When you crave a cigarette, go into aware breathing. If you are walking, continue walking. If you are working, continue working, but have some awareness of the breathing going on.
If you gave up smoking, you can do the exercise to recover the good that was in your smoking habit. There is always something good in a habit, something positive that the body is doing.
With aware breathing, you don’t get into a struggle with the desire, rather, you experience the desire as a thing in itself. So when the craving hits you, give attention to it, so that the positive qualities underneath can emerge. If you still smoke, you can do the exercise and then smoke your cigarette.
1. As soon as you notice a desire to smoke, pay attention to your lips, your tongue, your throat, and finally your lungs.
2. Take three very slow breaths, noticing the way your ribs expand in all directions when you inhale. This is to relax you and open your senses. Then return to your lips, tongue, throat, and lungs, in that order, and note what sensations, feelings, or yearnings are there.
3. Ask yourself, What am i doing? Give the impulse or craving a chance to get stronger and clearer. We rarely do this, and this is the secret of the exercise.
4. Wonder to yourself, How would my breath feel better if i were smoking? Then notice what responses you gt from your body. Remember that your body speaks in the language of sensations, not English. The sensations of desire may get stronger still, or they may change.
5. Then ask yourself, Where am i craving? The craving must be located somewhere inside your body. Try to pinpoint what part of your breathing system or body. Try to pinpoint what part of your breathing system or body is saying it needs something.
6. Now find a way to give yourself that something through breath. What is good about the sensations you would have if you smoke cigarette? Give it to yourself right now. You may have to invent a breathing technique that satisfies you.