Paul Carter's Psychotherapy EMDR & Supervision Services
Call Now On: 07843 813 537

Stoptober Smoking and Mental Health

Stoptober Smoking and Mental Health – Stoptober is a campaign run every year to encourage people who smoke to quit. It starts on 1st October and lasts the whole month. You may be well aware of the physical consequences of smoking, including causing cancer, heart disease, strokes, breathing problems and certain eye diseases, to name a few, but you may be unaware of how it impacts your mental health.

It has been proven that smoking makes stress, anxiety and depression worse, even though for many smokers they feel that smoking helps them relax and relieves anxiety.

Smoking cigarettes interferes with certain chemicals in the brain.

When smokers haven’t had a cigarette for a while, the craving for another one makes them feel irritable and anxious.

These feelings can be temporarily relieved when they light up a cigarette. So smokers associate the improved mood with smoking.

In fact, it’s the effects of smoking itself that’s likely to have caused the anxiety in the first place.

Cutting out smoking does improve mood and reduces anxiety.

Evidence suggests the beneficial effect of stopping smoking on symptoms of anxiety and depression can equal that of taking antidepressants.

Giving up smoking will improve a person’s anxiety, depression and stress levels. With the accompanying improvement in a person’s physical health, there can also be an improvement in someone’s quality of life and overall mood.

If you are a smoker and want to give up for Stoptober there are lots of online resources that you can tap into to support and help you. Below are two of useful websites.

NHS – Stoptober

Asthma & Lung UK

We also have a blog on our website that you might like to read

National No Smoking Day – 9 March

If you want to give up smoking below are 5 tips to think about.

  1. Get support – speak to family and friends, download the NHS Quit Smoking app, join online community groups, speak to a professional if you need to.
  2. Think about why you want to quit and write down your reasons. Tape them up on the wall and consciously read through them every day.
  3. Use smoking aids if you think that will help, such as patches or gum.
  4. Think about your current smoking pattern, are there times when you smoke more? When you are stressed? At certain times of the day or night? Think about what you will do at those trigger points? Have a plan, maybe you will contact a friend, maybe you will go for a walk, maybe you will sit quietly until the urge has passed. Maybe you will read your list of reasons to quit.
  5. Pay yourself for not smoking – Think about how many packets of cigarettes you would smoke a day or a week (on average) and put the money that you would have spent into a jar or special bank account. At the end of October or if you want to extend it to a longer period of time, such as 3 or 6 months, open up your jar or check out your bank account and see how much money you have saved. Have a plan of something special that you want to do with that money, something that you can look forward to.

If you are struggling to give up smoking, or with any other habits that you find unhelpful, you might want to talk to a professional. Paul Carter is a counsellor and psychotherapist with many years of experience, you can learn more about Paul here on the About Paul Page. If you would like to make an appointment with him please use the Contact Page or call on 07843 813 537. Paul works in Birmingham and Kingswinford, although currently due to COVID is working exclusively online and on the telephone. For more information about how counselling works and current fees please take a look at the FAQs page.

Posted in   Helpful articles

Comments are closed.

© 2023