By Kayalvizhi Arivalan

Strategies to deal with stress instead of smoking

When you’re stressed, do you seek relief from a cigarette? If yes, then you’re not alone. The majority of smokers turn to cigarettes to relieve stress. Reaching for a cigarette might become a natural response to uncomfortable feelings in life because it feels like a means to escape. “Though it’s a common misconception that smoking relieves stress symptoms, the truth is that smoking exacerbates stressful or challenging situations because nicotine elevates your heart rate and blood pressure, forcing your heart to work harder and making relaxing impossible,” reveals Gagan Dhawan, Founder and CEO, The New Me who says It also causes the skin to wrinkle quickly.

“When you stop smoking for an extended period of time, you acquire withdrawal symptoms and a strong need for nicotine. Nicotine also reduces cravings and offers a brief spike of dopamine,” he adds.

Many experts believe that it can be tough to train your brain to avoid the need to smoke when things get stressful, but it is doable. “You may control your urges and prevent yourself from succumbing to the impulse. You may have learned how to deal with stress by smoking. There are, however, stress-relieving alternatives to smoking. Some of these solutions will require some practise, while others can be applied straight away,” Dhawan adds when discussing ways to deal with stress through smoking.

Practice Deep Breathing - Deep breathing can help calm jittery nerves and relieve tension quickly. Your body’s tension starts to dissipate when you inhale three counts with your nose and exhale three counts through your mouth. You can also incorporate meditation into your deep breathing routine. Allow your thoughts to come and go without focusing on one in particular by concentrating on your breath. To begin, set a timer for five minutes each day. Meditation has been related to increased self-control. It will be of great help to assist you in overcoming intense cravings during withdrawal.

Exercise And Eat Right – A form of physical activity is beneficial to your physical and mental health; exercise, fresh air, and a higher heart rate help alleviate stress symptoms. Early cessation is when you should pay special attention to ensuring that all of your needs are addressed. Your body requires high-quality fuel as it tries to remove toxins from your system. Since cigarettes deplete numerous nutrients and vitamins, you should begin replacing them with a well-balanced diet. Water is also a fantastic way to help you quit smoking. It aids in the detoxification process and can be used as a hunger suppressant. Hence, you will feel better overall if you stay hydrated.

Step Out - Put on your walking shoes and take a short walk every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. It will help you manage stress as you quit smoking. In short, walking calms the mind and enhances circulation.

Indulge In Hobbies - Listen to your favorite music, dance if you like, read books to soothe your mind, go swimming or play a sport. Indulging in hobbies is an excellent way to reduce stress and distract yourself from the strong urge to smoke.

Talk To Someone - It feels fantastic to rant to friends, family, or coworkers about smoking; you’ll know who the best advisors are in your life. You could also get advice from a trained specialist.

Sleep Properly - Quitting might be exhausting in the beginning since your body and mind are both stressed. The longer you don’t smoke, the less tired you will feel.

People who quit smoking experienced a peak in weariness after six weeks and subsequently began to feel better. When you stop smoking, you may also feel emotionally fatigued. Smoking may have helped you cope with emotions that you now need to learn to address through healthy coping techniques.

Managing Withdrawal - Your body reacts physically to nicotine withdrawal and to the thousands of chemicals in cigarette smoke that you ingest. You must be prepared to deal with the stress that comes with this rehabilitation stage. Understanding how stress plays a role in early nicotine addiction recovery and having a few skills to deal with the distress will help you handle it successfully.

Cut Down On Caffeine - When you stop smoking, the amount of coffee or caffeinated drinks you’re used to drinking may cause you to feel jittery and worried. So, cut down on caffeine when you are in the process of giving up smoking. You’ll probably be able to drink coffee again once you’ve gone through the withdrawal phase.

Focus On The Present - Many of us waste a lot of time thinking about things other than the day in front of us. Try not to think about tomorrow or any other day when dealing with nicotine withdrawal. Try your best not to get caught up in the terror of ‘never being able to smoke again’. Instead, vow to make the most of the present moment. You have the option of quitting smoking for the day. That’s all there is to it.

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