Quit Support
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What to do when you are stressed, annoyed, angry etc

I was just wondering what is the best way of dealing with the event when you are put in a stressful situation or when you get angry or annoyed. I think as smokers we would always reach for a cigarette to calm us down.

I think a lot of people who have given up smoking start again when something like this happens. I know I have. Fortunately I have not been put in this position since I gave up but I know I will and want to be able to deal with it without saying 'oh stuff it' and going to buy some cigs. A situation like this isn't just the normal craving situation, it's when you are emotionally distressed and common sense does tend to go out of the window.


Kaz xx

20 Replies

Hi Kazz, i wish i could help with this as i was put in this situation when my brother left me literally terrified, that was how i started again, i really hope someone can come up with some suggestions xx


Hi Kazz., As you know I am in one of those situations, stressed and worried when the doc told me I just felt empty , then I thought NO! I are`t giving in to any ciggys then I got angry. I didnt actually want a cigarette , I just wanted to get angry with them or anything else that was near. I have an inhalator but I only used it once about 15 mins after my news. Didnt crave for that either. Dont know if it helps telling you this but I am mad at the ciggys but angry with myself for even trying to smoke in the first place. At least now I dont have to contend with the idea of quitting . It`s onwards and upwards no matter what hurdles we face. xxxxx

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Hi Jillygirl, you certainly are in one of those situations and you are so strong for not giving in, that takes a lot of willpower. I can also understand why you got angry with them.

I think you are totally right with what you say, 'onwards and upwards no matter what hurdles we face' I think I want some miraculous answer on how to cope but I honestly don't think there is one other than strength and willpower, I wish there was because I don't think I'm that strong willed. You are amazing Jillygirl and a true inspiration to us all. Thank you. xxxx

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Hi Kaz,

well done to you for thinking ahead and planning to put a strategy in place for something like this, should it happen.

There are a number of things that you could try;

1. Doing what you have just done -Think about when or where it could go wrong and think about a plan of action that will help you over it.

2. Breathing exercises - There are a number of breathing exercises that can be used for different types of cravings I would recommend that you practice them beforehand so that you know exactly what to do when you need them instead of going into a blind panic and wondering where the breathing exercises are kept on here!

Deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Practise makes perfect.

3. If it is a very stressful environment, or if you are feeling a bit more than angry, try and remove yourself from the situation. Maybe go for a walk if possible. If you are in work or cannot actually leave where you are, just take yourself off into the kitchen for a short walk and have a long glass of water. Maybe even if you take yourself off to the loo just to get away. Again, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

4. Stay calm and remember that this awful feeling will eventually go away. The most time a craving usually lasts for is on average about 3 minutes.

5. If there is anywhere you can go just to let off a bit of steam in the form of a large growl, or shouting out (!) Sounds a bit mad but we do know of some of our members who have done this and it has worked quite well.

6.Just think about how you will feel afterwards if you do smoke... Angry, frustrated.... Don't let the situation drive you to smoking.

7. Keep a list of your reasons for quitting handy. Look at them when you need to remind yourself of why. Sometimes, when a craving hits you, all your reasons are turned into excuses as to why you should smoke. Don't let your reasons become excuses.

8. Keep your self-talk positive. Remember that it's what you say when you talk to yourself that feeds your mood.

9. Use Quit Support! Come on here and sound off to us, have a rant, get it off your chest.

10. Keep the telephone number of your local stop smoking service to hand. Call them if you want to chat with your stop smoking advisor.

11. Remember that this feeling will go away if you do one of two things;

1. Smoke

2. Let it pass

Just think about how you will feel afterwards about the choice you made.

It's funny how stopping smoking can make you think. Crazy deep thoughts, things that you would normally let go over your head are quite often leapt upon.

If this is what smoking causes you to feel like, let alone how it can affect your health... is it really worth it?

Once somebody has made the decision to quit and then relapse, chances are they'll always want to try and stop again. Nobody decides that they want to be a smoker for the rest of their lives. Why not just get it over and done with and do it now?

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hi emjay , I find that your comment 3. is what I find I am doing go off to the loo and talk into the mirror, shout or cry . deep breathing and a few minutes later feel more determined and relaxed. Good for any situation. :)


Hey Jillygirl,

some people even say that if they look into the mirror and pull some stupid silly faces, then this can help too :-/


Dared`nt look in mirror would probabaly crack it :D :D


Thanks for your answers EmJay.

They are very useful. It is a lot about positive thinking but if I'm feeling upset or angry I am not always positive or rational. I think what would help me and I had really never thought of this until you said it, I am going to phone my local stop smoking support or come on here and have a rant so that someone else can talk me through it and help me to be rational.

I totally agree that if I smoke or not during a situation like that, it will pass. If I smoke it will pass with the end result being me feeling guilty and angry and only wanting to give up and have to start all over again.

Different approaches will work for different people as Jillygirl said, number 3 works for her :)

Thanks for your support. xx


When i think about it shouting in the mirror like Jillygirl does is good, i used to shout and scream in the park lol, i think a bathroom mirror is safer xx


I remember you telling us all about that Sue... I still picture something along the lines of Julie Andrews though :D


:D :D wish i'd had all the nice hills :D :D xx


I lost my only child and although i have decided to stop smoking, there are times when i lapse into depression. For me, using the spray is a big help. I am an easy going person but recently i am ashamed to say i lost it big style, Due to a demonstration, the clinic was closed so i had no prescription. They posted one out 4 days later but, put the days date instead of my birth date. They amended it but didn't put the quit date so, the pharmacist again refused it. Finally, they omitted to tick the boxes to say if i was on medication. Each time i ran back and forth to the smoking clinic, a guy selling the Big Issue asked me to buy one. The third time, i swore at him.I felt so bad about this. On Saturday, i approached him and asked if i could have a word. He asked if HE had upset me!!!! I said, quite the reverse.I told him the story and gave him some money to buy a meal. He didn't deserve the way i spoke to him and, i will make sure each time i go to the clinic, i will give him the time of day. In my defence i can only say that i think that i panicked at the thought of not having the spray.I know a lot of excuses for smoking are really psychological, and having reached that conclusion ii can accept it more.


Feelings of grief can also happen during the early days of quitting JohnUK, and this is quite normal. However, due to you grieving the loss of your wife, then I can only imagine how much more intense this feeling must be. You will come through this and are definitely heading in the right direction.


Iv just recently given up smoking so the littlest things are stressing me out! The company i work for had paid me wrong, it was the weekend so could not get in touch with anyone about it so the more i thought about it the more angry and stressed i got!! I had a little cry and was so despreate for a fag but instead i grabbed my trainers, grabbed the dog and went for a run, no less then 15 minutes later i had calmed down and felt no need for my filter tip buddy hahaha!! like i say tho iv been given up a week, i dont know how long this will keep helping lol but its worked so far and also im getting some exercise!! Brill!!


That's a fab stress buster Bridget88. I bet the dog is really pleased if this is what you are going to do every time you get a craving :-) Let us know the date that you quit and we'll add you onto our Wall of Winners... the place where every quitter is a winner :-)

Take your right arm, put it on to your left shoulder and give yourself a well earned pat on the back :-)


Hi, sorry for only jus replying the last date I had a cig was mon the 22nd October! I had a slight blip this Saturday night tho due to being out with friends who smoked :( iv blogged about this and as iv said I decided to jot smoke the following Sunday so I'm back on it! I still see it has 3 weeks non smoking though!! :)


Well done!!!! I am impressed. Keep up the good work.


Hi Bridget.

Well done for getting over that stressful period, it would have been so easy just to reach for a cigarette but you won that battle and you should be very proud of yourself. I think exercise is one of the best ways to overcome cravings. I keep saying I will do some but instead I have been eating sweets :( which of course is not a good idea at all. I will start exercising and I am planning on starting this evening which is what I said last Monday :)

Keep up the good work Bridget, you are doing amazingly well.


Hahahaha I wasn't able to exercise last week as I was recovering From food poisoning mon to Wednesday!! I will be getting the trainers tonight tho after work and dragging the dog out even though the cravings are gettin less often but more potent if you know what I mean??


Thanks for all ur well dones, it really spurs me on!! :)


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