“I’d like to quit, but I’m too stressed to stop smoking now."

Are you one of the many smokers who believe smoking helps you destress and relax? Is it the excuse you give yourself, and others, why you continue to smoke?

If so, it may surprise you to learn that smoking doesn’t relieve stress, it creates more stress!


Smoking is NOT relaxing

It's impossible for smoking to be physically relaxing: nicotine in cigarettes makes your blood pressure rise slightly, narrows your blood vessels, makes your heart beat faster, etc. – all signs of tension, which are the opposite to relaxation. In reality a smoker's stress level is higher than that of a non-smoker.


How smoking tricks you into thinking it’s lowering your stress level

Regular smokers experience periods of heightened stress between cigarettes.

As the amount of nicotine in a smoker’s brain, gained from their last cigarette, drops their body interprets this as a threat to their physical well-being, and they experience stress alongside the other typical nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, tension and lack of concentration.

For an average to heavy smoker, the urge to have another cigarette starts about an hour after having smoked the previous one. The longer the person waits, the more ‘stressed’ they feel, but within 7 to 15 seconds of lighting up their next cigarette, a new dose of nicotine reaches their brain and ‘hey presto,’ their nicotine induced stress drops and the other symptoms disappear. Not only that the nicotine gives them a brief hit of dopamine, a brain-reward chemical.

The smoker attributes this sense of relief to the cigarette, not realising it was the previous cigarette that caused the nicotine related stress in the first place.

In reality the cigarette has done nothing to relieve the smoker’s overall stress level. In fact it’s increased it by putting more pressure on their body and organs. For example, nicotine causes the smoker’s heart rate and blood pressure to spike. Their heart has to work harder than normal.

Quite simply if the smoker didn’t smoke there would be no nicotine withdrawal induced stress and less stress on their body and organs.


People who break the smoking habit experience a significant drop in stress

If smoking increases stress, breaking the habit should help a smoker lower their stress. And it does. When smokers stop, they gradually become less stressed over time.

A study in the UK undertaken by a team, from the universities of Birmingham, Oxford, and King’s College London, analysed 26 studies for their research. The findings published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), were that people who broke the smoking habit experienced a significant drop in stress, anxiety and depression and experienced an improved positive mood and quality of life compared with those who continued to smoke.

Participants in the studies were aged 44 on average, smoked about 20 cigarettes a day, and were followed up for an average of six months.

Gemma Taylor, the University of Birmingham researcher who led the study, said: 'It is hugely encouraging to be able to demonstrate that smoking cessation leads to an improvement in mental health.


Do you need some help breaking your smoking habit?

Are you ready to break the smoking habit?

You know that for a long and healthy life, breaking the smoking habit is the best step you can take. But knowing this fact doesn’t make breaking the smoking habit any easier does it?

You need some help. That’s where I come in. Breaking a habit is easier when you know how, and have someone to help and support you. Using highly effective, evidence based techniques I can help you say ‘goodbye’ to your smoking habit and nicotine addiction for good.

It’s your choice. It’s your life. It’s time to change.

And, what better day to start the process of breaking your smoking habit than on World Smokefree Day on the 31 May?


Contact Tony today

If you are want to break free of your smoking habit, nicotine addiction and reduce your stress, call me today on 021 056 8389 or email tony@tycoaching.nz with your name & number, or use the Book Now button below. 

Have a safe and happy week

Tony

REMEMBER - "When you change your mind, you change your life."


Tony helps people of all ages live their lives free of unnecessary stress, anxiety and depression, and be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. 

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