Managing Moods Without Smoking

10 Ways to Cope With Emotions Without Cigarettes

You might feel like smoking helps you get through times when you just can’t deal with your emotions. Although you might feel better in the moment, smoking isn’t really helping. You probably feel better while smoking because you’re taking a time out. The actual smoking doesn’t really have much to do with feeling better.

Here are other ways of coping without smoking:

  1. Take a time out
    A short break from a stressful or upsetting situation can help you think more clearly and help you make a healthy decision about what to do next.
  2. Express yourself
    Call or text a friend who you can talk to about what’s bothering you.
  3. Distract yourself
    Take a walk, play a game, or read a good book.
  4. Get your body moving
    If you’re feeling low, take a walk or a jog around the block.
  5. Rehearse and practice dealing with stressful situations
    If your go-to response to uncomfortable emotions is to stuff them away and pretend they’re not there, it may be time to try to express them. When we bury or deny feelings, they build up until we are on the verge of exploding at the slightest offense. This can be especially tricky when you need to confront someone who has hurt or offended you. Sometimes talking through things in more neutral territory can help.
  6. Make a list and set goals
    Break down your larger tasks into smaller steps. Then cross off each step as you go to see your progress.
  7. Don’t let negative thoughts take over
    If you’re feeling down about yourself or life, make a list of things for which you are grateful.
  8. Give yourself a break
    Instead of demanding total perfection from yourself, allow yourself to be happy with doing a pretty good job. Just aim to do your best without having to be perfect.
  9. Exercise, eat regularly, and get plenty of sleep
    Being physically run down can make it much harder to deal with a bad mood. Take care of yourself.
  10. When you are feeling extremely upset, use the Stop-Think-Breathe method
    Stop for a minute and think about the big picture. Sometimes things that don’t really matter in the long run can get you all worked up in the moment. Count to 10, breathing deeply, and concentrate on calming down.

Use the tips on this list to help you figure out what works best for you. This might feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice, you can learn how to deal with emotions without cigarettes.

Written information used with permission from

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