So, we are several months in to the New Year and you find you may be feeling a lag in your drive to stay smoke-free. In contrast to the excitement you felt on New Year’s day about quitting smoking to have a “fresh new and healthy start in life”, the new “shine” you felt as a new smoker may be giving way to be tarnish from the wear and tear of life and you may sense a dull ache for a cigarette. So, you need a boost to revive your commitment or recharge your motivation to stay quit. How about using the onset of a new season to add fresh “pep in your step” and recharge the “spring in your vigor” about being smoke-free? If you practice mindfulness about the “new-life” that the spring season brings, you will find ample free things in your environment to motivate you to keep living a healthy, smoke-free life.
Being Spring-filled mindful simply involves opening your senses and plugging into your consciousness the season-specific things you see hear, smell, feel and, yes even taste. Breathe in a large whiff of fresh spring air
- Embrace the newness of animal life (bunnies, lambs, chicks)
- Soak up the radiant feel of sun on your skin
- Notice the vibrant green of the grass and flower buds
- Stretch out in the grass and look up at the clear blue skies
- Listen to the serenade of the birds
Now ask yourself, “Do I really want to mess this natural setting and fresh feeling up with cigarette smoke?” Remind yourself, “I don’t need to smoke in order to escape the stress of everyday life. If I really soak in and stay in-tune with the characteristics of nature, the peaceful calm and sensory stimulation it provides are enough to replace the relaxation and or stimulation I think I am getting from smoking cigarettes. The characteristics of Spring are reviving, whereas cigarettes are toxic.”
So, remember, a simple, easy, free and natural way to stay on track with smoke-free living is to be mindful of the newness and freshness of nature that “springs” forth and blossoms with the Spring season.
Jennifer Burden, PhD