How Are Smokers like Buddhists?
Do smokers have the right idea?
Note: This article is in no way intending to encourage smoking. Smoking is hazardous to your physical health in many ways. It also tends to cover up emotional issues, instead of dealing with them head on in healthier ways.
That said, let’s look at some of the Buddhist-like ways that smokers handle their day…
While introducing a mindfulness breathing exercise to a client, she brought to my attention how smokers do “that breathing” all throughout the day. Well, you know, aside from the nicotine addiction and what they are putting their lungs through one breath at a time…They are committed to some serious mindful practices at regular intervals:
1. Take a break from the day’s agenda, or walk away from a stressful situation
2. Inhale deeply, to the count of five
3. Hold your breath for the count of three
4. Exhale to the count of five
5. Repeat for, oh, about five minutes
Taking five minutes a day, several times each day, to breathe and focus can make a huge difference to your attitude, serenity and attention. Step out of your agenda, away from a stressful situation. Breathe. Listen to your breathing. Observe it going in. Observe it going out. Focus on your breath rather than on what you just left or have waiting for you. Note how calm you feel as you return to your activities: Lighter, clearer, more alert.
Don’t smoke. Do breathe.
Lynn Barrette, LCSW Blending psychology with spirituality, I offer tools for forgiveness, acceptance, meditation and relaxation, and positive parenting solutions.