Does Smoking Really Help with Stress?

One of the biggest triggers for smoking is stress.  If someone, or something stresses you out, you light up a cigarette.

Quite often, after someone quits smoking, they will often take it up again once something stressful in their life happens.

What many people do not understand is that the reason the mind thinks of having a cigarette is not only out of habit, but also because the body wants to find a way to relax. 

When you light up a cigarette, you take a huge breath in, hold it, then release.  This causes oxygen to enter the stomach which then release endorphins and feel good hormones which help you relax.  A few more puffs of the cigarette and you're feeling even more calm.

We normally breath quite shallow and high in the chest.  Smoking makes up breathe deeply and therefore we can relax.

Leaving the situation to go and have a cigarette also helped to calm you down.

The interesting thing is that once nicotine entered the body, it caused the heart to beat faster causing more stress to the heart and body. 

A smoker's heart beats 10,000 more beats per day than a non-smoker.

Smokers have more heart attacks than non-smokers and at younger ages.

It wasn't the cigarette that calmed you down.  It was the deep breathing. 

Next time, try taking deep breaths without a cigarette and see if that's all you really needed.