Addressing Anxiety Before Quitting
Has the idea of quitting made you feel overwhelmed, restless or tense? This anxiety is normal! Your mind and body are reacting to a stressful and unfamiliar situation. Anxiety can be a roadblock to quitting.
Exploring and accepting these feelings can be hard. For example, being a non-smoker is unfamiliar. Maybe you started smoking as a teen and it’s been part of your life ever since. You might think of yourself as a smoker now.
The idea of not being a smoker anymore could feel odd or overwhelming. That may be true! At the same time, it is also true that you were not a smoker during another time in your life. When anxiety is telling you one thing, explore what else may be true.
Six Small Steps You Can Take to Manage Anxiety Before Quitting Cigarettes
You can take small steps to manage anxiety before quitting. These steps should be manageable and realistic for you. When you set yourself up for success, quitting can be less stressful and overwhelming.
Learn about proven methods to quit. Consider which methods work best for you.
Read about what has worked for others. It may be helpful to know that many of us shared this feeling of anxiety in the beginning.
Try the RAIN mindfulness method. Mindfulness is being aware of what you’re sensing and feeling.
Prepare for quitting by thinking about what your triggers are and how to beat them. Having a plan for tough moments can make them easier.
Journal in the EX Community. It can be helpful to write your thoughts down.
Practice ways to manage stress and anxiety. Try deep breathing, grounding, or visualization exercises.
You might feel grief at the loss of smoking in your life. This is normal. Grieving takes time, so be gentle and compassionate to yourself.
Anxiety is a normal part of quitting and of life. But when it interferes with your daily activities, it’s important to reach out for help. Consider who can support you, including your healthcare provider and the EX Community. You don’t need to go through it alone.