New Ways to Relieve Stress

Right now, you might believe that smoking is a good way to deal with stress. It's not surprising when you consider how it gets you outside, away from stressful situations and changes your focus. But now that you've quit, you need to think of other things to do to cope with stress.

We could make a long list of some of the ways we've dealt with stress besides smoking. But each person is different. So we encourage you to explore the possibilities for yourself.

So sit down and imagine the things that might make you feel stressed. An argument with a friend? Being stuck in traffic? Now's the time to prepare for them. What are you going to do when they happen? Think ahead so you're ready.

Here are some other ways that you can reduce your stress level:

  • Spend time with positive, supportive people.

    They can turn around your whole outlook. You can find them in the EX Community.

  • Drink less caffeine.

    Once you go cigarette-free, the effects of caffeine can increase, potentially making you feel nervous or cranky.

  • Exercise or take up a hobby.

    Walk the dog, run, do things with your hands — play cards, go bowling, paint or knit — anything helps. Dr. Hays, our Mayo Clinic expert, has additional advice about exercise here.

  • Carry a bottle of water.

    Take a "cleansing" drink when you feel an urge to smoke.

  • Get enough sleep.

    If you're feeling tired throughout your day, it can make minor little annoyances seem like major issues.

  • Treat yourself to something relaxing.

    Get a massage or pedicure. Maybe go fishing with your friends. Doing something that relaxes you can work miracles.