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How can I resist cigarettes? My girlfriend just broke up with me and I want to relieve...

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yanie8888 | Student, Grade 12 | Salutatorian

Posted August 19, 2013 at 3:22 PM via web

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How can I resist cigarettes? My girlfriend just broke up with me and I want to relieve stress! My friends are smokers and I see them feel so relaxed when they smoke. I don't want to smoke, but something is pushing me to try it. I have read the side effects of smoking just to fight the temptation, but I still feel that I want to try it.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 19, 2013 at 4:37 PM (Answer #1)

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First of all. I'm sorry you're in pain and experiencing stress. No one likes these feelings, but most of us have experienced (or will sometime) a loss and it is important to know some healthy ways of dealing with the feelings of stress, sadness, and even depression which can happen as a result of them.

You already know the harmful effects of smoking, so I will not reiterate them; however, I would add a reminder about the addictive nature of nicotine. A cigarette or two smoked today could very well lead to a lifetime of smoking or at least a battle to fight the urge to smoke. It is an expensive habit/addiction, in any case.

The relaxation you see in others (which may or may not be actual) is not necessarily linked to their smoking. Sometimes it is just the habit and rituals of things like smoking which are relaxing, such as sitting down, taking a few moments to relax and think, or enjoying the camaraderie of other smokers. If that is the case, it is important to find something for yourself which changes the patterns you established with your girlfriend after so many years and begins something new and productive in your life.

I've linked several websites below which suggest some healthy stress, sadness, and depression relievers, but here are a few highlights:

  • Find something you enjoy doing (a hobby, a sport, an interest) and begin practicing it.
  • Eat healthy and stay hydrated.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Connect to something positive to get some physical exercise (gets the endorphins moving).
  • Do something for others (perhaps the less fortunate) to remind yourself that your life is still pretty good.
  • Make new friends.
  • Express your feelings (write, cry) rather than keep them bottled up inside.

Unfortunately, these are all easier to think about than they are to do, so set some reasonable goals and just start. Smoking (or any other like habit) is only a temporary fix but could have significant lifelong consequences. The truth is that pain will pass, but some of the decisions we make in these stressful moments in our lives can live much longer than the pain and hurt we feel.

I see that you're in high school; as a teacher, I would also recommend you stop in for a visit with your school counselor to get some encouragement. I applaud your study of cigarettes before trying them, and I'm confident you can do the same thing to find some healthy alternatives to relieve your stress in a way that suits your life and interests. Best wishes to you!

Sources:

Lori Steinbach

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