Many smokers think that lighting up relaxes them. This, unfortunately, has no scientific basis, experts say. However, quitting smoking can make a person jittery and anxious which people often mistake with stress. According to experts, lighting up makes smokers feel better not because cigarettes have stress-busting effect, but because it’s delivering nicotine to their system, which stimulates a temporary boost in mood.
Eliminating nicotine addiction is the one which is stressful as one has to deal with physiological and psychological challenges. In fact, stress is the number one reason why many smokers fail in their attempt to quit.
If you’re trying to stop smoking today but you’re concerned of how the withdrawal symptoms could affect your well-being, here are tips for you.
1) Put long-term worries aside, from now. During your first weeks of quitting, you may want to set aside the long-term worries you have for now as they could interfere with your ability to cope with stress. Make a deal with yourself that you’ll worry about them later.
2) Resolve short-term issues as they arise.
Little issues can become big problems if left unattended. So deal with them as soon as possible. If your messy room is stressing you out, don’t wait for the entire house to get dirty before you clean the clutter.
3) Recognize signs of stress. Signs of stress include anxiety, depression, headache, agitation, restlessness, sleeplessness and anger. The sooner you identify stress, the more likely you can prevent it from affecting your health and well-being.
4) Work out. You can effectively ease stress and anxiety by engaging in regular physical activity. Exercise boosts brain chemicals in the brain that improves mood and produces a sense of happiness. In fact, it is known to help improve the condition of many depressed individuals. Antidepressants help only half of people with the condition while exercise appears to help 80% of them. You don’t have to exercise like gym goers do. Any type of physical activity will do – swimming, gardening, wall climbing, etc – as long as you keep moving, it’s enough.
Practicing relaxation techniques can greatly help you deal with your stressful journey against quitting smoking. Relaxation techniques include deep breathing, yoga, guided imagery, progressive relaxation and meditation. Plenty of studies suggest that mindfulness meditation may help smokers quit their habit.
6) Write it down. Write down your goals, reasons to quit smoking and plans to achieve your goals. Also, jot down all the emotions, worries and other things that are bothering you. Research shows that writing can help people sort out what they feel and find the best strategies to cope with the stress they feel.
7) Talk to a friend. Being with the people who love you, like your friends, family and partner can greatly help you deal with stress. Social support is among the biggest determinants of success in people who quit smoking.
8) Don’t lose hope. The withdrawal period is not going to last. As the days pass by, you will feel much, much better. You will also experience significant improvement in your stress levels.