Managing stress

It is true that nicotine can have a certain relaxing effect on our muscles, but the feeling of relaxation is mainly due to nicotine dependence. Smokers lacking nicotine become tense and stressed. Smoking provides the body with its dose of nicotine in order to calm down. But after the first episode of stress, the body claims another dose! Quite a toxic vicious circle.

Stress is a well-known cause of relapse. But did you know that the symptoms related to the lack of nicotine only last for a few minutes on average? Here are a few tools to help you get through any cravings to smoke.
Smart tips
  1. Take a deep breath, get some perspective and try to see things differently, because stress is not only related to events we experience, but also to our perception of them.
  2. Remind yourself of what inspires you to live without tobacco to resist the temptation of smoking. It’s motivating and will help you remain focused on your goals.
  3. Identify your fears and possible difficulties. This will allow you to establish effective strategies for dealing with them.
  4. Accept that you will have ups and downs. Breaking a habit like smoking requires effort and tenacity. It’s normal to experience more difficult moments. You need to be patient and tell yourself that tomorrow, things will be better.
  5. Be vigilant! Excess stress can lead you to start smoking again months or even years after you have quit.
Simple relaxation exercises
There’s nothing better for your body and mind than to take a break, no matter how short. Take advantage of the beneficial effects of these exercises several times a day, especially when you’re feeling tense.

Close your eyes. Re-lean to breathe from down in the abdomen. Inhale deeply through the nose and fill your belly with air. Then exhale slowly, gradually deflating your stomach. Repeat this sequence at least 3 times.

Close your eyes and take a few minutes to concentrate on an image, a sound or a word that you like and that you find calming.

Stand up, raise your arms to the ceiling on each side of your head, join your hands together and stretch upwards as far as possible while breathing in. Then, slowly lower your arms on each side of your body while breathing out. Remain in this position and continue while inhaling and exhaling for each of the following movements:

  • Let your head drop forward slowly and stay there for 10 seconds. Bring your head back up, then tilt it slowly to the right and keep it there for 10 seconds. Do the same thing to the left.

  • Tilt the head to the right, then lower the left shoulder by pushing the palm of the left hand downward. Remain there for 10 seconds. Next, tilt the head to the left, and lower the right shoulder by pushing the palm of the right hand downward. Hold this position for 10 seconds.

Relax. Unwrinkle your forehead, relax your jaw by slightly opening your mouth, then relax your shoulders. Imagine warmth spreading from your head and making its way down to your shoulders. Make this warmth come down to the end of your left arm. Feel the difference between your two arms. Then make the warmth come down your right arm, then down your chest and your abdomen. Finally, allow the warmth to continue on its way down your left leg, and then down your right leg.

For at least 3 minutes, close your eyes, breathe calmly, limit your movements and don’t dwell on your thoughts.