Spirituality can play a role in recovery from tobacco dependence

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Jul 25, 2008
Stopping tobacco use frequently includes a process of self-discovery that fosters a reconnection with one’s inner self or soul, as well as a reconnection with others. In fact, reconnecting with one’s own inner wisdom and vitality – one’s soul – is a commonly cited benefit of living a tobacco-free life. In this sense, the process of self-discovery that often accompanies the recovery process may be thought of as a spiritual journey

When people experience physical, emotional or spiritual crisis they often search for solutions in the outer world. Our heart and soul are often the last places a person looks to find meaning and purpose. Because spirituality is entwined with self-discovery, it is valuable to remember and share experiences that have moved you deeply or that have influenced your understanding of yourself.

Can you remember the moment that you committed yourself to ending tobacco use? What brought you to make such a tremendously life-affirming commitment?

Here are some strategies for getting in touch with your spirit:

  • Give yourself permission to listen to what your emotions are telling you
  • Use meditation, prayer, and /or relaxation techniques to access your inner wisdom and to handle difficult situations
  • Remember experiences that have touched you deeply. Write out your feelings and experiences in a journal and share them with those close to you
  • Search out a spiritual mentor or a soul companion – somebody who has walked the journey – who can guide you on your journey within; talk with a chaplain, friend, counselor, etc
    Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated over 33,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org