Curtailing addictions

Today is World No-Tobacco day. Smoking is a perfect example of how smart people can mess themselves up. In my workshops and otherwise, a lot of people approach me on how to quit smoking. They know it’s bad for them but it’s as if they need me to reprimand them or give them some profound insight that would instantly make them drop it. A habit that someone picked up a long time ago and is embedded in their nervous system ain’t going to disappear overnight. It is beyond just their will power.

What can help is their understanding of why they do it – is it because they don’t want to process their emotions? After all it is much easier to manage emotions with addictions rather than to sit with them and work through them. Sometimes it is rebelling against someone or something, other times it could be suffocating relationships or an unhappy work environment.

Or is it because it meets their needs? As Tony Robbins says, any activity, or emotion that fulfils at least three needs at a high level becomes an addiction. Those addictions can be positive, negative or neutral. In the case of smokers, it could be –
Certainty: they are 100% certain how smoking is going to make them feel; Uncertainty: a need to change their state, which smoking can certainly help with; Significance: feeling special and important in some way, obtaining recognition from others (peer pressure) and Connection: feeling connected with someone or something – smokers tend to smoke in groups feeling a greater connection with each other.

Or is it because that’s their idea of a time-out? Everyone needs a time out from the daily grind. For some, smoking gives them a chance to get out, get some fresh air and take some deep …ahem…breaths. Simply getting out and taking some deep breaths could have helped the same.

Whatever your Why is, my hope for you is that you know that for yourself. It will make you more empowered and from that state you can consciously choose to smoke or not. For sure, your frequency will come down as you identify better ways to meet your primal needs, manage your emotions in a healthier way and love your body enough not to cause it any damage.

To Your Peak Health

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