Prayer For Those That Are Addicted To Smoking
Why You Shouldn’t Quit Smoking
Stop kidding yourself. You’re not ready to quit.
And that’s okay. The sooner you admit that you’re not ready, the sooner you’ll be able to quit once and for all.
I smoked for over 10 years. A pack a day for most of that time.
I tried to quit 14 times. Some attempts lasted a few days. Others lasted as long as 9 months.
But all 14 attempts had one thing in common — I wasn’t ready.
“It’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it hundreds of times.” – Mark Twain
Not convinced? Still think you’re ready? Fine. Then answer this question:
Right now, this very instant, can you honestly say that you are ready to never take another drag from a cigarette? Not a single drag. Not ever. Starting right now.
If your answer was “no,” or if you found yourself arguing with the question, then you’re not ready. But I already knew your answer. How did I know? Because you’re reading this article.
I’ve helped dozens of students to successfully quit smoking. If you follow the steps below, then you’ll succeed too. And you won’t have to fail 14 times I did.
Step 1: Admit It
You’re an addict. There’s no shame in admitting that. I am an addict too. And I quit smoking years ago!
So why do I still call myself an addict? Once an addict, always an addict. Especially with nicotine, the king of addictions.
During one attempted quit, let’s call it attempt #5, I actually picked up someone’s half-smoked cigarette from the ground. It was surreal, as if I wasn’t in control of my actions. I stopped myself midway, as if waking from a nightmare, but wow — that’s addiction!
I can admit that I’m an addict. Can you?
Step 2: Know Thy Enemy
Nicotine is powerful stuff. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and messes with your dopamine pathways. After years of smoking, those pathways get altered. In other words, smoking physically changes your brain.
If you’ve been smoking for a few years, then your brain has been conditioned to responded to nicotine. Think about how many cigarettes, day in and day out, you’ve smoked. That’s a lot of training. No wonder your brain changed.Can those dopamine pathways heal? Probably. I agree with Dr. Rankin that there is “no such thing as an incurable illness”, and I’ve seen the incredible power of self-healing in myself and thousands of students.
But when it comes to nicotine, it can take years to heal those pathways. So it’s a conundrum. By the time your dopamine pathways heal, by the time you MIGHT be able to take a drag without getting addicted, you’ll no longer have any desire to do so.
Step 3: Know Thyself
I can sit in a bar, surrounded by smokers, and have zero desire to smoke. If someone offers me a cigarette, I say “I don’t smoke” without hesitation, and without a second thought. Even when major stresses come into my life, I still don’t feel any urge to go buy a pack.
So I’m “cured” of smoking, right? Yes. But you know what? Even after all these years without a cigarette, even with my daily Qigong and Tai Chi practice, even with all the acupuncture I’ve received — I’m still not sure if my dopamine pathways are 100% back to normal.
And it doesn’t matter. Because I’m not going to find out. Even after all these years as an ex-smoker, I believe that a single drag might be enough to reignite the dopamine pathways and send me right back into addiction. That belief, whether it’s true or not, serves me well. It helps me in my mission to remain smoke free.
I’m an addict, and I understand the addictive nature of nicotine. I’ll never take another puff in my life. I won’t risk it. Period.
Step 4: Make Peace
Are you bargaining in your mind? Are you trying to rationalize a future where you can smoke cigarettes now and then? If so — forget it. That’s the addiction talking. Once you break the addiction, you’ll think much more clearly.
You don’t have to quit now (we’ll get to that part soon). But once you do, you can’t smoke ever again. Make peace with that. You don’t have to this advice, but for your own sake, you should make peace with it.
If you do the research, you’ll find that all ex-smokers agree on this issue. All of us have one thing in common — we’re completely done with smoking. That chapter is over.
What about those people who can just smoke on weekends? Personally, I think they may be aliens in disguise. I’m not sure that they’re human. Certainly, they are not addicted you are, or I was. They aren’t REAL smokers.I desperately wanted to believe that I could be them, and I tried really hard to do it. But it didn’t work. At least 8 of my quit attempts failed because I tried to smoke “just now and then”.
It doesn’t work. Ask any ex-smoker. The next time you quit, it’s got to be forever.
Step 5: Quit Quitting
Now for the fun part. If you’ve been stressed out thinking about never smoking again, then relax. You’re not quitting now. In fact, I want you to quit quitting.
The next time you quit will be the last. Until then, you’re going to continue smoking — and you’re going to do it completely guilt free.
Right now, there are too many negative emotions surrounding the act of smoking. Guilt, shame, anger, worry, fear. In the world of Chinese medicine, those emotions represent energy blockages. You need to start clearing those blockages BEFORE you try to quit smoking.
If you’re constantly trying to quit, and constantly failing, then there’s never a chance to clear those blockages. You’re spinning your tires in the mud. You’re just reinforcing negative emotions, and making it harder and harder to actually quit.
Quitting smoking is stressful. Of course, smoking is also your way of de-stressing. If you quit too many times, you’re creating more stress than you’re eliminating. You may actually be lowering your stress threshold rather than raising it.
Step 6: Enjoy Smoking
If you’re reading this article, then you’ve probably gotten to the point where you hardly enjoy smoking any more. You smoke because you’re addicted, because of the habit, because you would feel terrible if you didn’t smoke. Gone are the days when you truly enjoy smoking.
We need to reclaim that. I know it’s counter-intuitive. But if hating smoking made it easier to quit smoking, you would have quit already, right?
So I’m giving you a free pass. For the next 3-12 months, you’re going to smoke guilt free. In fact, you’re NOT ALLOWED to quit smoking for at least 3 months. If anyone questions you, tell them that Sifu Anthony said so, and they should take it up with me. (Don’t worry. I know Kung Fu.)
For 3 months, I want you to savor each cigarette. Be present. Smile from the heart. (Click here to learn how.) Be here and now. Notice the cigarette, the color of the cherry, the feel of the drag, the shape of the smoke. That’s Zen.Here’s what’s NOT Zen. Lighting a cigarette and smoking half of it without hardly noticing. And then needing to smoke another one immediately after because you missed the first one.
It’s critical that you don’t feel guilty. Guilt just creates a negative loop. You feel bad, and then you want to smoke more, and then you feel worse, so you smoke more. You need to break the cycle, and the way to do that is by feeling good.
Step 7: Add Good Habits
In this online course, I talk about why most people fail with their New Year’s Resolutions. They fail because they try to subtract bad habits rather than adding good one. Don’t make the same mistake.
Don’t take anything away. Add good habits first.
The course above gives you everything you need to change your life using 2 minutes a day of qigong as your gateway habit.
Learn qigong ASAP. If you’re not going to learn it right this instant, then schedule a time to learn it. I’m serious. If you finish this article without scheduling a time, then no matter how good your intentions, you won’t do it. So put it on your calendar right now.
You first goal is to do 2-Minutes once a day. That’s harder than it sounds. You’ll probably be okay for a few days, but then you’ll forget. Keep trying until you succeed in doing it every day for 30 days.
Step 8: Set a Date
Keep smoking, and enjoying yourself, until you have made a strong habit of doing 2 minutes a day of qigong.
All of that enthusiasm and energy you periodically have toward quitting — put all of it into your daily qigong. It’s not time to quit yet.
Once you’ve managed to do 30 days of qigong (and not before), then you can think about setting a quit date. There’s never a perfect time. You’re going to be an absolute mess for a few weeks after you quit. But you’ve got to do it sooner or later.
Remember, this next attempt at quitting is going to be your last one ever. No more trying. Do or do not.Set the date far enough in advance that you can continue to do two things for a few more months — enjoy smoking, and practice qigong for 2 minutes a day.
So let’s say that you’ve successfully done 2 minutes a day for 30 days. You decide to set your quit day 3 months down the road. Until that day, you’re going to continue enjoying your cigarettes (a Zen exercise), and also doing 2 minutes at least once a day (and preferably twice).
Step 9: Get Ready
With your quit date set, you have time to get yourself ready. Gradually start to arrange things for that day. For example, collect all of the ashtrays in your house, and throw out all but one. Tell people that you’re going to quit. Obviously, you’ll also need to get rid of all your extra cigarettes.
I’m a big fan of the acupuncture protocol called NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association). If you’re in Gainesville, my wife offers it at her clinic. You should start doing this roughly 1-2 weeks BEFORE your quit day. (If you’re not in Gainesville, then look for a NADA practitioner near you.) This will help you to get ready for the big day.
But most importantly, get your heart and mind ready for the big day. You’re gradually psyching yourself up, reminding yourself of all the reasons you want to quit.
Step 10: Say Goodbye
So the big day is approaching. You’ve told all your friends so that they can support you (and not tempt you, if they’re smokers). You’ve gotten the house ready. You’ve gotten rid of all but a few cigarettes.
This is a personal choice, but I’m a big believer in the power of ritual. I still remember the last cigarette that I smoked. I made a little ritual it, and said goodbye, as if saying goodbye at a funeral.
I recommend that you smoke your last cigarette at night. That way, you can wake up the next morning and start fresh. And that’s exactly what you’re going to get — a fresh start on life.
Step 11: Go Cold Turkey
Forget the patch. Forget the gum. Cold turkey is the only way to go. Again, just ask ex-smokers, and the successful ones all agree — go cold turkey.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it for you. It’s going be rough for a few weeks. You’re going to go through withdrawal from one of the most addictive substances known to man. But that’s a necessary part of the process.
The suffering that you experience during the withdrawal is part of the equation. Don’t wimp this step with the patch or something similar. Going through the hell of withdrawal is necessary.
A few months down the road, when you’re craving a cigarette, you’ll remember how awful it was when you went cold turkey. Because of that memory, you’ll be less ly to go backward, and more ly to go forward.
Use your tools, especially the 2-Minute Drill. It will be your life vest. It will also help you to detox faster. During the first 2 weeks, you may need to do it 10 times a day, or even more.
Don’t expect the 2-Minute Drill to make everything okay. You won’t be okay. You’ll probably be miserable. But the 2-Minute Drill will make it tolerable, and give you the strength to get through.
(A small percentage of people don’t experience the hell of withdrawal. This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that it’s easier to quit. The disadvantage is that it’s easier to start up again. If you’re one of these people, then you need to stay vigilant, especially 3-6 months after you quit.)
Step 12: Visualize the Future
Maybe I should have started with this part. Do you start with the good news, or the bad news? In this case, I started with the bad news. So here’s the good news.
Once you make peace with never taking another puff, and once you get through those first few months, once you quit for good — life becomes beautiful.[Click here to read an article I wrote after going 10 years without a single puff from a cigarette.)
All those little things that you’re worrying about now — how you’ll drink coffee without a cigarette, how you’ll go to a bar, what you’ll do after a meal — all of that stuff will seem trivial once you’ve broken the cycle of addiction.
Take it from me — it’s worth it. You haven’t felt so alive in years.I know that, from where you’re standing, it’s hard to imagine life without cigarettes. But from where I’m standing, it’s hard to imagine life WITH cigarettes.
I said, that chapter is over for me. My life is so much fuller and richer now that there’s absolutely no need for me to smoke again. Not ever. Not even one puff.
Let’s use the comments below as a community support group. Those of you who have already quit, please post your stories below. And those of you who are getting ready to quit — come back to this article and post your thoughts, questions, and concerns whenever you need a little help. I’m here for you. Best regards, Sifu Anthony
I’m Anthony Korahais, and I used qigong to heal from clinical depression, low back pain, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. I’ve already taught thousands of people from all over the world how to use qigong for their own stubborn health challenges.
As the director of Flowing Zen and a board member for the National Qigong Association, I'm fully committed to helping people with these arts. In addition to my blog, I also teach online courses and offer in-person retreats and workshops.
Good Prayers For Those Suffering From Addiction
Whether religious or not, prayers or mantras can become a valuable source of positive affirmation in your life when battling drug addiction. One of the most common prayers repeated in recovery is known as the Serenity Prayer.
It was created by Reinhold Niebuhr and reflects the attitude that not everything in life may be controlled.
It acknowledges the struggle we all face in seeking out a path toward serenity and recovery in a world that often feels chaotic and beyond our control.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
A mantra, or prayer the one above, may be repeated daily to help reinforce positive thinking when cravings are creating distractions on your path toward recovery. The Recovery Prayer by Abby Willowroot, is designed to reaffirm your awareness of the strengths it takes to recover from addiction:
“Today, I heal my body, my mind, my spirit, my life. Drugs are a part of my past; they are not part of my now, they are not part of my future. Today, I am clean. Today, I am clean and free.
Today, I am becoming strong one second at a time, on thought at a time, one action at a time. I am learning how to live and to be the best parts of me today. Today, I am clean and free.”
In the Christian faith, addiction is often linked to a kind of spiritual warfare. Within the book of James this verse appears:
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Universal Messages In Prayers Relating To Addiction
There are some common themes that emerge throughout in prayers and mantras relating to addiction. These prayers often relate to seeking truth, demonstrating how muddled our perceptions become when we are using.
They ask us to remain honest and acknowledge the addiction; not to control or manage it.
They showcase the courage it takes for someone to face the fear, damage inflicted by, and the severity of cravings and withdrawal symptoms relating to addiction.
Most, as with the Serenity Prayer, they identify a notion that the addicted individual fell into addiction because they were suffering from some underlying struggle. And nearly all highlight an awareness of a higher power, whether it be God, or finding serenity in nature – seeking out something pure on a path darkness and shadow.
One particular bible verse found within Corinthians, quite simply acknowledges the free will to choose to use, while including a most helpful mantra in contrast, “I will not be mastered by anything.”
“Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”
The Efficacy Of Prayer
Prayer and mantras as described above have been widely used in treatment and recovery programs, but are they effective? Science supports prayer appears to be an effective tool for relaxing the body, lowering blood pressure, and helping uplift mood. As such, prayer or mantras may be most beneficial when they are recited during times of high stress or tension. Repetition of prayer can play a critical role in reducing blood pressure and inducing calm for the troubled individual.
Which prayers work best for one person, depends a lot on their belief system and what the individual finds meaningful. Sometimes addiction has so far blinded a person from any awareness of good left within them, it is easier to acknowledge good outside of the body, a spiritual awareness, while beginning to reconnect with the good inherent in the person.
Someone recovering from a long-term addiction may find himself or herself in a place of destruction, in which relationships, career, and finances have fallen apart. They may feel unlovable, unreachable at the start. This is where prayer can help reinforce a message of hope that they are not lost, that there is light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel.
Prayers For The Newly Sober
Prayers or mantras for the newly recovered might be more strongly rooted in helping connect the individual with the support that surrounds them, whether that be support from God, family, or some other network. The following is a message that separates the addiction from the individual.
“My mistakes don’t define me, but are transformed by the grace of God. Therefore I release shame off of me and receive love from God and others.”
Other prayers help us remember the importance of focusing on one moment at a time, one day at a time, to manage the anxiety that is recurrent in early recovery.
Knowing that the problems that surround us are temporary and will subside, and that we must only focus on one issue at a time in those early stages of recovery will also help alleviate some of the self-inflicted guilt when we try to think so far ahead and feel we must fix all that was broken at once. The following mantra is part of a larger poem to aid in this one day a at a time thinking:
“Just for today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.”While most are aware of the beginning few lines of the Serenity Prayer, the remaining text is often left out. To paraphrase, the text goes on to suggest living one day at a time is key to finding peace. It also suggests that the challenges we face on this path are not designed to stop us, but to help strengthen us on our path toward serenity in recovery:
“Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace…”
St. Jude’s prayer addresses the addiction accurately as an illness. At the same time, the prayer is interwoven with the notion that the addicted person is not alone in his or her battles with addiction.
Again, it reiterates those powerful messages of unconditional love, separating the addiction from self, and self-awareness that we are no longer in a place of control, but on a path toward recovery from something that has so long controlled us.
“God of life, You made me in Your perfect image, to live in Your love and to give You glory, honor and praise. Open my heart to Your healing power. Come, Lord Jesus, calm my soul just as you whispered ‘Peace’ to the stormy sea.
St. Jude, most holy Apostle, in my need I reach out to you. I beg you to intercede for me that I may find strength to overcome my illness. Bless all those who struggle with addiction. Touch them, heal them, and reassure them of the Father’s constant love.
Remain at my side, St. Jude, to chase away all evil temptations, fears, and doubts. May the quiet assurance of your loving presence illuminate the darkness in my heart and bring lasting peace. Amen.”
The “set-aside prayer,” popular within Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous groups, asks the addicted individual to open their minds to the experience of living free from addiction, by addressing specific long-standing notions.
“Dear God, please help me to set aside everything I think I know about [a person, place, or thing], so I may have an open mind and a new experience. Please help me to see the truth about [a person, place, or thing].”
Prayers and mantras sometimes seek help from a higher power or behave as affirmations designed to connect an individual with personal growth and strength.
The following poem, Salutation to the Dawn, asks a person to focus on the power of today by examining the reality of what exists within a person’s life and to celebrate how far they have come, how much they have grown. To live in the now with the kind of awareness that will create a vision of hope for the future.Look to this day!For it is life, the very life of life.In its brief courseLie all the verities and realities of your existence:The bliss of growth;The glory of action;The splendor of achievement;For yesterday is but a dream,And tomorrow is only a vision;But today, well lived, makes every yesterdaya dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Are cigarettes addictive?
Yes. Cigarettes are addictive.
In fact, the longer you smoke cigarettes, the more ly you are to develop an addiction. Not only are cigarettes addictive but they are the number one contributors to preventable death.
Q: Is nicotine addictive physically?
Don’t underestimate the power of nicotine, the main addictive chemical in tobacco. Nicotine addiction is one of the hardest addictions to kick, as people find themselves relapsing many times. And while treating nicotine withdrawal can make the process easier, nicotine is considered MORE ADDICTIVE than heroin!
But what makes cigarettes so addictive? And how do you know that you’ve become addicted to cigarettes, or not? We review these questions here and invite your questions about the addictive potential of cigarettes at the end.
What are cigarettes used for?
Cigarettes, or rather, the tobacco found in cigarettes, were once used for ceremonial purposes in many Native American tribes across North America. Besides the ceremonial uses of tobacco, cigarettes are used because people are addicted to them.
igarettes produce an instant gratification and a euphoric high. People who miss the next nicotine hit will quickly feel the effects of withdrawal. People also smoke to deal with the stress of their lives, to take breaks at work, or to socialize.
And since cigarettes are not illegal, they are heavily used as a coping mechanism for life.
What are cigarettes made of?
Because there are so many different types of cigarettes, the ingredients found in a cigarette can radically change from brand to band. The most common ingredient however is tobacco, a dried plant material that has been shredded and rolled into a cigarette.
There are actually 60 known species of this plant. However, in addition to tobacco, there are some several hundred different types of chemicals in cigarettes including; flame retardants, tar, and carcenoginic substances.
Filter and paper also go into the manufacturing of cigarettes.
Don’t let your loved one suffer. 1-888-882-1456
How addictive are cigarettes?
The tobacco in cigarettes naturally contains a substance known as nicotine which accounts for its highly addictive quality. Continued exposure to nicotine results in addiction to cigarettes.
Other compounds found in cigarettes actaldhyl are said to enhance the additive quality of cigarettes. But nicotine has powerful effects on the brain and body, one of which is euphoric effect.
So how does nicotine work?
Nicotine absorbs straight into the bloodstream. Nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands and releases adrenaline into the system. This increase the heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
Nicotine also suppresses insulin output from the pancreases giving smokers higher blood sugar levels. Nicotine also increases the neurotransmission and release of dopamine into the brain, which controls reward and pleasure sensors.
This is why each puff from a cigarette can make you feel “good”. The average smoker takes about 300 hits of nicotine in a day.
Cigarette dependence vs. addiction
Nicotine dependence is very similar to nicotine addiction. In fact, the two are difficult to tell apart. But dependence on nicotine is not necessarily the same as addiction. How?
Dependence is a medical term used to define the presence of withdrawal symptoms when you stop smoking cigarettes. These symptoms can includeirritability, aggression and anxiety. Dependence happens because the body has adapted to the presence of the nicotine in the body.
However, addiction is characterized by a psychological need to continue smoking cigarettes. You may find that you need them to function and regulate your moods. Self-medication of emotional states point to addiction rather than dependence.
Though, for the most part nicotine dependence does result in addiction.
How do you get addicted to cigarettes ?
You are not as ly to get addicted to cigarettes if you take one puff from a cigarette or smoke one cigarette. Continual smoking of cigarettes is what develops into addiction. In fact, you have to develop an addiction to cigarettes and make it happen, whether you are conscious or not of it. Ways of getting addicted to cigarettes include:
- continual use of cigarettes over time
- giving in to social pressure to smoke
- self-medicating using cigarettes to cope with stress
- smoking to look cool or fit in
- smoking while you drink
Signs of cigarette addiction
Cigarettes are highly habit forming and addictive. Stop smoking motivation tips include seeking other ways to manage your stress. It is easier to spot cigarette addiction than other types of drugs as tobacco is a substance common within our society. You only have to look to the smoker you know to notice the following signs of addiction:
- Choosing cigarettes over food
- Compulsive smoking without thinking
- Continual use of cigarettes regardless of the wide range of health risks or dangers
- Feeling agitated or anxious if you haven’t smoked
- Needing a smoke to cope with stress and life
- The presence of adverse withdrawal symptoms when smoking stops
If your recognize the signs and symptoms of nicotine addiction in yourself or someone close to you…you can get help to quit once and for all. See how tobacco addiction treatment programs approach this problem individually, and how you can choose the best treatment type, duration, and therapies for you.
Cigarettes addiction potential questions
Do you still have questions about the addiction potential of cigarettes ? Please leave your questions, comments or feedback here. We are happy to help answer your questions personally and promptly. And if we do not know the answer to your particular cigarette question, we will refer you to someone who does.
Reference Sources: National Institute of Drug Abuse: Cigarettes and other Tobacco products
National Insitute of Drug Abuse: Tobacco addiction
NCBI: Can one Puff really make an adolescent addicted?
Surgeon General: Preventing youth tobacco use
Quitting smoking cigarettes by spiritual practice | SSRF English
Omprakash, a resident of Dubai, UAE was addicted to smoking cigarettes for 11 years despite innumerable efforts to quit smoking.
In a workshop conducted by the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF), he came to know about the spiritual root cause of addiction as well as the spiritual healing remedies for it.
He immediately took up the spiritual healing remedy of chanting and overcame his addiction within 7 days. This article is a telephonic interview with him on 2nd October 2006.
SSRF publishes these case studies with the intention of providing some direction to our readers with regard to problems that manifest at a physical or psychological level, but which can have their root cause in the spiritual dimension.
When the root cause of a problem is spiritual in nature we have observed that the inclusion of spiritual healing remedies generally gives the best results. SSRF advises continuation of conventional medical treatment along with spiritual healing remedies for the treatment of physical and psychiatric illnesses.
Readers are advised to take up any spiritual healing remedy at their own discretion.
Omprakash (34) is originally from India. He is a Business Development Manager in Dubai. Even though he is not an overtly religious person, he believes in a higher divine power.
He was not doing any chanting or ritualistic worship of God prior to attending the SSRF workshop. His wife had to literally force him to attend any form of ritualistic worship of God.
His father was also addicted to smoking.
Interview with Mr. Omprakash
Interviewer: Hello Omprakash, thank you for giving us this interview. Before we start the interview, congratulations on successfully giving up smoking.
Omprakash: (smiles) Thanks
Interviewer: Can you give us a brief history about your smoking addiction?
Omprakash: The smoking habit started in 1995 when I was 23 years old. After coming to Dubai, I saw girls smoking at a party, which was quite unusual from a traditional Indian perspective.
I thought to myself, if girls can smoke freely then why do I hesitate to indulge in it? Initially it was all for the fun of it, but gradually it became a compulsive habit. Now it is almost 11 years since I began smoking. Initially I used to smoke 2 to 3 cigarettes a day.
Later it increased to 10 to 15 cigarettes a day.
Interviewer: Did you ever try to give up your addiction?
Omprakash: A number of times.
I would take some measures to stop, such as keeping coins in my pocket instead of currency notes so that I would be able to buy only loose cigarettes and not a packet or I would buy only loose cigarettes and not the packet etc.
, but this way at the most I could reduce to 6 to 8 cigarettes a day. However this phenomenon would go on for a week and again I would be back to my routine of smoking 10 to 15 cigarettes a day.
If at all I did quit smoking entirely, the maximum I could stay away from it was for 7 days and then I would be back at it.Earlier when I would be smoking I would feel fatigued, stressed out and tired but when I would quit smoking I would be worse off as i would get a bad cough and cold. When I would start again, I would feel better. At times, I used to even drink every week but somehow I was able to stay away from that habit taking root through sheer will power.
Interviewer: So how did you overcome smoking?
Omprakash: It all came about after attending an SSRF lecture. I came to know about the lecture on ‘Spiritual research on ghosts’ held on 15th Sep 2006 in Dubai through a family friend who had seen the advertisement poster put up in the temple.
Then my friend coaxed me to attend the lecture. I felt it was a divine intervention that a person me actually landed up for that workshop. During the course of the lecture, I came to know that most addictions are due to demonic possession and one of the spiritual healing remedies is chanting the Name of God as per one’s religion of birth.
I decided to try it at once.
Interviewer: What made you follow the advice given by SSRF?
Omprakash: I just felt that my presence at the lecture was clearly due to divine intervention. I also d the scientific explanations given by SSRF in the lecture. Hence when I understood that the cause of my problem is possession, I decided to give the remedy a try.
From that day onwards I started chanting 2 malas (2 x 108 times) of ‘Om Namaha Shivaaya’, which is the chant of my family deity. I used the help of my fingers to keep a count of my chanting.
Since that very day, whenever I got an urge to smoke and I held a cigarette in my hand, I felt as if it is a devil and I threw it down at once. This phenomenon kept on repeating.
Now it is almost 15 days that I have stayed away from smoking. I don’t even get the urge to smoke.
The Spiritual science behind the cure: Only if the cause of the addiction is purely due to a spiritual factor being affected or possessed by a ghost (demon, devil, negative energy etc.) can it go away this fast. The increase in the subtle basic sattva component brought about by chanting acts in two ways:
- By creating a protective sheath around the person.
- By removing the black covering created by ghosts around the person.
Ghosts are high in the subtle basic tama component and therefore feel stifled, intimidated and distressed with the increase of the subtle basic sattva component in the person that they are possessing.
Refer to the article on ‘What are the three subtle basic components of sattva, raja and tama?’
On 22nd September 06, we performed the yearly rituals (Shraaddha rituals) for departed ancestors. My departed father was a smoker too.I was told that as he was a smoker, I need to smoke after we finished the Shraaddha lunch to satisfy his craving. But I was not able to even hold the cigarette in my hand and felt dropping it a hot coal.
My wife was surprised to see this, as she is aware of my addiction to smoking.
Interviewer: But why did you share this so late with us, i.e. after 15 days?
Omprakash: Because I wanted to be sure that it is not my past efforts where I would start smoking again within 7 days. This time I wanted to give it more time and so I shared this spiritual experience with you during SSRF’s next lecture on ‘Destiny’.
Interviewer: Are you continuing chanting now that your smoking habit has gone?
Omprakash: Now I chant even more. I do not keep a count but I chant while driving, walking and working. Hence I am not sure of the number of chants.
Interviewer: Have you observed any other change in yourself in any other aspect?
Omprakash: Being a business development manager, I constantly suffer from stress related to my job but nowadays I never think about it. I just chant and that has reduced some stress. I am even experiencing some peace.
Interviewer: Do your family members notice any changes in you?
Omprakash: Yes, they have seen a change in me but they are unable to believe it and so they just dismiss it.
Interviewer: Did you share this freedom from addiction with your other family members (not immediate family), friends, colleagues etc.?
Omprakash: Yes I did share my experience with a few. They all say that the Name of God coming from my mouth sounds odd and so they make fun of me.
Interviewer: Did you tell any other smoker or drinker about this? What was your experience?
Omprakash: Yes, I tried to share it with my friends with habits but they all make fun of me. I am waiting for a complete change in myself so that they will see it is for keeps and then believe in it completely.
Interviewer: Would you mind if we publish your experience on our website?
Omprakash: Of course not. Why should I mind? I only pray that if there are others me suffering from addictions, then they be helped by reading my case study.
Editor’s note:We have been following up with Omprakash regarding his addiction since this interview was taken.As of 2nd May 2007, Omprakash has been able to quit smoking of cigarettes for over 7 months and has become addiction free. He has not felt the need to go back to it. Through out this period he has been persistent with the chanting of his family deity’s Name.
12 Secrets to Beating a Tobacco Addiction
While it may be true that a nicotine addiction is difficult to overcome, there are simple practices that you can introduce into your daily routine that will significantly improve the lihood of long-term success.
There’s a vast difference between wanting to quit and deciding to quit. Real commitment includes a definite decision to quit, with a practical plan of action.
2. One day at a time
The idea that an addict has to live the rest of their life without the cherished substance is oftentimes overwhelming and fear-inspiring. The rest of one’s life can seem a long time and a huge commitment.
This psychological hurdle often dooms the escape to freedom before it even gets off the ground. The key to avoiding this pitfall is to take only one day at a time. Make a fresh commitment every morning to be nicotine free.
Tomorrow’s challenges and concerns cannot and must not be carried today
3. Get back on track immediately
If a slip-up occurs, recommit to the quitting process immediately and get back on track with your action plan. The sooner one gets back on the path to recovery, the less of a setback the slip-up will be.
4. Regular moderate exercise
Moderate exercise is one of the simplest and yet most effective ways to deal with nicotine cravings.
Exercise provides a constructive substitute activity and results in the release of endorphins, the body’s internal feel-good brain chemicals.
These offset the nicotine cravings by elevating mood, combating depression and reducing stress symptoms. Moderate exercise of 15–30 minutes can reduce nicotine cravings for up to 50 minutes afterwards.
Exercise also improves the body’s oxygenation and circulation, leading to improved healing and recovery overall. Regular moderate exercise will also help combat the weight gain often associated with giving up the use of tobacco products.
5. Surrender other substances
Tobacco use is often accompanied by the use of other addictive substances, such as alcohol, caffeine and illegal drugs. This relationship is more than incidental. While the precise mechanism of action can vary from substance to substance, the net effect of increasing dopamine in the brain is common.
Dopamine is the brain chemical responsible for the sense of reward and drugs can increase it to a “high”. However, this damages the reward pathway, causing cravings that lead to addiction as users seek a heightened experience.When tobacco is used in connection with alcohol, caffeine or illegal drugs, the high is amplified, leading to increased damage of the reward pathway where the dopamine neurons are situated.
For the best chance of long-term recovery, it is important to quit using any substances that artificially stimulate and cause damage to the reward pathway. To optimise your chances of staying nicotine free, give up all substances including alcohol, caffeine and illegal drugs.
6. Drink plenty of water
Taken internally, water flushes out the toxins that are being removed by the liver and kidneys.
It also ensures that the blood remains well-diluted, resulting in improved circulation and oxygenation, which is essential for optimum brain and body organ function.
The more effectively you flush out your system with clean water, the faster your body will remove the poisonous tobacco toxins.
Most people need at least two litres of water a day to maintain healthy body function. While you are cleansing your body from nicotine, you may need to increase this amount to two-and-a-half or even three litres per day.
7. Natural remedies
Hydrotherapy is the science of using water to treat disease and invigorate the body. It can also alleviate cravings and boost the efficiency of the body’s immune system.
Medicinal charcoal actively draws impurities, toxins and poisons to itself. These harmful substances then become trapped inside the charcoal grains’ porous, cave- indentations and tunnels. When the body eliminates the charcoal, the impurities that have become trapped inside its grains are also eliminated.
Charcoal tablets are available from pharmacies and supermarkets. Powdered charcoal, which is more effective due to its larger surface area, is usually only available from health stores.Simply mix one or two tablespoons of charcoal powder in a glass of water and drink it.
Remember to drink plenty of additional water afterwards, since charcoal can cause constipation when taken with inadequate amounts of water.
A smoking addiction consists of at least two components: (1) a chemical dependence on nicotine, and (2) ritual. The ritual aspect refers to the behaviour patterns each smoker follows when lighting up a cigarette, such as reaching into the pocket for the cigarette pack, lighting up and the hand-to-mouth process of smoking.
When quitting, it’s helpful to become aware of these ritual behaviours and develop activities that can substitute for them. For instance, you could replace the box of cigarettes with a clickable pen.
Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, you can retrieve the pen and click it a few times. Some people have found chewing on carrot sticks to be a constructive substitute for the ritual of lighting a cigarette.
A short, brisk walk can also help.
9. Get rid of paraphernalia
The last thing that one needs when trying to quit smoking is to have reminders of the habit lying around in plain sight. Get rid of ashtrays, lighters, pipes, cigarette packs and whatever else you used to support the smoking habit.
The mere act of throwing your smoking paraphernalia away has a great psychological benefit. It gives you a sense of closure and a clean start. Also, because the tobacco products are not close at hand, there’s less chance you’ll yield during a moment of weakness.
10. Adequate sleep
One withdrawal symptom many people experience when coming off tobacco products is irritability. Going to bed after midnight seriously decreases the quality of your rest, which in turn causes irritability, because of a reduced amount of growth hormone being produced for your body’s rejuvenation.
By simply shifting your bedtime to include at least two hours before midnight, you’ll not only give your body a better quality of rest, but you’ll find that you’re able to better handle stress and be less irritable and quick-tempered.
11. Team up
One of the most helpful keys to beating tobacco addiction is to have an accountability partner—someone you trust and who you’ll be able to contact when you feel weak or need some encouragement to stay the course to freedom. This may be someone who has already beaten tobacco addiction. In any case, it should be someone who can also function as your prayer partner.
12. Divine help
While it’s true that an accountability partner or a support group is of great help to anyone trying to break an addiction, it’s of more value to rely upon divine strength and power in these situations.
God has pledged Himself to restoring human freedom and supplying power for victory. The Bible has many powerful promises to this effect. Cultivating a genuine and practical relationship with God will result in renewed power for daily living as well as a new outlook on life.
God understands your struggles, and He cares about you. He has the solution to your weaknesses and failings. By uniting your human weakness with His divine strength, victory will be yours!
Additional photos: warrengoldswain—istockphoto.com; Ilka-erika Szasz-fabian—Dreamstime.com; sswartz | CEFutcher—istockphoto.com
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, you have a nicotine addiction.
Quitting smoking can be hard, but you’re not alone. Many free advice and support services exist, such as Quitline, to help smokers preparing to quit and recent quitters to stay smoke free. Contact them today.
Quitline New Zealand: 0800 778 778