Managing Stress for a Healthier Life

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Oct 13, 2009

Remember, by stopping smoking you will improve your health and self-image. An increase in self-esteem can offer more energy to daily challenges. A helpful stress management approach is regular exercise, such as walking, or any activity you enjoy. Also, talking with a friend can improve your feelings or approach to problems. Once approach is to recognize if a stress or is something you can or cannot control. One idea is to apply the "4 A's". Perhaps a level of acceptance can be achieved if you have no control over the situation. If you feel you have some control, think if you can avoid the situation, such as leave earlier for work or avoid encounters which you know will upset you. Often we can have influence over situations by altering our approach, or modifying our reaction, and the outcome is less stressful. Finally, try adapting to a situation by seeing it as a challenge rather than a defeat. It's easy to lose a realistic perspective when something aggravates us. Say to yourself, "Will this matter one year from now?" or "How serious is this really?" We know life is not stress-free, but we do have some control over the management of stress that does not require smoking. To learn more about how to identify and deal with triggers, like stress, visit www.BecomeAnEX.org.

Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated over 33,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org