Smoking a cigarette gives you an immediate sense of relief and relaxation, as the chemicals in nicotine interact with your brain.
You then associate this improvement in your mood with smoking and start to crave nicotine as a way to reduce your anxiety.
If you don’t have a cigarette and your nicotine levels fall, your body gets withdrawal symptoms and you start to feel more and more anxious.
When you give in and smoke, the relief in anxiety is only short-lived and quickly wears off, leaving you feeling anxious once again.
Stimulants like caffeine keep you awake, alert and tense. This can make you more jittery and more anxious, so cut back on your coffee, tea and energy drinks or use caffeine free products instead.
Cut back on alcohol
Drinking alcohol regularly can heighten your feelings of anxiety. Try and limit your intake of alcoholic drinks.
Any form of exercise, even if it’s just a gentle walk, can help you reduce anxiety. It helps your brain to release serotonin, a hormone that improves your mood.
You could try stretching exercises like yoga. As well as stimulating your brain, this will help with breathing and relaxation techniques for whenever you feel anxious.
Focus on the moment
When you start to feel anxious, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Take a step back and stop worrying about the future. You can only control what’s happening now.
Slow everything down and take a long, deep breath – in through your nose and out through your mouth. It tells your body you want to relax.
Relaxation techniques, visualisation and medtiation will all help you relieve anxiety. Picture a place that makes you feel calm and safe, and practice going there regularly.
There is lots of support to help you quit smoking from health advisers, they are ready with tips, information and encouragement.
NRT are products that provide you with a low level of nicotine and so can help you fight nicotine cravings as you quit.
Digital Mobile Apps
Apps on your phone are a great way to help you quit smoking, they can help you with tips, advise and encouragement when you need them most.