How to relieve stress after smoking cessation


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Learn how to manage and reduce the stress that surfaces as a result of smoking cessation. You can quit with less stress if you apply these strategies.

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How to relieve stress after smoking cessation

  1. 1. How to Relieve Stress after Smoking Cessation By
  2. 2. Introduction• When you try to quit smoking, it comes with a lot of stress. This article examines ways to relieve stress when you eventually drop off cigarettes.
  3. 3. Smokers on Why They Smoke• Many smokers say they smoke to relieve stress. They claim cigarettes are an excellent stress reliever each time they are under tension or pressure but experts debunk their claim.• In a study published in the October 1999 issue of the American Psychological Association’s American Psychologist, Dr Andrew C. Parrot of the Department of Psychology, University of East London, Great Britain investigated more than 30 international studies on the relationship between stress and smoking and concluded that nicotine actually increases stress and anxiety, instead of lowering it.
  4. 4. Smokers on Why They Smoke(2)• In yet another British study involving researchers from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, it was discovered that kicking the smoking habit reduces stress levels to a large extent. The study involved 469 smokers who attempted to quit cigarettes after being admitted to hospital for heart disease. They discovered that those who abstained from cigarettes for 12 months experienced a reduction in their superficial stress levels.
  5. 5. Smokers on Why They Smoke(3)• The study, published in the journal Addiction, recommended that quitting may not only benefit smokers’ physical health, but possibly their mental well-being as well.• Now that we have established that quit smoking and not cigarette smoking that reduces stress, let’s look at how to relieve stress when you decide to give up smoking.
  6. 6. Why Is Quit Smoking Stressful?• Smoking cessation is stressful because of the sudden changes the body goes through. Even though we say change is the most permanent thing in life, our body reacts angrily to this change. This is because it is being denied of a substance (nicotine) that helps it to function ‘normally’.• If you have ever smoked for a while, you’ll realize that very soon after picking the smoking habit, you somehow become addicted to cigarettes and seem to need more of nicotine in your blood stream to attain ‘normal’ functioning levels.
  7. 7. Why Is Quit Smoking Stressful?(2)• Experts say this is a chemical addiction which can lead to severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms should you decide to quit. Chemical dependence sets in because the nicotine that the body gets from smoking excites the brain; it elicits pleasurable feelings and the body craves more of such.
  8. 8. Why Is Quit Smoking Stressful?(3)• So, a smoker keeps on smoking and even increases the pack of cigarettes smoked just to meet this body need. And because the body has become so used to having nicotine, a cessation of nicotine supplies is going to spell trouble. It’s going to bring about a lot of stress which have to be carefully handled to avoid a relapse.
  9. 9. So, How Can You Reduce Stress While You Quit Smoking?• 1) Exercise: Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Get physical. Several studies have indicated that mild to moderate physical workouts can greatly reduce stress. Walking for as little as 15 minutes every day is said to be hugely beneficial to the body and mind as you attempt to quit cigarettes. This is because exercise elicits endorphins, which make the body and mind feel good. Call it the ‘feel good’ hormone and you won’t be far from the truth. Once you have this ‘feel good’ chemicals in your system, you tend to detest the ‘feel good’ feelings you get from nicotine when you smoke and that is why researchers say smoking and exercise are incompatible; one has to make way for the other. Read more about the advantages of physical workouts to stop smoking.
  10. 10. So, How Can You Reduce Stress While You Quit Smoking?(2)• 2) Get Support; Don’t Go It Alone: Soliciting the help of friends and family while you quit smoking will no doubt go a long way to ensure your success. Each time you feel pressured to smoke, pick up your phone and call anyone who can help to discuss your challenges. Doing this immediately takes your mind off the need to smoke. You can even take this a step further and get an accountability partner (preferably someone who has successfully dropped off cigarettes) to help you through the stress smoking cessation elicits.
  11. 11. So, How Can You Reduce Stress While You Quit Smoking?(3)• 3) Develop a New Hobby. Learning how to do things with your hands will help take your mind off what you’re trying to achieve. A new hobby like knitting, sewing, playing the piano, sax or trumpet can greatly take your mind off the pressurizing need to light up. It makes you feel relaxed and confident that you can successfully cease smoking if you can learn and develop a new hobby.
  12. 12. So, How Can You Reduce Stress While You Quit Smoking?(4)• 4) Pamper Yourself: The early cessation period requires that you worry less about tomorrow and pay particular attention to your needs today. Eat a balanced diet devoid of caffeine and alcohol, drink plenty of water, take a warm bath, go for a massage, try on a new hairstyle, consume lots of fruits and vegetables and get plenty of sleep.
  13. 13. So, How Can You Reduce Stress While You Quit Smoking?(5)• 5) Practice Deep Breathing Exercises: Deeply breathing in and out can also relieve the stress occasioned by smoking cessation. Several times, throughout the day, just after you quit cigarettes, inhale fresh air in deeply. Take as many drags as possible and completely let out the air taken in without any reservations. Repeat this several times a day; it sure works wonders and frees up your chest, relieves your body of stress and fills your lungs with fresh air.
  14. 14. Conclusion• There you have it, 5 stress relief tips you can utilize during stop smoking; engage them today, you’ll be glad you did!• References• “Does Cigarette Smoking Cause Stress?” Andy C. Parrott, Ph.D., University of East London, American Psychologist, Vol. 54, No. 10.• “Quit Smoking Reduces Stress” June 17, 2010
  15. 15. Thanks for Reading!!!• For more incisive articles, please visit: •