Recently, a friend and I started talking about smoking. We talked about the buzz that you get the first time, which inspires many younger people to keep doing it. We talked about how many people stay with because of physical addiction, habit, stress or anxiety relief, or some other reason.
What I had never considered, and my friend brought up, was that part of the stress relief and calming effect from smoking is probably the actual breathing. Smokers take a “drag” off their cigarette, (or other device) and there is generally a long slow exhale….especially with pot smokers. This is similar to the breathing exercises that reduce stress. The act of smoking is not a natural breathing activity but a controlled and deeper breath.
So, in essence, smokers are already practicing stress relieving breathing. Maybe as they try to quit, they could maintain some of the stress management by consciously breathing as they would when they smoked. They really are already ahead of the game.
I am not here to glorify or promote smoking but smokers can focus on the skills they have already been using in order to move forward and away from the need for nicotine and other chemicals.
So breathe like a smoker
Deep inhale, long slow exhale
Enjoy the breath
Relax into the breath