the bloodstream. This helps the body towards sustaining an alkaline p h level. Richard recommends putting a dab of baking soda onto the tongue whenever you have a craving for a cigarette. This helps negate the craving for nicotine.
NOTE: Richard also warns that baking soda should not be used by people who have high blood pressure or who are on low sodium diets. Baking soda is a salt and should not be used in these cases.
So, you are about to give up smoking, maybe for the umpteenth time. Richard recommends signing a contract with yourself- you agree with yourself, that on a certain day, at a certain time, you will throw the rest of the cigarettes away and become a non-smoker.
Make a list of all the benefits to your health and your budget.
Make a plan of what you will eat for breakfast, lunch and tea. Do not leave anything to chance, as you really need to take care of your blood sugar levels and make sure they do not fluctuate. Ensure that you have enough protein included in the diet and eat plenty of cooked greens, raw and cooked fruits, nuts and brown rice.
Eat at REGULAR times of the day – proper meals – sit down to eat, give thanks for the food and give thanks for being a non-smoker.
Eat your healthy snacks between meals -nuts, dried and fresh fruit and vegetables. DO NOT eat any sugar, wheat or dairy-food (butter is usually ok)during this period. It is best to cut these foods out for good. In my experience, it is when my health recovered after following such a diet for many years, that I relaxed my rules and let these problematic foods into my diet because I thought I was “cured” – not so – this caused a drastic decline in my health and I became addicted to alcohol and cigarettes. These days, I am following the old rules again – no sugar, bread, dairy products, except for butter.Consequently, my health is great, and praise God – I am neither a smoker or a drinker.
COFFEE – beware of drinking too much coffee, especially while you are giving up alcohol and cigarettes. Coffee is also addictive. Drinking too much coffee will dehydrate you and deplete your body of the much needed vitamin B and other vitamins and minerals which help you cope with stress. Excess coffee will give you bad skin as well as weaken your kidneys. Dehydration will make you inclined to drink alcohol and to smoke, both of which compound dehydration of the body tissues
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER while you are giving up smoking. Herb teas and green teas help with detoxifying, and make a pleasant and refreshing change to coffee and tea. Ceylon tea is an antioxidant and is good for the health in moderate amounts – but try to avoid putting milk into the tea. Milk in tea and coffee is possibly the most toxic way we take milk, as the milk solids are rendered indigestible by tannin. Tea with milk puts a strain on the liver because the livercannot process the plastic-like protein which results. Toxins then form in the intestine and are absosrbed into the bloodstream. The poor old liver then has to try to remove them.. This condition of perpetual poisoning can give us addictions to alcohol and cigarettes because these things temporarily disguise the symptoms of stress originating from the liver.
Remember your affirmations, your agreement to yourself and your YOGA NIDRA practice. Eat well. Sleep well.
Good wishes for your giving up smoking – don’t be discouraged if you “fall off the wagon” – simply start again being a non-smoker. Think of how great you are going to feel being a non-smoker. Think of the benefits to your life which you are already beginning to experience. Cut down – cut down – cut out.