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Smokers love excuses. They can’t quit because .. (fill in the blank). I covered one of the favorite excuses in another article, the ‘concentration con’.
Now here’s another of the main – can’t quit – excuses. Smoking helps relaxation. Most smokers claim it helps them relax. But would you ever describe a smoker as relaxed ?
Their addiction (or habit) makes them nervous and jumpy. All things equal, a smoker will never relax as they once did before their drug.
Think about last time you ate in a restaurant. Isn’t that a relaxing environment when you’re eating your meal, in good company ? But that’s not enough for the smoker. They’re still not relaxed. They need a cigarette fix, even between courses, because they think that’s what they need to relax.
Then they associate a temporary relaxation with the cigarette, rather than the environment and company. They don’t even consider their non-smoker friends enjoyment might get ruined by smoking.
Let’s look at the realities of the relaxation ruse. Nicotine is a stimulant, not a relaxant/depressant. A stimulant speeds up metabolism, not slows it down.
The ‘smoking is relaxing’ claim counts as yet another irrational excuse used by smokers who can’t face up to quitting. The smoker genuinely feels a cigarette will relax him.
In reality it’s the habit, expectation and association with relaxing situations that are the main reasons he feels relaxed. Sometimes it’s even the deep breathing effect that helps relaxation.
Any sportsperson knows that deep breathing helps relax before an event. Difference is he’s breathing fresh air, rather than poison ! Smokers actually credit their cigarette for a temporary benefit they get from deep breathing.
Most people agree stress and relaxation make two opposite conditions ? Many smokers think giving up will create more stress. They think their cigarettes are actually relieving stress.
Amazingly, cigarettes actually ’cause’ the stress smokers think they’re relieving ! Continual craving for another cigarette; guilt, helplessness at their inability to quit; low self-esteem… Any of this sound familiar ? At best, another cigarette temporarily reduces the stress caused by earlier cigarettes.
So we really should call the relaxation effect, the ‘relaxation ruse’… an illusion favored by uninformed smokers who wrongly credit their cigarette with relaxation.
Quitting smoking means a return to relaxation. Quitting smoking means a return to a clear head… among many other benefits. Once you see through the relaxation ruse’, you’re much closer to finally quitting smoking once and for all.
© DigiLectual Inc. 2004
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