Using tobacco might have an effect that makes you think that you are less stressed. The truth? It actually doesn’t. In fact, smoking makes the heart beat faster, increases the breathing rate, and causes the body to use more oxygen. One of the main reasons that people think that smoking helps them calm down is because it usually requires them to remove themselves from the situation or serves as a distraction from the stress.
Remove yourself from the situation
One of the most effective ways to relieve stress is to remove yourself from the stressful situation. That’s why people go on vacations – they need a break from the elements of their life that are making them stressed out. We encourage you to take a mini-vacation from the stressors that are making you want to smoke. Go to the bathroom. Wash your face. Make a healthy snack. Listen to your favorite song. Do something to divert your attention from the main problem.
Quitting tobacco use requires you to think about other stress relievers that may help you when you’re facing a situation that makes you want to smoke.
Here are some of the most useful that we’ve found when talking to our callers:
- Controlled deep breathing. We have lots of techniques that can help you breathe more deeply which will, in turn, help the mind relax.
- Meditation. This technique of stress relief can help you focus on a completely different place than where you currently are.
- Prayer. Many people find that the repetition in prayer helps them focus on something other than smoking.
- Reading. It’s fairly easy to open a book, magazine or website to make yourself concentrate on that content instead of tobacco.
- Journaling. People have told us that they started journaling about their quitting process in order to vent about how they’re feeling and keep track of their physical health improvements.
Remember that we are here at the Quitline to help you feel less stressed. Giving us a call is a perfect example of something that you can do to remove yourself from your stressful situation and help you better manage your cravings. We can talk to you more about some techniques that might be best for you based on the type of stress you’re dealing with. Feel free to call us at 1-866-QUIT-YES.