Surprising Facts about Smoking and Your Mental Health
You probably know that quitting smoking reduces your risk for lung cancer, emphysema, and other physical ailments. However, you might be surprised to learn how much it can do for your mental health.
A recent review of research to date found that giving up the tobacco habit promotes positive feelings and mental wellbeing. More specifically, the study found a 24% lower risk of developing anxiety and depression and a 44% reduced risk of developing anxiety alone.
These psychological benefits are another compelling reason to say goodbye to cigarettes. Find out more about how smoking affects your brain and tips for how to quit.
How Smoking Affects Your Mental Health
Adults with mental disorders are 2 to 4 times more likely to smoke. For some, it may be a way of self-medicating. Nicotine can make you feel happier and more relaxed. However, the effects wear off quickly and usually leave you feeling worse than when you started.
#1 Fight depression.
While nicotine temporarily boosts dopamine levels, it also causes your brain to produce less of this chemical known as the happiness hormone. Some studies show that quitting smoking can be as effective as taking antidepressants.
#2 Reduce anxiety.
Smoking also increases anxiety and tension. Find healthier strategies for managing stress. Exercise regularly and develop daily relaxation practices.
#3 Stay social.
Are you concerned about how quitting smoking will affect your relationships? Your family, friends, and coworkers will probably like you even more without any second-hand smoke around.
Giving up tobacco may be more difficult when you’re dealing with mental health issues or a stressful lifestyle. You can still succeed with some effort and planning. We’ll give you some advice in the next article. Before that, please let the thinking of quitting smoking be embedded in your mind.