Welcome to Week 4 of QuitSmart™. Congratulations on being halfway through this program that will guide you towards quitting tobacco for good. This week, our focus is on developing skills that calm us down and help us deal with stress in our lives.
Watch Video: How to Deal With Nicotine Withdrawal
Flatten out your hand and hold it at arm's length. Picture that your hand is your problem and you can see it in perspective. Now slowly bring your hand right up to your nose. When you do this, about all you can see is your hand which of course, represents your problem. We spend much of our lives with our nose buried in our problems. When you extend your arm back out, all of the sudden your problem doesn't change. You now see it in perspective – at arm's length – and it doesn't seem as overwhelming anymore.
Stress is a factor in everyone's life and is something we need to learn to manage. When we develop the skills to manage stress, it makes goals like quitting tobacco for good more realistic.
As you are probably aware, people who use tobacco often say it helps them relieve stress. This is because the nicotine releases chemicals in the brain that help lower anxiety for a short time. However, smokers live near the edge of a cliff, so to speak. Most are never more than a few hours away from the start of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Below are some ways that may help you relieve stress effectively:
There are many other things you can do that may help you cope if you feel the urge to use tobacco. Below are some common complaints from other people who quit and what they did to feel better. Keep in mind that each symptom is a sign that your body is healing!
Adapted from the National Cancer Institute booklet, Why Do I Smoke?.
Download the calendar of 31 things to do instead of using tobacco. Choose a few favorite activities from this calendar and begin using them as a substitute to using tobacco.
You will soon develop a habit of using a few favorite substitutes instead of turning to tobacco. This is an excellent sign that your work to quit for good is paying off.
You're bound to experience challenges on your journey to quitting for good. Below are some potential challenges and ideas for overcoming them:
You've made great progress towards better health and quitting tobacco for good. Come back next week to continue your journey towards living a tobacco-free life.
Now, turn to Week 4 in your QuitSmart™ Workbook where you will work on developing skills to manage stress.