For many years it was my primary reason not to give up smoking, a high pressure job and long hours meant that cigarettes were one of the few things that helped my relax. I know a lot of my colleagues were the same as you could see every thirty minutes or so outside our main offices in a leafy suburb of Manchester. To be honest if anyone had looked at our faces, straining with anguish to pull the last specks of nicotine from our smokes – they’d have found it hard to believe that any relaxation or stress relief is involved.
In fact that’s a good starting point for anyone using this particular excuse to not give up. Just look at people when they smoke especially after a long enforced abstinence, there is no calm – it’s the same look as on the drug addict’s face, one simply of relief at satisfying a their addiction. That’s the nub of the issue, it does bring some relief from stress – but the stress it entirely caused by the withdrawal symptoms from nicotine. The moment you finish the cigarette the symptoms start building up again – the smoker trapped in a never ending circle of enforced stress and relief caused by nicotine addiction.
Fortunately I learnt to stop this loop – the beauty of it is that the addiction goes away quickly if you stop feeding it. Better still so does the vast majority of the stress, sure you’ll still have the normal day to day stress of your ordinary day but it’s nothing like as bad without the ups and downs of nicotine addiction.
In fact lots of things that you think are impossible without smoking become so much easier. I couldn’t imagine being on holiday without smoking but I now sit and watch UK TV on my laptop whilst watching a Spanish sunset and I know for a fact that a cigarette is completely irrelevant to my enjoyment – you can too – read this. The only way you can argue that smoking reduces stress in reality is because you’ll get less of it over all – simply because it’s likely they’ll shorten your life expectancy!