Tag Archives: smoking

Want to Quit Smoking? Yoga Can Help!

According to results of a study published in the Journal of Women’s Health – “Yoga is beneficial for those planning to quit smoking”…And, this is no longer conjecture but a scientifically proven fact. Yoga is a good complementary therapy for cessation of smoking.

The leading preventable cause of death worldwide is addiction to nicotine. Nearly 6 million people die each year as a result of cigarette smoking, both from direct tobacco use and/or exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking is associated with a host of adverse health related conditions such lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, heart disease and stroke, to mention a few. In addition to these health consequences, nicotine use contributes too many troublesome effects on social and psychological well-being of smokers as well as non-smokers.

Research has shown that 70% of smokers who attempt to quit do so without the use of evidence-backed programs and 90% of those will relapse. Cessation programs are readily available to smokers, but they remain largely under-utilized, mostly because smokers are unaware of them. In order to bolster cessation attempts and ultimately increase success rates, smokers need to be made aware that safe, effective, and accessible means of quitting are available and yoga is certainly one of them.

Yoga has shown great promise in helping smokers to end their addiction because it deals with emotional stress while at the same time reducing the nicotine withdrawal symptoms that commonly arise.

The hassles of trying to quit smoking…

Although there are effective strategies for smoking cessation quitting can still be tough. The onset of nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depression, headache and insomnia are often quite difficult to manage. Therefore, most smokers fail in their attempt to quit smoking successfully. It is important to realize that quitting smoking is not one day affair but the result of good planning, a focused approach and a well controlled mind. Yoga can help overcome the obstacles most smokers encounter when they begin a smoking cessation plan.

According to American Public Health Association, yoga based intervention, with an emphasis on meditation and the help of an experienced practitioner, can manage emotional stress and help cope with the various withdrawal symptoms that are bound to arise after quitting smoking. Quitting smoking is emotionally and physically challenging, but thankfully, yoga practice has the power to address both these issues.

How yoga helps to cope with nicotine cravings…

A regular smoker’s body is habituated to receive doses of nicotine multiple times during the course of a day and that leads to nicotine dependency and addiction. When you stop smoking, the body generates its own reactions due to the absence of nicotine and this is what’s commonly known as ‘nicotine cravings’. Finding ways to deal with tobacco cravings is the biggest challenge you’ll face when you are trying to quit smoking. Fortunately yoga is there to calm the mind, control frequent mood swing, promote a sense of patience, increase your ability to listen to your body and enables you to exercise a greater sense of control. For instance, whenever a strong tobacco craving strikes, deep breathing exercises and yoga asana can help immensely to deal with stress, resulting in a reduction of the urge to smoke.

Using yoga to combat mental/emotional stress…

Some people have a harder time then others when quitting smoking. The frequent nicotine carvings that are associated with smoking cessation usually provoke a state of anxiety and stress. Yoga practice, as a complementary stress-reduction technique, helps to combat mental/emotional stress. The study referenced above states that yoga practice reduces perceived stress, negative impact, and anxiety among women smokers who want to quit. Yoga practices including regulated breathing, and focused attention are known improve mood and promote inner peace.

Yoga also helps to restore lung health…

Everyone knows that smoking has a devastating impact on your lungs and their functioning. However, regular practice of yoga is a practical way to take care of your lung’s health. Yoga opens the lungs and stimulating lung tissue, improving their functioning capacity. Restoration of lung health subsequently helps to improve success rates for those determined to quit smoking.

Yoga Asana

5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 4)

Are you in a rut? Are you feeling like you’re losing your “touch”? Is complacency becoming the norm? Maybe what you need are some basic lifestyle changes. In the coming days we will review five suggestions for the New Year to help improve your health and overall wellbeing – helpful advice that may also initiate a sense of self-renewal and give you more energy, which in turn will give you a whole new outlook on life.

To review part 1, click on: Go on a cleanse or detox diet.

To review part 2, click on: Improve your dietary choices

To review part 3, click on: Find a daily activity that insures you’re getting enough exercise.

Here’s part 4…

4. Pick one habit or trait that is detrimental to your health and eliminate it.

Bad habits often have a huge effect on your life and what makes these habits so challenging and hard to change is the reality that they usually aren’t based on well thought out choices and decisions, so using logic to eliminate them is oftentimes unproductive. Think about it; for instance, everyone who smokes cigarettes knows without a doubt they are bad for them, but that knowledge doesn’t help them much when the try to quit. They require a bit of strategy to overcome.

Try these strategic tips to help get you rid yourself of these habits and get your life and health back on track:

Replace a bad habit, rather than simply trying to drop it. You must have felt some benefit to the habit or you wouldn’t have allowed it to become a part of your life. Consider substituting something positive as a replacement for that which was given up. Examples: When craving a cigarette, sit down and breathe slowly and deeply, visualize yourself inhaling smoke rather than clean air, you’ll be amazed at how effective that can be. If you are in the habit of being a couch-potato after dinner, instead of plopping down in front of the TV, take the dog for a walk or find some other semi-pleasurable chore to engage. Use your imagination, you’re bound to come up with some sort of practical substitution.

Don’t take on too many things at once; deal with one challenge at a time. Perhaps you’ve decided you want to quit smoking, improve your diet and start an exercise program…all that would be overwhelming and you’d probably cave on all three. Pick just one; give yourself a month or so. Then, once you have a handle on that, add another one and give that a month.

Have patience with yourself; don’t be in such a hurry. Think how happy you’d be if you could get rid of your four worst habits. By dealing with one habit at a time as recommended above, that’s only four months, which is a relatively short time if you consider how long you’ve had each habit.

Learn to recognize the triggers that prompt bad cravings and/or your addictive tendencies and remove them. If your intention is to improve your diet, get rid of all the junk food in your house and go to the bathroom or simply walk away when those tempting TV commercials come on. Most habits don’t have a much of thought behind them, they’re a lot like reflexes without sensory stimulation they have little power.

Tell any friends who may be sympathetic and supportive. These friends can help you reach your goal by reminding you should you stray from your purpose.

If you’re going to start a regular exercising regime, be consistent; schedule yourself so that you do it at the same time each day. Many find this to be much easier than trying to exercise 3 or 4 times a week.

Stay motivated, keep reminding yourself that there’s no better feeling than knowing you have control over your life. Your self-esteem will soar as you realize you’re a victor and no longer a victim of your bad habits.