Anxiety, mood swings, feeling restless and stressed are some of the more difficult and painful nicotine withdrawal symptoms to overcome.
Our bodies respond to this stressful symptoms by releasing hormones that increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. Practicing deep breathing techniques helped me handle stress in a more positive way than the cigarette.
Diaphragmatic breathing, or deep breathing from the diaphragm instead from the chest, is the natural way of our body to relax and reduce anxiety. Although we are all capable of breathing this way, and do so when babies, very few of us do so in young and adult life in our everyday lives.
The next time you’re feeling anxious try this simple relaxation technique. It works for me, hope it works for you to:
First take your mind to a beautiful place… I always chose the Beach. Focusing on the waves rolling into the sand… one after another…
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your abdomen should expand, and your chest should rise very little.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you blow air out, purse your lips slightly, but keep your jaw relaxed. You may hear a soft “whooshing” sound as you exhale.
- Repeat this breathing exercise for several minutes.
More info: Diaphragmatic breathing, Cleaveland Clinic, 2018; The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults Front. Psychol., 2017; Deep breathing in the management of craving and anxiety symptoms of crack-cocaine-dependent patients, 2009; Anxiety & Smoking, smokefree.gov.
Attention that I’m not a health or fitness professional. I’m just sharing my experience, what worked for me and what I’ve learned in the process of stop smoking and start running. Thanks for following.