Don’t Let Stress be a Holiday Humbug

By Lynn A.

The holidays can be a time of high stress, with the squeeze of expectations, finances, or time. Most of us would like to avoid this stress if we could.

But what if there was a different way to deal with stress? Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, views stress not as something to be avoided and endured, but as just one part of the fullness of our experience. ACT can give you the tools to live with and accept stress—and keep moving through it and toward the things that are meaningful to you.

During the holidays, this becomes even more important. Too often we miss what is right in front of us when we are caught up in our thoughts about how stressed we are.

The next time you find yourself stressed out, try this:

  1. Stop and take a deep breath. Focus on the air entering and leaving your lungs. Intentionally return to your body.

  2. Notice what is going on around you. What do you see? What do you hear, smell, or taste? You can do this even in the midst of chaos. Just notice and be present.

  3. Notice if your thoughts are unhelpful to the task at hand. Describe these thoughts as if you were a reporter at an event. For example: “I’m having the thought that I’ve got too much to do. That thought is upsetting to me.” Remember that they are just thoughts and you don’t have to engage with them if they are unhelpful.

Like bursts of bad weather, stressful moments will come and go. You can observe these moments, take note of them, but recognize that they will pass. Staying present and not getting swept up in those weather bursts can help you focus on what—or who—is important to you this holiday season.

Want to know more about how ACT can help with stress or managing weight? Early in 2017 2Morrow will debut a new ACT-based app called 2Morrow Health. To learn more, please contact us.

3 Ways to Deal With Negative Thoughts when Quitting

3 Ways to Deal With Negative Thoughts when Quitting

All-or-nothing thinking is a pitfall for many of us, especially when we are trying to stop doing something. It can happen when we mess up. It can derail our efforts by making us throw our hands up in defeat. It can even make us unwilling to get started, by distorting the task at hand and making it seem impossible.

The next time you find yourself using words like “never”, “always”, or “failure”, you might ask yourself, “is this thought helping me? Is it constructive and bringing me closer to my goals?”

If not, here are three quick tips for when these thoughts happen.

How to Earn Your SmartQuit "Certificate of Completion"

Certificate of Completion

The SmartQuit program is designed to introduce you to a different way of thinking, one that can help you be more successful when quitting.  The core 8 day program is meant to be completed before your quit day, but you will have access to the program for a full 6 months.

You will earn a “Certificate of Completion” when you complete the core requirements of the program.  In a recent clinical trial, participants that completed the certificate were about 10 times more likely to quit than those who did not.  The key is practicing these skills until they are habit!

  1. Create a Quit Plan
  2. Complete the 8 Daily Exercises (unlock one each day)
  3. Track that you let Urges to smoke pass.
  4. Visit Anytime Coaching Section


Once earned, you can find your certificate under Menu > Badges. If desired, you can email your Certificate of Completion to your employer or health plan as proof of completion. 

Questions?  Contact us 

Quit Smoking in 2016 & Save Thousands!

If your New Year Resolutions include Quitting Smoking and Saving Money, you are in luck!

smoking and money

When it comes to smoking cessation, the economics are clear. A pack a day smoker will spend $2,000-$5,000 a year on cigarettes, plus extra on health insurance, life insurance and health care in general. On average being a smoker results in $2,500 in extra healthcare costs a year and that doesn't count lost productivity. 

Quitting smoking, even while using a paid program or medications like patches, is still cheaper than smoking.  

Free Resources: The Department of Health in most states offers free help in the form of quitlines or other services. For example WA state offers our SmartQuit app (reg $50) free for any WA smokers who want to quit. The Smoking Cessation Trust of Louisiana is another group that offers free services and meds for smokers.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans are required to cover the cost of cessation programs or meds without a deductible. Although it varies by plan, most will cover some options. Many employers also offer free programs to help smokers quit. Check with your health plan, state or employer about what services they cover. (Ask about SmartQuit too!)

A new way to quit:  (Apps)
Despite the options available, many smokers do not what to call a Quit coach or visit a doctor. Because of privacy, convenience and affordability, tech-enabled programs like websites and apps are increasing in popularity. One issue has been credability... do they work? The research is starting to come in.

Researchers at Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center have completed the first randomized control trial of an App for Quitting smoking. In a 200 person study, they found that the SmartQuit app could double a smoker's chances of quitting. This study also looked at the unique ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) approach used in SmartQuit vs a more traditional approach. A larger, longer study funded by a $3.1M NIH grant is planned to start enrollment in 2016. 

Resources:

App: SmartQuit: Smoking Cessation App - A free lite version is available in the app store for iPhone and Android. The full program costs $50, but is paid for by some states, plans or employers.  

Websites & Quitlines:  

More Data & Resources

10 Ways to Support a Quitter

10 Ways to Support a Quitter

Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult habits to break. Each year, half of all smokers in the United States attempt to quit. Without help, only 4-5% succeed. If you know someone who is trying to quit, having support from friends and family can greatly increase their chances of quitting. Each quit attempt helps! On average it take 9-12 attempts to quit or stay smoke-free. The following are some suggestions on how you can help your friend or loved one quit smoking for good.