Many people, including my prior addicted self, thought that we smoked in order to deal with stress. In reality, smoking creates even more stress because the second we put out that sickerette, our Addictive Minds are already planning how to convince us that we "need, deserve, have to have" the nEXt one! So the only time addictive stress is relieved is while we're smoking!
But taking away sickerettes for whatever reasons doesn't change the fact that we dealt with virtually all stress by smoking and don't know another way to face it!
I've seen people discuss many great stress management skills on this site that not only relieve stress but keep it in check in the first place, including:
*using sensory strategies to relax
*practicing simple breathing exercises
*challenging self-defeating thoughts
*sharing with friends (especially here at BecomeanEX) who empathize with your quit
All of these are very effective and the more you use them the better the results. We also need in our Quit Tool Boxes quick Stress Relief Strategies. Some that come to mind are:
*Exercise releases endorphins, relieves stress, and promotes emotional well-being. Try running in place, jumping rope, or walking around the block.
*Step outside and savor the warm sun and fresh air. Enjoy a beautiful view or landscape.
*Tell a friend a funny joke.
*Yoga and meditation are excellent ways to bust stress and find balance.
*Play with your dog or cat, enjoying the relaxing touch of your pet’s fur.
*Put on some calming music.
*Light a scented candle.
*Breathe in the scent of fresh flowers or coffee beans, or savor a scent that reminds you of a favorite vacation, such as sunscreen or a seashell.
*Close your eyes and picture a peaceful place, such as a sandy beach. Or think of a fond memory, such as your child’s first steps or time spent with friends.
*Make yourself a steaming cup of tea.
*Look at favorite family photos.
*Give yourself a neck or shoulder massage.
*Soak in a hot bath or shower.
I'm sure you can add to this list now that you get the idea! You can learn to get through difficulties without falling back on your addiction. Different quick stress relief strategies work better for some people than others. The key is to find the one that works best for you, and helps you calm down when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. When you’re confident in your ability to quickly de-stress, facing strong feelings isn’t as intimidating or overwhelming.
Often I see stress referred as triggers but we all know that stress is a part of life so if we want to quit smoking when there's "less stress" in our lives, it will be the day we're declared dead! Actually in the long run, Nicotine Addiction may very likely lead to smoking related illness - now THAT'S STRESS! So we need to learn to differientiate between triggers and stress. Triggers can be avoided, stress cannot! But it can be kept in check and it can be addressed in health ways! It's a set of skills that all successful quitters have developed - and YOU CAN TOO!