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Coach Corner

3 Helpful Tips to Beat the Stress From Quitting Smoking

February 5, 2020
By Pivot
Man sitting on traffic barrier looking stressed and staring pensively at the floor

The #1 reason we find that people in the Pivot program smoke is due to stress

When you feel all the pressure life throws at you, it’s natural that your first reaction may be to reach for a cigarette to take the edge off. But did you know that smoking can leave you feeling more stressed? As it turns out, quitting smoking is associated with a decrease in stress.

Part of the experience of being a Pivot member is working with a real human coach who’s specially trained in tobacco cessation and who can help you fight stress smoking. Our coaches have compiled a list of three tips on how you can overcome stress as you're trying to quit smoking or reduce.

Three tips to beat the stress of quitting or reducing

Move the body

Whether it’s using your brain or body muscles, any kind of movement can help you reach a calmer state of mind. Science has shown that adding 10 minutes of movement of any kind can boost your endorphins and release those feel-good hormones.

Some ideas to get started:

  • Simply spend 10 minutes standing
  • Stretch the body
  • Go for a quick walk outside

Studies have reported short periods of movement can actually reduce the urge to smoke. So find an activity or movement that you enjoy and get those 10 minutes in today.

Relax the Mind

Your brain is a powerful muscle. When you experience stress, your brain makes a choice to fight or flee the situation. You can help regulate this part of your brain called the amygdala by practicing small forms of meditation.

Relaxing the mind can be easier when trying these tricks: 

  • Take deep breaths
  • Meditate

Taking a few deep breaths can be an effective tool to reduce stress, anxiety and increase your brainpower. Some simple ways to start – place your hand on your stomach, breathe in through your nose for 3 counts, breathe out through your mouth for 5 counts and repeat as needed.

Nurture Yourself

With a never-ending to-do list, it can be hard to stop and take care of yourself without feeling selfish. But guess what – it’s not selfish at all. In fact, you can’t help others or be great if you're not taking care of yourself too.

You can start by first building your ability to be resilient, otherwise known as the ability to bounce back when life throws punches. Guard up by committing to at least 1 small self-care practice per weekday and 1 larger gift to yourself on the weekend.

A few weekday self-care ideas to overcome stress:

  • Put on a face mask
  • Meditate for 10 minutes
  • Journal about your day
  • Listen to your favorite song

Weekend self-care ideas to overcome stress:

  • Go for a weekend hike somewhere you’ve never been
  • Make your favorite meal
  • Take care of an activity you’ve been putting off
  • Talk to a loved one on the phone

Authored by Holly Dunn, BASc, and Khalid Christopher, BS.

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There's one more key tip to help in quitting smoking

It's trying Pivot, the program proven to work!

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