Managing stress

It’s true that smoking or vaping can have a relaxing effect, but this feeling of relaxation is mainly due to nicotine dependence. The nicotine-deprived person become tense and stressed, and cigarettes or vape provide the necessary dose to calm down. But once the effect passes, or as soon as a stressful situation arises, the brain asks for more... It’s a toxic cycle!

Stress is a well-known cause of relapse. Learn how to better manage it and find other ways to relax. There are only advantages to discovering stress-busting tips such as taking breaks during the day, practicing mindful breathing, learning how to meditate, making sleep a priority, etc. There are also apps that can help you become more Zen! Don’t hesitate to explore these online tools.

6 smart tips

  1. Take a deep breath, get some perspective and try to see things differently, because stress is not only related to events we experience, but also to our perception of them.

  2. Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to stop smoking or vaping to resist the temptation. It’s motivating and will help you remain focused on your goals.

  3. Identify your fears and possible difficulties. This will allow you to establish effective strategies for dealing with them.

  4. Accept that you will have ups and downs. Breaking an addiction requires effort and tenacity. It’s normal to experience more difficult moments. You need to be patient and tell yourself that tomorrow, things will be better.

  5. Treat yourself, you deserve it! A good book, a bouquet of flowers, a cooking class, a trip to the museum, a tool or gadget of your choice... With the money saved, you can afford it!

  6. Be vigilant! Excess stress can lead to a relapse months or even years after you have quit.

5 relaxation strategies

There’s nothing better for your body and mind than to take a break, no matter how short. Take advantage of the beneficial effects of these exercises several times a day, especially when you’re feeling tense.

1. Breathing

Close your eyes. Re-lean to breathe from down in the abdomen. Inhale deeply through the nose and fill your belly with air. Then exhale slowly, gradually deflating your stomach. Repeat this sequence at least 3 times.

2. Quick meditation

Close your eyes and take a few minutes to concentrate on an image, a sound or a word that you like and that you find calming.

3. Short stretch

Stand up, raise your arms to the ceiling on each side of your head, join your hands together and stretch upwards as far as possible while breathing in. Then, slowly lower your arms on each side of your body while breathing out. Remain in this position and continue while inhaling and exhaling for each of the following movements:

  • Let your head drop forward slowly and stay there for 10 seconds. Bring your head back up, then tilt it slowly to the right and keep it there for 10 seconds. Do the same thing to the left.

  • Tilt the head to the right, then lower the left shoulder by pushing the palm of the left hand downward. Remain there for 10 seconds. Next, tilt the head to the left, and lower the right shoulder by pushing the palm of the right hand downward. Hold this position for 10 seconds.

4. Relaxation

Relax. Unwrinkle your forehead, relax your jaw by slightly opening your mouth, then relax your shoulders. Imagine warmth spreading from your head and making its way down to your shoulders. Make this warmth come down to the end of your left arm. Feel the difference between your two arms. Then make the warmth come down your right arm, then down your chest and your abdomen. Finally, allow the warmth to continue on its way down your left leg, and then down your right leg.

5. Empty your mind

For at least 3 minutes, close your eyes, breathe calmly, limit your movements and don’t dwell on your thoughts.