Smoking and Stress: The Absolute Truth of the Matter

A common misconception amongst the population, especially those addicted to smoking cigarettes, is the idea that cigarettes help in coping with stress. The fact of the matter is that it is simply untrue, in fact quite the opposite. Cigarettes has been proven time and time again within multiple studies to increase the amounts of stress within ones body and life.

Why do people believe smoking helps with stress?

With so many people keen on believing the statement that cigarettes help to cope with stress, many individuals are prone to believing it without question. But what is the main reason for this belief beside word of mouth?

Speaking with multiple avid smokers you will hear one common theme: Smoking helps alleviate stress. When a smoker begins to feel stressed out, they will immediately run towards their cigarettes to find relief. Whether it is a large amount of stress and anguish due to a sudden death in the family or smaller amounts of stress from daily activities (argument with a friend, feeling overworked), a cigarette will undoubtedly alleviate the symptoms of stress. This is because cigarettes change the chemical activity inside of the brain by releasing mass amounts of dopamine, a natural pleasure drug found inside of the brain.

After the initial onset of stress, a smoker who picks up a cigarette and begins smoking will feel an intense relief of pressure and stress. It is almost a cooling sensation as the dopamine is released furiously inside of the brain, allowing users to feel calm and relaxed. However, cigarettes are also filled with a ton of other substances that cause extreme anxiety and other harmful effects on the body.

 Do cigarettes solve the problem of stress?

While avid smokers will instigate and reiterate the idea that smoking relieves them of their stress, this is simply not the case. While smoking a cigarette may relieve stress for the moment, it is nothing more than a mask and the real problem still lies in the individuals life. Masking the problem with a cigarette will only mean greater problems for the smoker in the future as they will not know how to deal with stress without having a cigarette in hand. Handling stress with a cigarette is also a terrible idea as cigarettes have been proven to raise stress and anxiety levels in users.

 Why do cigarettes cause stress?

It is no secret that cigarettes cause more harm than good; but how exactly do they initiate stress? When an individual goes for a long period without a cigarette, they will become nicotine deprived. This deprivation, also known as ‘cravings’, raises the stress and anxiety levels in the body significantly. It has been proven in many studies that smokers have greater amounts of stress than nonsmokers. That being said, before you think smoking is dealing with stress remember that it is only causing a bigger stress factor.

I’m too stressed out. Does that mean I can’t quit?

When you decide to quit smoking, there is no doubt you will have to deal with certain levels of stress; and many individuals will use that as an excuse to delay the process of quitting smoking. The fact of the matter is this: If you are dealing with extremely high levels of stress due to an unforeseen event in your life, it is probably not the best time to rid yourself of cigarettes. This doesn’t mean wait until you are completely stress free, though, as that is nearly impossible. However, you should wait until you are able to handle the stressors of daily life and the hardships of quitting at the same time.

How can I deal with stress after cigarettes?

Once the initial cravings have passed, you’ll be astonished at the lowered amounts of stress in your life. However, you will need to get passed the initial stress of quitting cigarettes and will also need to teach yourself how to deal with the stress in your life. Some excellent ideas to help you cope with stress and conquer cigarettes include the following:

-Joining a support group, or getting support from friends and family members.

-Joining a gym or working out when stress arrives.

-Listening to calm music such as classical or jazz.

-Going for a leisurely drive or walk.

-Going to a calm area such as the park or beach.

Stress does not disappear with cigarettes, in fact they only make things worse. Don’t let stress and cigarettes run your life. Conquer the addiction to cigarettes and notice the extreme changes both mentally and physically.

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