Reality check for smokers: smoking is not a relaxing activity. When a smoker feels anxious or nervous, he would light up a cigarette in hope to calm his nerves. But he's just fooling himself. This belief is rooted from the fact that when a smoker tries to break free from the nicotine addiction, he experiences stressful withdrawal symptoms that go away when he starts smoking again.
This is why many smokers make the mistake of thinking that smoking cures their stress. It's not like that. Quitting the nicotine addiction tenses the body and mind, but cigarette is not the remedy for it. When you get stressed over this, your brain releases a chemical called epinephrine, which has been known to interfere with a person's ability to think clearly and concentrate. This makes it hard for smokers to quit smoking even more. To reduce the stress that comes with kicking the nicotine habit and have better chances for success, here are the things to keep in mind:
Maintain a Positive Outlook
The stress that comes with nicotine withdrawal can leave you feeling discouraged and even depressed. It's imperative that you fight these nagging negative thoughts and maintain a positive outlook. This will help you focus more clearly on your goal, which is to quit gradually but surely. Don't be critical of yourself even if you've tried and failed before. Remember, some quitters take several attempts before achieving a successful quit.
Engage in Relaxation Techniques
Lighting up a stick of cigarette is not the only solution in the world. There are plenty of other things that you can do to sooth your sense and calm your nerves. Find out what works for you. As long as it's healthy, then you're all good. Some ideas to try include:
- breathing exercises
You can also distract yourself by:
- having fun
- watching a movie
- taking a trip
- catching up with old friends
Avoid Stressful Situations
The withdrawal symptoms of nicotine are more than enough to leave you anxious and jittery. Do yourself a favor and avoid situations that are known to trigger your stress. For example, don't take too much work during this time, and hire a professional cleaner to do the monthly house general cleaning. See to it that you give yourself a break so you can escape from the stressful circumstances from time to time.
Exercise has been known to be a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. That's because physical activity boosts the release of brain chemicals that are associated with feelings of well-being. You don't have to enroll in a gym or take up an aerobics class for this purpose if you're not up for it. Simply walking around the neighborhood, swimming with your friends, or going on a biking adventure with your family can get you moving.