Doesn’t smoking make you relax?
Smoking doesn’t calm your nerves, The idea that smoking calms yours nerves and decreases anxiety pervades our culture. … In much the same way that drinking alcohol (a depressant) actually increases feelings of depression, smoking cigarettes may actually increase feelings of anxiety.
Nicotine causes a spike in your heart rate and blood pressure making your heart work harder. The cigarette appears to relax you because the nicotine removes the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms caused by smoking, and causes a brief hit of a brain-reward chemical called dopamine.
Many people who smoke do so because they believe it calms them down. This is because nicotine is a mood-altering drug and it seems to smolder feelings of frustration, anger, and anxiety when it’s inhaled. When we smoke, we do so to get relief from those feelings of frustration, anger, and anxiety. Over time, we begin to perceive that relief as relaxation and pleasure. The perception of relaxation is only a powerful illusion.
One of the most treasured benefits that I hear from my students is the everyday calmness, peace of mind, and feelings of well-being that breaks and replaces this vicious cycle.
More information is available if you would like to learn more about how to have a happier, healthier, and more rewarding life.
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What feelings have you dealt with while trying to stop smoking?