Manage stress without the cigarette… It’s possible !

Anger, anxiety, stress, tension... All these emotions overwhelm you while your cessation gives you but one craving: relapsing. You’re constantly tearing your hair out and your bad mood has become legendary at your work? Don’t worry, this is just a symptom of the smoking cessation process. In other terms, this is only temporary.

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You will soon become yourself again... or even a better version of yourself: healthier, happier and healthier!

Stress is a temporary sensation that, in moderation, can help you achieve your goals. Too much stress can paralyze you and cause you to relapse. Stress management is therefore a key element in any smoking cessation process.

Why should I learn to manage this stress?

When you are stressed, the urge to smoke can be particularly intense. Smoker, you used to have a cigarette in every stressful situation. It is therefore difficult for you to manage your stress without smoking. Learning to manage your stress by identifying new ways to help you overcome your stress will help you overcome withdrawal symptoms. With a few tools and a little practice, you will have less and less understanding of stressful situations and will no longer associate them with smoking.

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Remember: learning to manage your stress without cigarettes will help you regain a little more control over your life! 💪

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My stress level is abnormally high since I quit smoking, why ?

During your smoking cessation, you feel twice as stressed: it's not just a feeling.

Physically, your body reacts to nicotine withdrawal and the thousands of chemicals in the cigarette smoke you inhale. This recovery phase creates its own stress in addition to the usual stress situations you face daily in the office.

Learning to manage stress without cigarettes: the Kwitter's guide

Fortunately, this feeling does not last. It’s only temporary. A short period of time therefore, but which is sometimes sufficient to be the subject of a relapse. To accompany and support you, Kwit has defined 3 steps that will help you manage your stress without cigarettes.

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Step 1: Understanding the cigarette association - stress reduction

Maybe you smoked, in part, because you found it relaxing. Nicotine releases a chemical substance that provides a feeling of well-being called dopamine, which makes you feel more comfortable and relaxed, and gives you the impression that stress is evaporating. The feeling of well-being is nevertheless short-lived since only a few minutes after the last inhalation, the stress reappears slowly but surely. In reality, it is above all the cigarette that stresses you. You try to relax by feeding this addiction. It is a vicious circle that is difficult to break, especially when you are trying to quit smoking for good.

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Remember that repetitive stress situations can be easily identified: when do you go out to smoke and relax? Was it before a meeting or an appointment? On what situations, dates or occasions did you need to relax and smoke a cigarette? The more you are able to understand the causes of your stress, the better you will be able to manage it without cigarettes.

Indeed, in order to deal with the problem, you need to know where it comes from: it is important to understand what stresses you to be prepared by knowing what causes your stress and how you will positively overcome it to achieve your goal of becoming and remaining a non-smoker. Make a list of situations that make you feel stressed. There are some things that may surprise you, but you can already anticipate some of them.

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Step 2: Managing stress does not mean ignoring or avoiding it

Stress is a part of life. There is no way to avoid it completely, but we can learn to react to stressful events, situations and emotions. Stress can take many forms without necessarily being negative. What is stressful for one person may not be stressful for another.

Your first reflex in a stressful situation will be to think about that cigarette in a colleague's pocket that would allow you to relax, or at least you think so. The second is to simply ignore your feeling and pretend it doesn't exist, without trying to understand or control it in any other way.

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Don't pretend your feelings don't exist! Learn to manage them and you will feel like you are taking a new step in your withdrawal.

Accept to be human: you are sensitive to a wide range of human emotions and feelings. Withdrawal symptoms will make you sad, stressed, anxious, angry and every new step towards a smoke-free life will make you proud, excited, relaxed and above all happy.

You can manage your stress - you've already done it! The fact is that you had to deal with stress before you started smoking - and you have the ability to manage it very well without smoking. Think about how you dealt with a stressful situation, for example, when you were younger.

Instead of ignoring your feelings, use it !

Anger, stress and cravings can - and often do - manifest themselves as physical energy. Don't let your stress paralyze you, but use it instead to galvanize yourself (do sport (sports article link for example)).

Take advantage of this stressful time to do things you wouldn't usually have the courage to do in a calmer state. The objective is to transform these stressful situations where the desire to smoke is stronger into a positive experience to make it more tolerable.

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Step 3: Identify new ways to manage stress

To help you, we have identified several ways to manage stress that you can put into practice as soon as the feeling of stress occurs.

Cardiac coherence to localize your stress and relax

Your body reacts to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Take a minute to understand how stress affects your body. Where do you feel tensions in your body? Finding ways to reduce this tension will also help you reduce your mental stress. Stretching can help you release the accumulated tension. Stretch out. Muscle tension is often a sign of stress. Take the time to get up, stretch your legs, neck and entire body. Breathe in slowly and deeply through the nose, then through the mouth. You will feel your body relax slowly. You can combine this activity with meditation.

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Visualize calm and well-being to feel them

Think of a place where you feel safe, comfortable and relaxed. Imagine it as clearly as possible, including how you would feel, hear and perhaps even feel if you were in this relaxing place. Breathe calmly and continue until your breathing slows down and your feeling of stress decreases.

Use this energy to play sports

Physical activity helps to improve your mood and reduce stress. Sometimes, a short walk is all it takes to relieve stress. And walking is free! 👍 Does walking bother you? Try cycling 🚲, boxing 🥊 or badminton 🏸 ! Physical activity has been shown to relieve stress and energize the body, so go for it, go for it!

Don't keep your sense of stress to yourself

You don't have to be alone in the face of stress. Share your feelings with friends, family and loved ones in general. They will be happy to help you stay smoke-free and say goodbye to cigarettes! Don't be afraid to ask for some support. Talking to a friend (or a pet - they are excellent listeners!) will take your mind off things and your stress will go away on its own.

Find an activity that relaxes you

Have fun! Practice a hobby or activity that you enjoy. Here are some suggestions: gardening, photography, cooking, spending an hour (or ten... 🙈 at Kwit, we don't judge you:)) on Netflix, playing games vidéos 🕹, knitting 🧶, taking a shower 🚿, relaxing coloring 🖍... You don't have time for these activities? We also offer you activities to do anywhere: listen to music, play with an anti-stress object...

Use Kwit! Fun, original, caring and non-culpable, Kwit is a mobile application that supports you throughout your withdrawal process, even in times of stress when the desire to dive back becomes stronger.

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Kwit offers you the opportunity to monitor your progress and celebrate each of your successes. To maintain your determination, you will have access to very useful statistics, such as the time since you quit smoking, the money you have saved and the number of cigarettes you have not smoked. All these statistics will allow you to think twice before lighting a cigarette, even in a time of intense stress. (image stats)

If you need advice on how to deal with this craving, shake your phone! A motivation card will appear to encourage you and boost your motivation.

Stress has made you so excited that smoking has become your only escape? Don't panic! Don't panic! Nothing is lost, you have the right to slip. All your efforts have not been in vain: you now know when you are likely to relapse. Understand and analyze your emotions at these moments to overcome your desire next time: this is what Kwit offers you.

You can resist, even in stressful situations: have self-confidence !

Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering

Ida Scott Taylor

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Live the present moment

Focus on the present and don't worry about that last-minute meeting scheduled tomorrow, don't worry about that important appointment in a week; put all the questions aside with "ifs". Live in the present moment and try not to worry about the future. Instead, try to focus on what is happening now and not on what you may have to deal with in the more or less near future.

Don't be too hard on yourself: you are human and smoking cessation is a time that requires a certain amount of energy.

At Kwit, we usually say that every former smoker is a superhero who has accomplished a real feat. Celebrate your successes and accept your weaknesses: they make you human beings in their own right and that is where your strength lies.

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