Coping With Cravings
How do you reduce cigarette cravings? How do handle the urge to smoke when you're trying to quit? Is it even possible to beat cigarette cravings? What is the right mindset to handle nicotine withdrawal? I mean, what if your perception was the difference between success and failure?
I've Got You Under My Skin
Let's say you're on oyster... How does an oyster make a pearl? And is it possible to use this knowledge to break a habit like smoking cigarettes?
Now, stay with me on this because it'll be worth it. I promise. If you're an oyster, you produce your own shell. You have an organ known as the mantle that takes what you eat and converts it into your shell. The inner lining of your shell is called nacre. It is also produced by the mantle. As an oyster, you're mostly made up of muscle and organs. Your skin is your shell. It is there to protect you from the elements.
So what if you got something under your skin? Frank Sinatra used to sing about it. However, when Old Blue Eyes was crooning, it was a good thing. If you're an oyster, this is a problem. As a human, you can relate. Ever get sand in your pants?
Now as an oyster, if you get a little sand under your skin or some other foreign object that starts rubbing on you and grinding on you, what do you do? What if this irritant winds up in your mantle?
Well for an oyster, he/she/it will make a pearl. The oyster will have the mantle start cranking out nacre to surround the "irritant." Eventually what forms in there is a beautiful pearl.
So, like any good magic trick, there are three key elements. The setup, the performance, and the prestige. The prestige is where you pull the rabbit out of your hat.
What? From pearls and oysters to rabbits and magic?
No. To the prestige. The end. The point where it all comes together.
So you've decided to stop smoking. Now what? You've tried before with little or no success. You tried, succeeded (kind of) and then started again. But this time, you declare, will be different.
But what is the one thing you dread? What is it that makes it so hard? Why is it so hard to quit? Well, in my opinion it's impossible to quit, so why bother? For a deeper understanding of that, take a look at my book, How to Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone available on Amazon.com
For many, including myself, the hardest part about getting off cigarettes is the withdrawal phase.
The urge, desire, craving, to smoke pokes at you, grinds on you, burns you up. It's like having sand in your pants. A Lot of sand. What other kind of sand is out there that pulls out the craving? Some jerk at work, too much work, traffic, spouse problems, family trouble, money problems. The world is full of sand. What get's under your skin? What is your sand?
So now you're irritated. Normally, you smoke.
But now you're an oyster. What are you going to do?
Why make a pearl of course!
That's the Prestige.
I was listening to Mantra: A Practice for Power, Peace & Prosperity by Niurka and Larisa Stow. In it, Larisa talked about oysters and how they make pearls and I was so inspired by this analogy. I instantly thought of making pearls to stop smoking and how simple and powerful this wisdom is.
An oyster, as you know, covers the irritant with nacre. This makes the irritant smooth and round and less irritating, in fact probably not irritating at all. Remember, you produce your own shell. You are in charge of protecting yourself.
But you're not an oyster. How do you make a pearl? How do you create your shell?
What is the pearl actually? Well in this case it's better lung function, lower chance of cancer, stroke, heart attack, etc. You know why smoking's not a good idea. That's your pearl. So is being free from the pains of nicotine addiction.
In my book, you'll read that releasing myself from the bondage of nicotine was a chief motivational factor and frankly, that was more my pearl than anything.
Another pearl was the ability to exercise better, harder and faster. I train with Russian Kettlebells. You can't smoke and Swing and Snatch a Kettlebell at the same time.
You start making your pearl and building your shell every time you make the conscious decision to not smoke. There's the urge, the grinding, the rubbing, the craving. Normally you go smoke and release yourself of the discomfort, but instead, you're going to breathe deep, recognize what's happening right now and then make the decision to not smoke.
Going through this phase is part of growth and development. Look at growth and look at birth for that matter. It's a traumatic experience. In your life, it is usually the hard times and challenging moments that produce the greatest results later. Have you ever been thankful after a traumatic event? Did that moment, incident, experience change you and change you for the better? While you're in it, it's a dark tunnel, but as you emerge through the light you come out stronger, reborn, renewed.
Elenore Roosevelt taught us that no one can hurt us without our consent. Viktor Frankl showed us that between stimulus and response is our ability and obligation as humans to choose.
Continuing on this path will shape and form a beautiful pearl.
If this is your journey, get yourself a copy of How to Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone as it can be your road map to finally living a smoke-free life.