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Keep Calm, and KTQ - Part 1



Stress is the most commonly reported relapse trigger among new and long term quitters. Stress happens to everyone, but how you manage it can literally save your quit, and your life!how to live stress free

The Stress/Smoking Connection

Most smokers lit up at the first hint of stress, setting into motion a lifelong pattern of smoking in response to stress. This constantly reinforces stress as a smoking trigger, year after year! Even worse, it ruled out any chance for effective coping tools to be identified or practiced. This leaves the newly quit with little clue how to deal with stress. Most quitters smoked for so long, they do not recall what they used to do when stressed. A lifelong absence of emotional coping tools, combined with a strong association to smoking when stressed, requires new coping tools and behaviors that actually do manage stress effectively.

The truth is, smoking never managed stress. It caused it and masked it. What? Yes indeed: smoking caused stress through a constant cycle of crave, fulfill crave (smoke), crash (nicotine decline) and crave. If you felt better after smoking, it is only because you were stressed about needing a smoke fix in the first place.

Smoking also masked stress in your life. Chances are good that instead of identifying what you were feeling, needing, wanting or working through whatever was really going on with thought and action, you merely smoked and went back to whatever you were doing. That allows stress to wreak havoc with your system.

Stress Damages Your Body

Stress that goes unmanaged leaves a person feeling overwhelmed, even hopeless. Anxiety and depression often result from ongoing stress. Stress creates a 'fight or flight' response that negatively affects the system in many ways. The release of adrenaline elevates blood pressure and cortisol reduces digestion and increases blood sugar levels. Stress damages your heart, reduces immune system response, alters sleep patterns, increases fatigue, insomnia and lack of energy, reduces memory, prevents mental focus and even alters the brain!

Face Your Fears

When you feel fear, is there really a life threatening event in the right now, or are you going down the rabbit hole of 'what if' scenarios? Did you know most 'what ifs' never happen? And yet, many people stress their lives away as though it did. Instead of dwelling on end-of-world thinking, take action. Do what can be done right now, and then let go of the rest. It takes practice, but letting go of imaginary outcomes will change your life in many wonderful ways.

Attitude of Gratitude

We all have things to be grateful for. If you focus on all that is good in your life, you will see good in your life! You'll also naturally draw more good towards you. Next week, we will talk about ways to manage stress like a pro. Until then, keep going and KTQ!

Vikki Q CTTS - M

Master Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist

Join us for inspiration and support!


I plan to quit smoking but dont want to gain weight
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 7:11 PM by stephanie
Amen to that! I am learning how to deal with stress without smoking, after 40 years. I rationalize it by saying that millions of other people can deal with stress WITHOUT smoking, and I am going to be one of them!
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 8:50 PM by Betty
I am so stressed out from smoking for 45 years. I have done physical damage to my heart and lungs. I pray for a return to better health. My quit date is Sunday 03092014. I have tried for 14 years to quit. Many failures. I am stressed about that. I don't want to fail again. I want to be free of it!!!!
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 10:34 PM by Karin
I quit smoking about 2 weeks ago with ciantix. Your supose to have a quit date but I didnt do it that way. I took the medicane every day and in the 3rd week of treatment I was able to quit. This medicane really makes cigarettes taste so discusting that youbjust dont want to smoke anymore. The only thing I wasnt prepared for was how emotional and moody I would feel. I think thats the hardest part not quitting the cigs but dealing with the after math
Posted @ Saturday, March 08, 2014 8:50 AM by maria
I justsignedup for this plan and can not wait to start!!!! March here I go for the best feeling and being healthy of my life......
Posted @ Saturday, March 08, 2014 11:58 PM by Belinda Mancini
It can be a little hard to contemplate how much of your health (and money) you threw away. They weren't stolen and it wasn't an accident. I had to quit drinking when I decided to stop smoking. I knew I could not drink and expect not to smoke cigarettes.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:51 PM by Mark
I read this blog last week as well because the reference to anxiety and depression resulting from stress was very true for me. I am more relaxed since quitting though and looking forward to reading more here. Quitnet is a great help in my quit and I will keep coming back to it. Thanks!!
Posted @ Saturday, May 10, 2014 5:19 PM by Kate
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