It’s no secret that tobacco smoking is one of the most dangerous vices that a person can have. It can be especially harmful to the respiratory system, and it’s considered the primary cause of many chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease or sakit sa baga, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes, among other ailments.
That’s why deciding to quit smoking can be one of the best and most important decisions that you can make for yourself. However, most people view smoking as a crutch that helps them relieve stress. For a lot of former smokers, it can indeed be difficult to function without it. Instead of falling back into the habit of lighting up, though, consider these strategies that you can employ every time you’re feeling stressed out.
The first few days and weeks after you’ve decided to quit smoking are going to be the toughest. Breaking the habit will require a significant amount of self-control. You can help set yourself up for success by making extra sure that all of your basic needs are being properly met. Giving your body what it requires can also keep your stress levels low, minimizing the need to manage it, and thus curbing the urge to reach for a cigarette.
Start by making sure that you’re eating well and healthily. A well-balanced diet packed with nutrients and vitamins doesn’t just nourish the body, but it also soothes the soul. Consider incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your meals and cutting out excess salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Manage your cravings with healthy snacks such as carrot sticks, apple slices, pickles, granola, and nut mixes. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water, or at least choose lower calorie beverage options.
It’s also a good idea to improve your sleeping habits to make sure that you’re getting enough rest at night. Sleep deprivation or puyat is one of the leading triggers of stress, which is why it’s worth getting your 8 to 10 hours’ worth of shuteye. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, consider taking a warm bath before bed, having a bit of sleepytime tea, or looking into melatonin gummies.
Don’t Let The Stressors Pile Up
For the vast majority of people, stress doesn’t hit all at once. Rather, it’s something that tends to accumulate, usually with small stressors that pile up over time. This can include things like a disagreement with a friend, dishes piling up in the sink, or a tight deadline at work.
If you can, try getting ahead of these stressors by resolving them as soon as they happen. Otherwise, they’ll only continue to nag at you. You’ll feel much better when you get even the smallest chores out of the way instead of putting them off for another day.
Manage Your Stress Sooner Rather Than Later
Similar to the previous point, when it comes to managing stress, it’s better to deal with it sooner rather than later. This means being more aware of your stress levels so that you know when it’s time to take a step back.
Stress can manifest any number of ways for each person. For some people, it can be pressure headaches or an upset stomach. For others, it can come in the form of craving certain types of food. The idea is to check in with yourself and be honest about how you feel. A lot of us have been conditioned to power through what we feel are minor setbacks without knowing that we’re already stretching ourselves too thin. Keep an eye on yourself and know when to walk away.
Call A Friend
It’s never a bad thing to ask for help when you need it. In a lot of ways, venting to a trusted friend or family member can be one of the best ways to keep your stress levels manageable. Not only does this help you get what’s bugging you off your chest, it can also be beneficial towards working the problem out and arriving at a possible solution.
Another way to get social support and stay accountable in your decision to quit is by getting in touch with other former smokers through a support group. These people are either going through the same things that you’re experiencing now or have been through them before and emerged successful and smoke-free on the other side. The challenges they’ve faced and how they managed to overcome them can inform your journey towards kicking the habit for good.
It can be difficult to live without something that you’ve relied on for so long. However, the decision to quit smoking is always worth it. These methods of coping with stress should help. Good luck!