If you are feeling stressed, you may be tempted to smoke or use tobacco products to deal with those feelings. But nicotine can actually cause feelings of anxiety and lead to even more stress. Instead of reaching for tobacco, try these tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy way.
- Take a break. Take 10 to 15 minutes to step away from a stressful or anxiety-inducing situation. Try a relaxing activity, like talking with a friend, baking, or going outside for fresh air.
- Breathe deeply. Take a few slow‚ deep breaths. Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth for a few cycles to help your body relax.
- Exercise. Even minimal movement in your body can be a great way to improve your mood and decrease your stress.
- Visualize. Close your eyes and imagine you are in a place where you feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. It can be a real place or one you make up. Picture it as clearly as you can. Let yourself enjoy being there for a few minutes.
- Find Your Stress. We tend to hold stress and anxiety in our bodies. You can take some time to scan your body and locate areas where you feel tension. These are areas you should target for stress and anxiety relief. Stretching or deep breathing can release your tension.
- Connect with someone. Reach out to a friend or family member and share your feelings. Talking with those in your community can help you find more support when dealing with stress.
- Focus on the present. Many people experience stress and anxiety when thinking about the past or the future. Focusing on what is happening in the here and now can help you reduce stress.
- Take care of yourself. Try to put the extra effort into taking care of yourself. Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, and get enough sleep. Avoid having too much caffeine or alcohol.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Library of Medicine – Does cigarette smoking cause stress?
Tobacco Free Colorado is a project of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Through the State Tobacco Education, Prevention and Cessation Program, we share resources to keep Coloradans healthy and tobacco free.