Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dealing with Emotions when Quitting Smoking

Smokers reach for a cigarette for many different reasons--habit, physical craving, boredom, and strong emotions. When angry, lonely, sad, happy, afraid, a cigarette seems to help the situation. but in reality it is just blocking the emotional need. When angry, a person needs to vent in a healthy way instead of reaching for the cigarette. When celebrating a special event, often the smoker will feel deprived and feel they can't have as good a time with out their cigarettes. To be a long term success at quitting, a quitter needs strategies to deal with strong emotions when they come up--a plan of action. For anger, maybe a brisk walk to release some of that pent up anger. When lonely-reaching out to a friend for support. When we are afraid, we need to feel safe. There are gender differences as well. Women will often reach for a cigarette to deal with negative emotions and men in positive, social situations. Learning to deal with our emotional needs is a big component of living a smoke free life.

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