STRESS and Smoking Cigarettes - THE FACTS!

So, you might be asking: how do I stop smoking and be stress free? how do I quit cigarettes and deal with all the stress that i have in my life at the same time?

Well to help you, there are a few things to consider. Firstly lets look at the the facts about cigarettes, smoking and stress reduction.

You probably already know that nicotine is a STIMULANT.

So what does that mean? well, it simply means that on a physical / biological level when you smoke, you are actually placing your body into a HIGHER state of stress. You're elevating your heart rate as well as your blood pressure and stimulating your nervous system.

So it absolutely is NOT relaxing your body. This is one of things that shows how much smoking cigarettes is a PSYCHOLOGICAL dependency.

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So you might ask, well why does it seem like smoking cigarettes seem like it's calming me down? Well, once again there are few things to consider here:

* It's your habit - whenever you get stressed, you reach for a cigarette. It's just what you alway

s do, almost as if on automatic pilot. Since you've probably been doing it for so long as well, it can be easy to doubt that you could be in a moment of stress and NOT reach for a cigarette.

* Consider that it's not the cigarette at all that is reducing your stress, but everything else you're doing in that moment to actually have that cigarette. Look closely at what happens. Let's say for example, you're sitting at your desk at work and something has gone seriously wrong and you're now STRESSED! What do you then do? You get up, you go outside the building, you find a nice quiet place to yourself, you're taking some nice slow deep breathes whiling thinking about that situation and how you're going to deal with it. You've basically taken a break to have a little 'time away'. Once you get back to your desk, you feel more relaxed, but on a physical  / biological level you're actually in a higher state of stress than before you went out the door to have that cigarette.

What you'll find is that if you start to get into the new habit of doing the exact same thing, but leaving out the cigarette - you'll find that you'll become relaxed even without the cigarette. Take a break, go outside, take some deep breathes, have a think then go back inside.

Deep breathing is CRUCIAL for stress reduction. It reduces your heart rate as you give your heart more oxygen and by sending more oxygen to your brain, you naturally feel calmer. This is exactly why all relaxation techniques and meditation have such a strong emphasis on breathing. If you can control your breathing, you can control your internal stress levels.

Lastly, i just want to leave you with some simple points to think about when it comes to stress and coping with it better.

* Being stressed is often because you are experiencing something that you believe should NOT be happening based on your perspective. If you're able to change your perspective, you can experience a better way of coping.

* You will never be able to control what people say or do and sometimes unexpected things are going to happen in your life.

* Look to control the ONE AND ONLY thing you can control in a stressful situation, your reaction to it. You always have the ability to choose what meaning you are going to attach to that particular thing, person or situation
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* Being stressed about something that isn't going the way that you want it to, is often a sign of not being flexible or adaptable. Practice adopting a more 'go with the flow' type of attitude in all stressful moments.

* When faced with a stress distract yourself with some small physical task or action - walk away, make a call, check your email, take a walk outside. Do any small task to get your body doing something different.

To your health.

Nick Terrone
BSc (Psych), Grad Dip Applied Psych
Specialist Hypnotherapist “Quit Cigarettes in 60 minutes”
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)


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