Just over seventeen weeks have passed since I smoked a cigarette, apart from the occasional cigarette I’ve dreamt about!
I use various methods to help with the psychological effects of withdrawal: small amounts of the Nicorette Inhalator (which really helps, in my opinion) and a number of relaxation techniques.
One of the most effective technique, I think, is the Progressive Muscle Relaxation devised by the late Edmund Jacobson, a psychiatrist and doctor, famous for telling the general public that they must relax (1934). In PMR, the client or recipient tenses, then relaxes groups of muscles on the understanding that if tense muscle cause stress and vice versa, then the opposite must also be true – i.e. relaxed muscles lead to a calmer mind. I’ve practised PMR at home by listening to an audio file for about three months and have noted distinct changes in posture, breathing and general muscle health (it actually feels good as well).
I also practise diaphragmatic breathing several times most days and have found this an excellent way to build up the lungs and chest after years of heavy and chain smoking.