Stopping smoking can be a process of self-discovery. It can foster a reconnection with your 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 self-discovery that often accompanies the recovery process may be thought of as a spiritual journey.
When people experience physical, emotional or spiritual crises they often search for solutions in the outer world. One’s heart and soul is often the last place one 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 stopping smoking?
What inspired you to make such a tremendously life-affirming decision?
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.
Stopping smoking may help you uncover things about yourself and others that you may have been missing. Listen closely!
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 more than 50,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org