Managing stress is an important component of quitting smoking. Stress may be the reason you started smoking, and may be the reason you relapse. A little time spent on prevention and learning new stress management techniques can go a long way in keeping you an ex-smoker.
- Time Management - Prioritize, plan ahead, make "to do" lists, and use your time efficiently. Take a day and document everything you do so you can discover your "time wasters" like email, web surfing, TV, and/or chatting with co-workers, for example.
- Time for Yourself - Write in your planner or on your "to do" list a block of time for yourself. Give priority to activities that you enjoy so you can recharge.
- Know What is Important to You - On a piece of paper, draw two circles. In one circle brainstorm everything that is important to you. In the other circle, list what you spend your time on. Do they match up? Is there a way to get these circles to match up more closely? Spending time on the things that are important to us can be an important step in reducing stress.
- Be Assertive - Being assertive allows you to express your feelings without hurting others. Recognize what the problem is and identify what you really want to happen. Learn to express your feelings with
. This will help you stay in control. Finally, practice setting limits using assertive communication.
- Positive Self Talk - We all have little conversations in our head but the question is, are these conversations helpful or counter-productive? Work on recognizing negative self-talk and initially turn these statements into something positive. It will take a lot of practice but with time, positive self-talk will be natural.
- Laugh - Humor can definitely lift your spirits. Laughing can help you cope with sometimes unbearable life events. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. If nothing else, rent a good comedy movie to keep your spirits up.
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