How I Quit Smoking With Stress Reduction and Martial Arts
Many relaxation techniques may help you stop smoking.
Why Stress-Reduction Techniques May Help You Stop Smoking continued...
Part of the difficulty when you quit smoking is simply that you don't feel
very good at first. "You can't think well, your thoughts are fuzzy, you're
grumpy and out of sorts," says Thune. "You're just not feeling well. So
anything that provides pleasure and is calming and focusing, that helps you
pull your thoughts together, is going to be a plus."
Also, deep breathing and relaxation techniques are commonly used to help new
smokers quit. If you're used to inhaling deeply on a cigarette, you may forget
to continue that deep breathing and increase your tension levels. Since deep
and controlled breathing are key components of things like yoga, meditation and
martial arts, they can help with relaxation and relieving the stress that comes
Tips for Stress-Reduction Activities While You Stop Smoking
The American Cancer Society's Quitline counselors and other
smoking-cessation experts recommend a variety of techniques to help you quit
- Deep breathing. Breathe in deeply, letting your stomach expand until your
lungs are filled. Pause a minute. Then exhale fully. Pause a minute. Then take
another deep breath in, hold a minute, then exhale. Continue with your eyes
closed until you feel calm.
- Guided imagery. "Imagine yourself in the situation that causes you the
most difficulty, and picture all the strategies you're going to use to address
the situation without smoking," says Trina Ita, the counseling supervisor
for the American Cancer Society's Quitline. "We call it a mental
- T'ai chi. This mind-body exercise combines deep breathing with postures
that flow from one to the next through a series of slow, continuous movements.
Researchers at the University of Miami are now studying its effectiveness as
part of a smoking-cessation program.
There are other relaxation techniques, including yoga and meditation. The
trick is to find a relaxation technique that you enjoy, and that fits into your