Many people smoke when they feel stressed. Stress itself is not necessarily a bad thing, and is in fact a natural part of life. However, too much stress or poor coping mechanisms can be very harmful. Everyone needs to figure out how to cope with their stress.
Stress and smoking
Smoking and stress are part of a vicious cycle that keeps many people trapped from moving forward. One of the main reasons people say they smoke is because it helps them deal with stress, but in fact smoking only adds to the stress. Just think how stressful it felt to have run out of cigarettes after the store closed.
Breaking the cycle and finding new ways of managing stress is not easy, but is vital for your long term success. Read on to find new ways of coping with stress in a healthy way.
Tips for coping with Stress
Find what works for you
Ask yourself, aside from smoking, what you do when you are upset to calm down? How do you take care of yourself when you are feeling less than your best? Some people find that going for a brisk walk, doing a deep breathing exercise, or drinking herbal tea are helpful ways of managing their stress.
Address stress at the source
Another approach to dealing with stress is to try to address the source of stress itself, as well as coping with it. Any part of your life may sometimes lead to stress. Work, relationship issues, financial concerns can all cause stress that may become worse when you quit. If quitting is compounding the stress from other areas of your life, seek to address those problems and find solutions. This will reduce the urge to smoke by reducing the stress.
Get the support you need
The most important factor in coping with stress is to reach out for support. Whether from friends and family, your doctor or other health care providers, or the QuitNow coaches and message boards, reach out to the people around you to help get you through stressful moments.
Cravings and withdrawal
On top of work, family, and garden-variety stress, quitting smoking is itself a stressful process. If withdrawal from nicotine is what’s causing stress for you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about trying nicotine replacement therapies, to help manage the stress from withdrawing. To deal with stress coming from dealing with cravings, try the 4Ds, explained here.