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Giving up smoking is a big challenge, especially when you are feeling stressed. Stressful events are one of the biggest triggers for people who have quit smoking to have a relapse, so it is important to try and find ways to de-stress without reaching for the cigarettes.

These are some of the most effective alternatives for de-stressing:


Doing exercise is one of the best possible ways to de-stress and boost your mood. Even doing moderate exercise like going for a walk can help, especially if it means you are getting fresh air outdoors. Exercise reduces stress hormones and stimulates endorphins, which boost your mood. If you do not already have a go-to exercise when you feel stressed, now is a good time to find one.


Meditation is becoming more and more popular, as people start to realise the many mental health benefits gained from practicing it. Taking up meditation helps you to gain a new perspective on dealing with stressful situations, reducing negative emotions and focusing on the present.

Find a new hobby

Starting up a new hobby is another great way to distract from the desire to smoke and finding an activity that you enjoy helps to reduce stress levels. As well as hobbies that involve exercise, other activities such as playing games or doing jigsaws, learning to play an instrument, cooking, drawing, writing and reading can all give you enjoyment that will help to prevent you from wanting to smoke.

Listening to music

Studies show that listening to music for at least half an hour each day has health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing stress. Try to fit more music listening into your day and you will soon see the benefits.

Reading a book

Another really absorbing hobby is reading, if you can find a book that you really get into. When you find a book that you don’t want to put down, your mind will be distracted from the thoughts of smoking. Research shows that stress levels can reduce by about 70% after reading fiction. As you become more engaged in the story, your heart rate slows and your muscles relax.

TV series/movies

Finding a TV series or series of movies that keep you gripped is another way to relax and de-stress. The best types of TV content to watch is comedy, as laughter is an effective way of reducing stress. So, find a TV series or movie that suits your sense of humour or something else that is easy watching, instead of having a cigarette.

Try AntiCig

Many people are successfully quitting smoking by switching their cigarettes for AntiCig, an inhalable essential oil aromatherapy diffuser stick that helps with a variety of moods. There are specific oils to help with relaxation, sleeping or energizing, for example.

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