I am a worrier. I don't know if I can stop if stressing is my main trigger. I don't know how to stop stressing.
Welcome to EX...Youngatheart.7.4.12 will be along soon to give you an official welcome. In the meantime, please understand and accept that smoking does not help with stress, it CAUSES it, it FEEDS it. As you are smoking that "stress" cigarette, you are simply satisfying your addiction and by the time you finish, you are already stressing about the next time you can smoke. Your life revolves around finding places and times when you can smoke. Smoking really does not fix ANYTHING, it does not help with stress or anger or sadness...the addiction tells you that it does and it stuffs those feelings down but they are still there. When we quit smoking, we actually feel things that we are not used to feeling because we are used to stuffing them. Those feelings SEEM more intense than they are because we have little or no experience in dealing with them. Feelings are normal, they are part of life, smoking is NOT normal and really CAN kill you. I say that as someone who suffers from COPD because I kept putting off my quit. I have learned so much from this site and the people here. I came here every morning and every evening and after more than 4 1/2 years, I still do for the most part. I do it to remind myself of where I came from and to try to help newbies to understand how they have been lied to for as long as they smoked. Education about this addiction is HUGE, getting support from people who have been where you are, and your own commitment to not smoke, no matter what, will bring you through to freedom. My mantra when I came here was NOPE, Not One Puff Ever...I got that from this site.
You CAN do this...I will not tell you that it is easy, it's a one day at a time journey and there will be good days and bad days...just like there are when you smoke. No crave ever killed anyone but no one can say that about smoking.
Welcome to our community!
When you do the reading I will recommend, you will learn that smoking CAUSES stress-what you feel when you smoke is a momentary cessation of your brain sensors needing a fix. Exercise of any kind relieves stress, as does taking slow/deep breaths - going slower and deeper with each. You can find videos on YouTube with exercise, yoga and chair yoga. There are also guided meditation videos that might be of help. If you suffer from anxiety, a visit to your doctor might be in order before your quit date.
The important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This is an easy and entertaining read. You can search for it online or at your local library. Here's a link to a video here on the site which describes nicotine addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpWMgPHn0Lo&feature=youtu.be. You should also read the posts here and perhaps go to the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmoking.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance. You should also do the tracking and separation exercises recommended here on the site. After you have completed the recommended reading, it will be time to make an informed choice of the quit aid, if any, you will use. If you go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for three reasons: 1) the vapor has been compared to the polluted air in Bejing on a bad day, 2) they just provide another nicotine delivery system while continuing the hand to mouth smoking motion, and 3) the batteries can spontaneously catch on fire. . But – any method that you think will work well for you will be best for you. The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand in a place different from when you smoked. Maybe switch to tea for a bit. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T. You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Keep a cold bottle of water with you from which to sip. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Youngatheart.7.4.12-blog/2013/02/25/100-things-to-do-instead-of-smoke
The conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do. Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
Ellen and Nancy have given you lots of great info. Carr's book is great and made a huge difference to me. After 40 years of smoking I was so surprised to find out that smoking was NOT helping at all with handling stress! Please - read the book and keep hanging out here. You can do this!
It has been proven that smoking causes stress. We have to learn the truth in order to become free of all the lies the tobacco industry has brainwashed us to believe. Quitting Smoking: A Surprising Stress Management Technique!
Hello and welcome,
I am fairly new here.... What I have read here and I now believe wholeheartedly is this.... Smoking never helped anything, it never made a sitution easier. It was a coping skill, that we learned along the way.
In the words of Winnie the Pooh,
"You are braver than you believe,
Stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
You can do this! Keep going.
Hi Alva... WELCOME
Regarding stress as a trigger. #1 for MOST of us, stress was our biggest trigger to smoke, and one of the very hardest triggers to get beyond. #2. There is no way you will not face stress in your life. Nonsmokers deal with stress every day. You can be one of them, the key is to learn new skills to cope with the stresses that life throws at every single person.
My stress go-to is was and evermore shall be deep breathing exercises. When stress, or anger, or anxiety starts to grab me, I do what is called 4 x 4 breathing, for at least 6 or 7 cycles.... deep breath in thru nose...count of four... hold count of four...whoosh out thru pursed lips count of four, hold again count of four.
This can be relaxing, and can also give a slight head-rush that smoking after abstinence can give you.
Sometimes popping a tootsie pop, or stick of gum, in your mouth can turn the tide. Punch a pillow, kick a can, do jumpingjacks or other physical activity. The point is to find new "go-to"s in place of grabbing for a cigarette.
YOU CAN DO THIS!!
Stress is right up there in the top 5 reasons why every smoker doesn't want to quit. It might be number one. Education and planning, already said here, are critical to quitting. It's about turning I can't quit to I can quit. Ex is here to offer you all the support you ask for. Quitting might be messy for a little while at first, but eventually you get over smoking. One day at a time makes quitting a lot more manageable.
Welcome to Ex!
Stop smoking. You’ll figure out other ways to deal with stress. You can’t wait until you’ve figured out the magic formula for stress management. There is no magic formula. I guarantee stopping smoking will take away a huge source of stress, probably several. Start by paying real close attention to how you feel when smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant. For most people that means it makes you LESS calm not more calm. You have to take time out of your day (a lot of time) to smoke. That adds stress. You have to spend money on cigs. That added expense creates stress. You have to worry about offending non-smokers. You can’t hardly smoke anywhere in public anymore. That’s stressful. We hear messages all the time about the health effects of smoking. That scared the hell out of me, which made me feel stressed. By making one change (no longer smoking) you eliminate all these sources of stress. Pay attention. Smoking is causing more stress, not helping you deal with it. At best, it’s a temporary distraction. I find relief from stress by facing problems, not procrastinating like when I was smoking.
You need to learn how to react differently to situations that you ran away from and used cancer sticks to cope. You have to relearn new healthy techniques to handle those situations. It is doable, I promise.
You've already got some great feedback......not much to add, except.....
You can do this....you really can!
Smoking isn't going to help your stress...once you realize that stress is not likely to kill you...you might be able to accept the fact that smoking IS likely to kill you AND keep feeding the stress.
You CAN do this!
You are right, i am starting to see. One hour at a time.
I am really glad to hear that...it's one day at a time and when that is too long, it is one FEELING at a time...breathe through the stress...deep breath IN, hold it, exhale VERY slowly through pursed lips...much like you did when you smoked. You CAN do this...it is definitely not easy but it IS DOABLE.
Geez I think we stress over our stressing"! Then sometimes we are not stressing we stress over that! Stress and placing it aside is a really tough decision. Just like taking a step to be a a Non-smoker for life. It is moment to moment, day to day, til it becomes a fading memory (I hope). I'm only 3 almost days in this time and the very last time! However, previous quits, I know this statement is true for me ( the constant yearns will fade) !
AlvaMary You can do this. (We will and can do this) !!
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