What is stress? The definition of stress is merely your reaction to an event, not the event itself. Quitting tobacco may place you in a position where you do not have that security/ comfort you once had, possibly leading to distress.
One concept that has been prominent in recovery communities for many years and is gaining more traction in the field of health and wellness is the idea of gratitude and mindfulness:
Gratitude is considered an attitude or expression of thankfulness and appreciation for what one has. Simply, gratitude is about focusing on the positives in our lives instead of dwelling on the negatives. Researchers are finding that an attitude of gratitude not only increases happiness and well-being, but can lessen feelings of stress, anger, and depression.
Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
- Keep a gratitude journal – Each night try jotting down several things you are grateful for in your life. They can be as simple as having a good book to read or being able to breathe fresh, clean air.
- Help others who are struggling – Being of service to others can help us appreciate what we have in our lives and can provide us with a different perspective on our own challenges.
- Keep an attitude of gratitude– Compare these two statements: “I can’t smoke today.” & “I don’t have to smoke.” How we choose to think about a situation can determine how we feel and act. Think positive!
- Develop a mantra - Many people in recovery recite the Serenity Prayer to appreciate what they can control and accept what they cannot. Consider memorizing a favorite phrase or prayer that brings peace and positivity into your life.
- Find symbols that represent gratitude– Whether it’s writing down inspirational quotes, creating a gratitude board on Pinterest, or keeping a picture of your loved ones at work, surround yourself with the things that motivate you.
Explore brief mindfulness exercises by Dr. Sood of Mayo Clinic http://stressfree.org/