Did you know that smoking can impact your mental health? A lot of people do not think that there is a link between smoking and mental health, yet research shows that this is not the case. Smoking plays a major role in life expectancy, and those who give up smoking are able to enjoy a better quality of life after making the decision to quit. Smoking is often also used as a form of stress-relief. While the short term it may appear to help you relax, in the longer term it actually leads to an increase in stress and anxiety, because smoking can cause you to become addicted to nicotine. Smokers often find that when they start to crave cigarettes they can then suffer from the withdrawal symptoms and side effects of smoking. These cravings increase stress-levels and can also cause a heightened sense of anxiety and low mood.
At TALKWORKS, we have a team of trained therapists who can provide more information on the relationship between smoking and mental health. Our therapists can also support you in managing any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing around quitting smoking, and point you in the direction of support services such as One Small Step who can give you free confidential advice and support to help you quit for good.
Rupert, who used TALKWORKS services earlier this year and then referred to One Small Step, shares his story on how giving up smoking has improved his wellbeing:
“My TALKWORKS therapist asked me early on if I smoked and then how much I smoked. They then went on to tell me how quitting smoking may help with my mental health. Before this conversation, I wasn’t thinking of giving up smoking - it wasn’t on my agenda. I was thinking I might give up in a few years’ time, but then it made me think, let’s give it a go! I had got to a stage where my smoking was more habit and a comfort blanket that helped me when I felt anxious and depressed. I didn’t enjoy smoking but I thought it helped me keep my mind of feeling stressed. It felt like a good change to make to my lifestyle.
I am now over 3 month’s smoke-free. I have noticed I have saved money, and have become less stressed and anxious. I feel quitting smoking has had a positive impact on my mental health, and I’m pleased I took up the offer to be referred to One Small Step when my TALKWORKS therapist mentioned it”.
If Rupert’s story has inspired you to give up smoking, but you’re not sure where to start, speak to the team at One Small Step to find out more about the free advice and support available. If you have made the decision to quit, but are struggling with the withdrawal of smoking, our TALKWORKS team are here to support you in managing any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing. You can self-refer to our service via our website or call us on 0300 555 3344.
Posted by Nicky Haycock on 15 November, 2023