MANAGING STRESS TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF QUITTING

Stress is part of life. It’s also a major cause of slips and relapses. Stress can be caused by major life changes, small struggles or even happy events like holidays or parties. Managing stress plays a huge role in your tobacco-free life. The benefits are well worth it.

DEALING WITH STRESS AND CRAVINGS

Stress is one of the main triggers of smoking relapse. Even though most smokers know smoking kills and secondhand smoke is toxic, some find it hard to give up cigarettes as a way to manage stress.

Stress is part of life‚ so a key aspect of quitting for many people is finding ways to manage stress and take care of themselves without smoking. Spend some time reflecting and looking for ways to deal with the busy days that are so often a part of life. The benefits of quitting smoking are well worth it.

DEALING WITH STRESS AND CRAVINGS

Here are some ways to relieve stress in your life. Try these fun stress-relieving activities or find what works best for you. Keep looking for ways to be happy, healthy and take care of yourself.

  • Take a break and do something relaxing. Play a game, talk to a friend or take a breather.
  • Take a few deep, relaxing breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Manage stress with exercise. Even a short walk helps fight nicotine cravings.
  • Visualize a safe, relaxing place. Enjoy being there for a few minutes.
  • Mentally scan your body for tension. When you find an area that’s knotted, try stretching‚ exercise or rubbing your shoulders‚ neck and head.
  • Talking to friends or family about your life is a great stress management technique.
  • Take care of yourself by eating a balanced diet, drinking lots of water and getting enough sleep.
  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine. If you are feeling stressed‚ drinking coffee‚ tea or soda can make it worse. Cut back to relieve stress.

* From smokefree.gov

Need help managing stress? Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or register online for free, nonjudgmental support from a Quit CoachTM.