Everyone feels stress sometimes. It’s a natural physical or emotional response to challenging situations or even good things like being promoted, moving, starting a new relationship or getting married. When you’re a tobacco user, your first reaction to stress may be to reach for a tobacco product such as a cigarette, a dip or an e-cigarette. Instead, try stress reduction tools to help you focus on staying quit.
Know Your Stressors
Knowing what makes you feel stressed can make staying quit that much easier.
- Keep a log. Write down the situations when you feel stressed, anxious or nervous.
- Be aware of stressors that may not always be obvious. Is it traffic that gives you stress, or the fact that you wake up late and end up rushing to work? The more you learn about what makes you tick, the better prepared you will be during stressful times.
Apply the 4 A’s
Once you understand what places, activities or people make you feel stressed, you can strategize how to handle it better in the future. Create a plan using the following tips:
- Avoid the stressor. Nope, you can’t avoid every stressful situation. But, there are some stressors you may be able to control while quitting. Maybe that means waking up 15 minutes earlier (it’s not as hard as it sounds!) so that you don’t have to rush to work.
- Alter the situation. For stressors you can’t get rid of, try changing the situation. This might mean using your time more wisely, compromising or asking friends to meet at the movies instead of a hookah bar. Relieving tension from stressful situations will make you less likely to turn to tobacco.
- Accept what you can’t change. It honestly takes more energy to be negative. Instead, focus on the things you can control and look at the positives when you can. You quit tobacco, and that is seriously something to be proud of!
- Adapt to the situation. Look at situations from a new point of view. Ask yourself, “Will this matter in a year or five years?” If you’re bummed that you’re not going to the hookah bar with friends so that you won’t be tempted by tobacco, remind yourself that you’re doing what’s right for you.
Remember, not every option is right for everyone. It is important to think about what will work for you based on what’s stressful in your life, how much time you have, where you are and your personality. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques though. You might be surprised at how well you can handle life’s stresses once you’re armed with the right tools!