Matt J wrote:As a former smoker who has worked with addiction counselors, I have a few tips:
1. Set periods of time for quitting. Don't just quit. Quit for a week. Once the week ends, reconsider and set another date. If you make it, reward yourself with something.
2. Don't believe the mind. Your mind will come up with a thousand excuses why you should smoke. Watch it carefully--- you will learn more about how the mind operates quitting with mindfulness than most people do in a lifetime. Every thought that points to smoking is a lie.
The theory behind #1 had a lot to do with my success, but I just want to add some personal experience.
I never had much luck going cold turkey.
I always had to phase out my dependence, but then I was never really a daily smoker for very long - more an occasional smoker who would fall into bouts of daily smoking.
Not sure if you're a daily smoker, a weekly smoker, a monthly smoker, or a few times a year.
The frequency you're used to will affect how you implement #1.
If you're a daily smoker and you can't easily go a day without cigarettes, the key in the beginning will reducing the amount.
So say if you smoke a pack a day, at first, you should reduce the number of cigarettes smoked each day by 1.
Each week, you would reduce the number by 1 more.
When you can get under about 5~10 a day (1~3 would be ideal), start trying to skip a day.
Each week or each month (depending on your results), add another skip day.
Eventually shoot for only smoking on the weekends.
Once you're there, you're half way home.
Now go back to reducing the amount; whittling it down to 1~3.
When you're down to 1 to 3 on the weekends, you can start skipping weekends - skip 1 weekend, then 2, then 4, then 8.
At that point, you should be able to ask yourself if you really need them anymore.
Just gotta remember 2 things:
1. Don't get discouraged - this is a process, not a light switch. If it was easy, you probably wouldn't have had to ask about it.
2. Don't give up - keep moving forward. You're probably going to trip a couple times. You fall down? Get back up.
Whether you follow this method or go cold-turkey, eventually you're going to have to face your cravings head-on.
Personally, I find that meditation and mantra chanting really help for knocking out any type of craving - whether its food, chocolate, cigarettes, booze, sex, whatever.
You set a new baseline behavior that is not grabbing a smoke, binge-eating, sneaking sweets, drinking, porn, or whatever you find yourself becoming pre-occupied with.
You break the cycle of running to those things for comfort.
You set a new norm that's built around equanimity instead of fighting or giving into the constant pangs of craving.
I think this is the beauty of the anatta teachings - those cravings aren't you and if you can still the mind long enough to get some clarity, you'll see that fact.