Smoking is a habit that begins easily depending on the environment that one is in. Some of the triggers of being addicted to smoking include the company one keeps, the rules that govern the life they lead, as well as low economic status. The presumption that tobacco helps a person to reduce their stress levels will make them want to smoke to relax and ease anxiety. To understand the mental effects of quitting smoking one needs to learn the reasons behind the addiction to smoking.
The Chain Effect
When someone begins to smoke, the body adapts to the charge of nicotine that it receives seconds after the first puff. Nicotine is known to activate production of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the molecule that controls the reward centers of the brain. These centers are associated with feelings of reward, attention, mood, and memory among others. When someone feels low and puffs on a cigarette, this is the effect that takes place with dopamine being produced.
Breaking the Chain Effect
The downside to using nicotine to produce dopamine is the brain lags behind in dopamine production without the nicotine trigger. This makes it necessary to smoke to get dopamine produced. That is one of the greatest reasons why smokers get addicted to smoking as their brains become dependent on nicotine. To restore normal brain function and dopamine production, it is necessary to quit smoking.
People who have schizophrenia are believed to benefit from smoking. This is because it alleviates some of the symptoms associated with this mental condition. These symptoms include disorganized speech, low moods, anxiety, and anger. These are the same symptoms that can be alleviated by the production of dopamine. This makes sense why a person who has schizophrenia will become addicted to cigarettes.
Five Ways to Help Quit Smoking
- To be able to endure the difficult journey of quitting smoking, it is best to be prepared for the withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include craving cigarettes, anxiety and irritability, nausea, and headaches. Staying hydrated and packed up with foods rich in fiber and vitamins helps to ease these adverse withdrawal effects.
- The second way to help quit is to have a support system of those around you. These include your family and friends who support the goal of quitting smoking. They can keep a close watch on you and be an encouragement to you.
- The third way is to join a talking therapy group where you are a group desiring to quit together. Here, there is a great understanding among members as you are going through the same problem.
- The fourth way is to avoid triggers that will have you desiring cigarettes. These include cigarettes themselves and anything that is nicotine laden. Avoid caffeine, and any other triggers that you know have gotten you lighting a cigarette.
- The fifth way is to find different ways that can help you deal with the stress, anxiety, and depression. This will lead to a lack of dependence on nicotine.