Healthy Choices in 2009

Anne Mitchell Health Guide
  • It's now a few weeks into January, and some of you may still be struggling with your resolution to finally quit smoking. Well, hang in there - it definitely gets easier as time goes by.


    When you first quit smoking, you may find yourself wanting to make other healthy changes in your life. Making healthy choices makes you feel physically whole and emotionally complete. You will lose that sense of emptiness that you used to try to fill with cigarette smoke. You will have a heightened sense of well-being as you breathe deeply and gratefully of the life-giving air around you.

    Think about your breathing for a moment. Notice if only your upper chest moves as you breathe. This kind of shallow breathing does not pull oxygen deeply into your lungs to be fully exchanged with the old carbon dioxide.

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    Now take a deep breath, trying to pull the air into your stomach. Women in particular tend not to breathe this way because it can make their tummies stick out. But shallow breathing robs you of vital air. Your body is left in a constant state of need. You deserve as much oxygen your body can take in so that it feels completely saturated and nourished.

    You may need to practice full breathing for some time before it becomes second nature. Do it consciously whenever you can. It is a great way to calm yourself and feel centered.

    As you breathe, visualize your lungs, heart, and esophagus. Feel those pink, spongy, healthy lungs taking in life-giving oxygen. Imagine those oxygen molecules traveling freely throughout your body and into your arms, hands, and fingers; your legs, feet, and toes; your brain, eyes, and lips.

    Now imagine breathing in a mouthful of smoke. Your lungs, heart, and brain eagerly anticipate oxygen but get carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other poisons instead. They get cheated and starved. They accept in silence, for now.

    Now, relax as you breathe deeply of clean air instead. Roll your shoulders. Loosen your jaw. Wiggle your toes. You are becoming less tense and more laid back. Little things don’t bother you as easily. You have more patience.

    What follows are some life-affirming messages for you to absorb as you move toward your new life of liberation from addiction.

    – I crave freedom and a healthy life
    – Physical activity feels great
    – I can now let go of my addiction
    – I feel bathed in a glow of optimism
    – I deserve to be smoke-free
    – I want a fresh glass of cold water to hydrate and cleanse my body
    – I crave juice and fruit and vegetables
    – I have decided that these things are more important to me than cigarettes
    – My lungs are working better
    – I am not helpless in the face of my addiction
    – I choose not to smoke, I choose life
    – I am worthy of success
    – I will succeed
    Your newfound clarity will see you through any temptations. Friends who still suffer from an addiction to smoking will see the change in you and be inspired. You will become a very special kind of role model. You are developing your new identity as a vigorous person who loves life and makes smart choices for optimal health.

  • You came into this world smoke-free. You will be smoke-free again. You are a nonsmoker by nature, you know.

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    If you need help getting started, begin with Preparing to Quit Smoking.


    Excerpts from Give It Up! Stop Smoking for Life provided with permission from author and publisher.

Published On: January 26, 2009