You smoke because you think it helps against stress? The cigarette seems to calm you down? If we tell you that this is the biggest mistake most smokers make, would you believe us?
As former smokers, we know exactly why people really smoke. Stress is clearly not one of them.
This article explains the connections between smoking and stress and shows possible solutions to stop smoking.
What is stress and how is it related to smoke?
Definition: Stress is an increased physical or mental tension, burden, which causes physical and psychological reactions and can lead to health damage.
What situations are meant?
Stress does not have to be a great tragedy in a person’s life. Tension can also be triggered by social occasions, phone calls, the annoyance of a mother or even children.
Successful businessmen and businesswomen are often addicted to cigarettes.
Let’s take a telephone conversation as an example: Many smokers feel a slight discomfort when they are on the phone. Businessmen are particularly often affected. Many of the conversations are not really pleasant. An unsatisfied customer, a superior or an unmotivated employee are on the phone and annoyed.
This is the moment when the smoker puts a cigarette in his mouth or gets up from work and takes a break for smoking.
He doesn’t know why, but he knows that the smoke seems to help him for some reason.
But the truth is this:
As soon as the smoker lights a cigarette, he reduces the amount of stress hormones in his body. The withdrawal symptoms have become part of his total stress. Smoking makes the person feel better. The cigarette has supposedly relieved the stress caused by the telephone call.
Smoking actually increases stress
The truth is that the smoker has a higher stress level than a non-smoker even during the supposed pleasure of smoking. The longer one is addicted, the less the cigarette alleviates the stress level. As time goes by, you have to reach for the cigarette more and more often.
All those who have smoked for years will now agree with me nodding.
Smoking destroys the nerves and does not calm them
This article isn’t supposed to scare anybody. Nevertheless, I would like to briefly discuss the effects that smoking has on the nerves.
It has been scientifically proven that cigarettes destroy nerves and do not relax them. I want to encourage you to close your eyes for a moment and think about the consequences of smoking.
Sit in a chair and imagine what a life without legs would be like. Try to put yourself in the mental state of a person who, despite this warning, actually continues to smoke and whose legs are amputated.
If you often see this picture in your mind, you slowly condition your brain and start to connect negative emotions with smoking.
Exercise reduces true stress and helps quit smoking
What can I do to reduce stress without smoking?
As we now know, smoking only reduces the level of stress caused by withdrawal symptoms. True stress is not reduced.
So what can you do to calm down without a cigarette?
- Muscle tension is often a sign of stress. Take some time to get up, stretch your legs, your neck and your whole body.
- Try to laugh. Enjoy something that makes you laugh. Talk to a good friend or read a funny book
- Take a break. Go for a walk or do some other physical activity. Exercise reduces stress and fills the body with energy.
- Take a deep breath and focus on simple things in your environment.
- Talk to a friend (or a pet – they are great listeners!). Sometimes we just need someone to talk to about what stresses us up.
Smokers also reach for cigarettes in other situations. Read about the reasons why people choose to smoke and take another step towards non-smoking!
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