The relationship between stress and smoking and how the Thrive Programme can help.

The relationship between stress and smoking and how the Thrive Programme can help.

The relationship between stress and smoking

A recent study carried out by researchers from the Universities of Birmingham, Southampton and King’s College London concluded that smoking does not help with stress and anxiety. However, the study does suggest that quitting smoking can help reduce stress levels.

One of the things that smokers often claim is that smoking reduces anxiety. In the study of 469 smokers, 85% believed that smoking helped them to cope with stress. However, the study suggests that the opposite may be the case.

Of the 469 smokers, 41% were still not smoking after a year and the study showed that they had a 20 percent reduction in their reported stress levels. Those who started smoking again had little change in their stress levels.

An examination of the short-term physiological effects of smoking could give a part explanation of why stress levels increase with smoking.  Even smoking a single cigarette will cause heart rate and blood pressure to increase, and fat and cholesterol are deposited into the blood system. These are the same physiological effects that occur when a person is anxious.

Perhaps one of the reasons that smokers have the belief that smoking helps to relieve stress is that waiting for the next cigarette and thinking about when they are going to have it can itself cause stress. When they do get to smoke, it temporarily relieves that stress, although, as already pointed out, not on a physiological level.

Many studies indicate that smokers do suffer higher stress levels than non-smokers.  Whether it is the smoking that causes the stress, or that stressed people are more likely to smoke is unclear. What is clear is that there are both short term and long term negative effects on the health of smokers. Perhaps what has not been clear in the past is that there are effects on the psychological health of the smoker. One of the things that my stopping smoking clients say to me is that they feel out of control and frustrated by their previous attempts at stopping smoking.

The Thrive Programme

There are ways of dealing with both stress and stopping smoking that puts you back in control.

The Thrive Programme is a very effective way of both understanding stress and eliminating it. It has also helped thousands of people to stop smoking easily, with over a 90% success rate in helping people to quit for good.

The Thrive Programme helps people to understand the factors that cause stress and how to take control of them, or eradicate them completely. The programme has been in development over the last 20 years. It helps people develop an insight into themselves which enables them to generate their own resources to live the life they want.

To find out more about the Thrive Programme and how it can help with both stress and stopping smoking you can go to http://www.thriveprogramme.org/

Written by Rob Smith, Thrive Consultant for Lincoln

Related articles

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1287351/Giving-smoking-reduces-stress-levels.html

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/01January/Pages/Quitting-smoking-reduces-anxiety-levels.aspx

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