When you feel stressed, do you reach for a cigarette? Most smokers believe that smoking a cigarette will reduce any stress that they are feeling considerably. In truth, however, this isn’t really what is happening.
What the Experts Say
Many studies have been done in the area of stress and tobacco, and what experts have found is that tobacco does not actually relieve stress at all, and in fact, it may actually raise your stress level. You may not understand how this is possible, since you feel obvious relief and more relaxed after smoking a cigarette.
The research shows that smokers actually experience more stress than non-smokers in any given situation. It is your dependency on nicotine that causes this increase in stress in the long run.
What Smoking Is Really Doing for You
It is true that you feel physical relief and stress relief when you smoke that cigarette, but you aren’t really relieving stress that is not nicotine based. In other words, the only thing that you are getting relief for is your nicotine addiction – your need for the nicotine. The stress is still there, you just don’t notice it as much because you’ve just fed your nicotine addiction.
Smoking Brings More Stress
Not only do you have the stresses that come from everyday living, but as a smoker, you have the added stress of your nicotine addiction. The cost of cigarettes and the inability to smoke when and where you want to all add stress.
Do you find yourself looking for the smoking section outdoors when you go to an office or an event? The chances are very good that if you stop and think about it, you are already feeling stress over when and where you will be able to smoke.
Additionally, studies have found that people who smoke have more mood swings, with the low points being between cigarettes. You are happiest when you are smoking because you are feeding your addiction – not because the tobacco is doing anything at all to lower or lessen everyday stressful situations.
Should you stop smoking, you will feel stress for a few days, and possibly even for a week or two. Once the physical addiction is broken, however, you will find that your overall stress levels take a sharp decline.
December 22nd, 2010
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