Many people use tobacco to avoid emotional distress, but the truth is when you try to avoid anguish; it actually causes more suffering in the long-term. Your tobacco use may temporarily help you avoid uncomfortable feelings, but it also becomes an emotional crutch for coping with daily life circumstances. Suppressing your emotions hinders your ability to develop coping mechanisms that will increase overall personal growth. In addition, your feelings never get resolved and overtime your tobacco use takes a toll on your physical and mental well-being. So, how do you get comfortable with uncomfortable emotions? Here are a few tips that may help:
- Try being uncomfortable in small doses. Sit for 30 seconds and pay attention to the discomfort. Notice where you feel the emotion in your body. It will feel uneasy at first but your life will move forward instead of being stuck.
- Immerse yourself in the discomfort by identifying how you feel. Instead of saying, “I am angry” or “I am anxious” say, “This is anger” or “This is anxiety.” Face your feelings head on and accept them.
- Seek out discomfort and challenge yourself. Find uncomfortable things to do and do them. If you dislike speaking in public, being hugged etc., do more of it.
- Figure out what you have been avoiding and stop avoiding them one by one.
- Learn that discomfort can be your friend. It is a sign that you are growing.
While you are trying to quit tobacco, challenge yourself and embrace being uncomfortable. It is in the uncomfortableness that you will begin to grow and no longer need the tobacco as your crutch.