It’s a common misconception that smoking is an instant stress-reliver, which is likely why so many of us turn to tobacco to cope when stress hits.
However, research continues to show that smoking *actually* increases anxiety and tension. How, you ask? Well, this is because nicotine creates an immediate feeling of relaxation which is what we so desperately crave in a stressful time, but this feeling is only temporary and soon your body surrenders to withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings which, you guessed it – causes stress!
Now, stress is a normal part of life and not something we can avoid which is why it’s important we have stress-management tips so we can cope. However, there is much more healthier stress-management strategies that you can invest in which doesn’t require dropping £13.30 on something that only leaves you feeling worse, and did we mention *increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions and leaves (we’re talking about cigarettes!).
In the time it takes to smoke a cigarette, you could do something else that’s much more effective for your health and wellbeing. Take a look below at our FREE top stress-busting tips that’ll keep cravings at bay and make you shy away from the cigarettes.
- Exercise – we know it’s a cliché, but it really does work wonders. Being active is the best endorphin-releaser to reduce stress. Exercise doesn’t just have to be a gruelling HIIT workout which you spend half the time wishing was over, but can be any movement such as walking or dancing. Find the movement that you enjoy and stick with it!
- Talk – you don’t have to deal with stress alone. Try talking about your feelings to a loved one or health professional. You can also contact Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected] who are there to listen 24/7.
- Self-care – make an extra effort to ensure you’re properly taking care of yourself. Even things like eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water (you should aim for at least 2 litres!) and getting enough sleep can have a big impact on your stress levels.
- Go for a nap – we’re always looking for any excuse to go for a lie down! As we’ve mentioned above, sleep plays a big role in stress levels. Before you hit the hay, make sure you create a restful environment by drawing those curtains and digging out an eye mask.
- Locate your stress – did you know we can feel tension and stress in certain areas of our body? Take a moment to feel where the tension in your body is and go for a nice, long bath, stretch or persuade someone in your family to give you a massage to release some of this built-up tension.
- Breathe – this may sound like a no-brainer, but when we’re feeling overwhelmed and under a lot of stress, we often forget to just breathe. Take a few slow, deep breaths in and out and allow your body to relax.
Here at Everyone Health, we provide you with FREE Specialist Stop Smoking Support for 12 weeks, including free Nicotine Replacement Therapy to give you the best chance at quitting for good and finding alternative ways to cope with stress. Contact our team on 0333 005 0095 to find out more about the service and sign-up today. * What are the health risks of smoking? – NHS (www.nhs.uk)