Rather than relying on a cigarette when you feel anxious or overburdened, try utilizing alternative techniques to reduce feelings of stress.
People smoke cigarettes as a way to manage stress, but smoking is not a sustainable long-term solution. Nicotine, the primary active ingredient in cigarettes, provides only temporary relief.
Utilizing a stress management plan can help prevent stress from building or mitigate the symptoms when they do occur. When it comes to stress management, preparation is your first line of defense. Think about what situations are the most stressful and think about how you can avoid them.
Once you’ve identified stress triggers, anticipate how you will handle them when they inevitably occur. Responses may include a deep breathing exercise, a 5-minute walk outside, or mindful meditation can immediately reduce tension. Stress management also involves pro-actively filling your time with healthy and calming behaviors. Methods to relax include low-intensity physical exercise like yoga, dancing, or weight training; making a list or journaling; or spending some time in nature or gardening.
Lastly, try incorporating technology into your stress management plan. Using the phone to call or text a quit-buddy or take part in an online support group can provide relief. Downloading a meditation app or some calming white noise — birds chirping, waves crashing, rainfall — are all soothing alternatives.