If you have decided to quit smoking or in the process of quitting smoking you may find your life a bit more stressful, if you don’t already. Just thinking about quitting smoking can induce feelings of stress and anxiety. Nicotine withdrawal can also make a person quitting smoking feel a bit stressed out. So how do you deal with stress while quitting smoking?
First and foremost to be able to deal with the stress of quitting smoking you need to be able to recognize the symptoms of stress. These symptoms may include anxiety, sweating, increased heart rate, memory loss, fatigue, frustration, and rapid breathing. Being aware of the symptoms of stress can greatly increase your chances of dealing with the stress while you quit smoking.
When you do encounter a stressful situation or event while quitting smoking don’t run down to the corner gas station for a pack of cigarettes. Instead evaluate the situation and see if there is anything you can change. At times we encounter stress that we do have some control over. If possible remove yourself from the situation for a few moments. Also consider the situation and rate it on its importance. It may be a situation that really does not matter at all. Like the old saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. ”
One of the challenges when quitting smoking is the dependency the smoker has grown accustom to when faced with stressful events. Ultimately, after quitting smoking you will have to develop new ways to deal with stress other than smoking. It is important for long-term success in quitting smoking that you change the way you handle stress. Many smokers relapse months or years later because they did not take this step. You can choose how you react to stress, people, and situations in your everyday life. Learn how to manage your reactions so that you don’t have to have a cigarette.
Other ways to manage stress while you quit smoking is by joining a gym, walking, or other forms of physical activity. Exercising is a great way to manage stress and improve the quality of your life. Taking time out each day to just relax is also very important. During this time you can read a good book or practice meditation. Practicing breathing exercises has also shown to be effective in managing stress after quitting smoking.
Most likely you will incorporate several stress management techniques into your efforts to quit smoking. In the long run the better you get at them the better your life will be. Not just because you quit smoking but also because you have developed new and healthy ways to manage your stress.
Jason D is an ex-smoker and publisher of a Quitting Smoking website. Visit for information on the Health Effects of Smoking .