There is no denying the fact that there is a link between stress and smoking, and there is no dearth of instances when people have abstained from smoking for varied periods of time – only to light up again and cite stress as the reason. This is simply because, as a smoker, you associate the habit with helping you deal with stressful situations by helping you relax and calm down.
Once you’ve decided to quit smoking you need to realize that the habit only causes harm. Since stress is a part of all our lives, you have to look for other ways to handle/minimize your stress levels. If you do feel like lighting up because you’re stressed, start by thinking if it’s worth undoing all the efforts that you’ve put into the process so far.
Mind over Matter:
While a considerable part of the hardship in quitting smoking involves getting over the physical dependency due to nicotine, someone quitting smoking also faces challenges at an emotional level. In fact, for many, this is where the real challenge lies. Bear in mind that the cravings do decrease with the passing of time, and over a period of time you will notice that stress is also easier to handle.
The Importance of Alternatives:
In dealing with stress when you’re quitting smoking, you basically have to look for different ways that can work as stress busters. In looking for long-term success in your endeavor, this is a very crucial aspect. Understand that you can have a relapse even months or years after you’ve quit smoking because stress gets the better of you. This makes it very important for you to look for ways which can help you deal with all the stress that is bound to come your way in one form or another.
Some Ways to Manage Stress:
Different people who quit smoking use different ways to deal with stress, and what might work for someone might not necessarily work for someone else. So, you need to identify what works for you. Making some form of physical activity a part of your every day schedule is a good option. In case you lead a hectic lifestyle, make sure you take some time out each week either to relax or to partake in an activity you enjoy. Turning to yoga can help, and so can meditation. If you are someone who likes getting immersed in music, you can use it to good effect as well.
If the urge to light up is almost uncontrollable, make a conscious effort to distract yourself in some way. Know that most such urges don’t last for more than five minutes. As long as you can find yourself a suitable distraction, you give yourself a very good chance of not lighting up. It is also equally important that you learn to recognize yourself rationalizing your desire to smoke.
At all times, remember that you’ve already put in a fair amount of effort if you fight so far. And although you might think that smoking will help you deal with your stress, remember that it will not remove the actual cause of the problem. The relief, therefore, will only be temporary. What’s important is for you to find other ways to deal with your stress.