Instead of relying on a cigarette when you feel anxious or overwhelmed, try alternative techniques to reduce feelings of stress.
People smoke cigarettes to manage stress, but smoking is not a sustainable long-term solution. Nicotine, the main active ingredient in cigarettes, only provides temporary relief.
Using a stress management plan can help prevent stress from building up or alleviate symptoms if they occur. When it comes to coping with stress, preparation is your first line of defense. Think about the most stressful situations and how you can avoid them.
Once you’ve identified stress triggers, anticipate how you will deal with them when they inevitably arise. Responses can be a deep breathing exercise, a 5-minute walk outdoors, or mindful meditation that can relieve tension immediately. Stress management also involves proactively filling your time with healthy and calming behaviors. Relaxation methods include low-intensity physical exercises such as yoga, dancing, or weight training; make a list or keep a journal; or spend some time in nature or in the garden.
Finally, try to incorporate technology into your stress management plan. Using the phone to call or text a quit buddy or join an online support group can provide relief. Downloading a meditation app or a calming white noise – chirping birds, waves crashing, rain – are calming alternatives.