A lot of smokers have the misconception that they can stop smoking whenever they want to but the reality says otherwise. Cigarette contains nicotine which is highly addictive, and a lot of people find themselves going back to the habit after a couple of days. You can choose to go cold turkey or use stop smoking aids like nicotine patches, gum or electronic cigarettes. However, before you attempt using any of the aids, it is highly advisable to consult medical consultation.

A doctor will be in a position to advise on the best aid to use based on your overall health condition. People, often think that smoking helps them to relax and of course whenever they feel stressed, they light up. What a lot of people do not understand is that nicotine withdrawal has symptoms like restlessness and anxiety. These feelings are often confused with stress since a dose of nicotine makes them feel better. If you are in the process of quitting smoking, here is how you can deal with the feelings of stress during the withdrawal process:

• Identify stress issue

It is important to identify situations that leave you feeling nervous, anxious or stressed and note them down. The sources of these feelings may not be that obvious and it could even be your spouse leaving a room untidy. Since you cannot control all situations or eliminate all sources of stress, you will have to learn how you can handle the stress. Something as trivial as counting from 1 to 10 can help you relax and shift your thoughts to something else.

• Avoid triggers

You should take time to identify smoking triggers which could be emotional, physical activities or certain events. Triggers precipitate a powerful craving to smoke and once you identify them, you can take preventative or alternative measures. When you know what your triggers are, you will have a higher chance of success because you will quickly see it coming. Always have a pre-planned alternative in case you come in contact with a smoking trigger.

Different people have different smoking triggers which mean that what works for someone else might not work for you. You should get rid of all smoking triggers from your home, car and office so that you do not get tempted to light up. Replace the trigger with something healthy like taking a jog, eating a fruit or taking a walk. It will not be easy in the beginning but with time and consistently, but you will eventually beat all your smoking triggers.

• Exercise and balanced diet

Exercises increases the level of endorphins in the body and when you are feeling stressed, it will give you a high to make you feel better. Even a walk is enough to get the blood flowing and get your mind off smoking. Begin your day on the right note by having a good breakfast and follow it up with nutritious meals to keep your energy levels high.

• Relaxation techniques

Some relaxation techniques that can help you out are yoga, relaxing bath or shower, deep breathing exercises, meditation or taking a massage. Again, different techniques work best for different people so it is best to try each one. This will help you to identify the best technique that works best for you and reduces stress levels. For certain relaxation techniques like hypnosis and acupuncture, it is highly advisable to consult a professional. You want to be sure that the technique works for you and not against you to ease stress.

• Some alone time

Everyone one needs some time on their own and especially when you are on the process of quitting smoking. You can take this time to engage in your hobby like reading a book or just taking a warm soak in your bathtub. Being around people all the time can affect your patience and as a result, make you snap. The alone time does not have to be that long and even ten minutes are enough to collect your thoughts and unwind.

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