photo of a smoker

It’s the breathing not the smoking that’s relaxing

One of the things I often hear from smokers that want to stop smoking is that smoking helps them relax and as an ex-smoker myself I can completely agree. Sort of.

It isn’t that smoking helps you relax (nicotine after all is a stimulant and increases brain activity just like caffine so how can it?) but the act of smoking itself helps you relax because of the breathing pattern you use when you smoke – a quick inhale followed by a slower exhale.  It is this out breath that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates the body’s automatic relaxation response.

When smokers stop smoking they feel that they can’t relax and that is because they are missing out on this relaxing breathing pattern which is why I recommend the 7-11 Breathing Technique and why breathing helps beat the cravings also experienced by smokers trying to give up.

If you need help stopping smoking please don’t hesitate to contact us.