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Lighten up, not lighting up – how quitting smoking is good for the mind

We all know the physical and financial benefits of quitting smoking. But did you know quitting cigarettes can be positive for your mental health too? Here are a few ways you can feel the benefit if you quit.

Less stress: Some people think that having a cigarette helps them feel less stressed. However a recent study found that people who quit smoking are much less likely to be stressed and in general have a better quality of life. Next time you feel up against it, don’t reach for the cigarettes. Try getting moving by going for a walk or do something calming to relax like meditation or listening to music.

Better concentration: Non-smokers have a higher level of oxygen reaching their brain, which leads them to be able to concentrate better and for longer. Smoking reduces the oxygen supply to the brain, and this reduces your ability to focus. It’s a myth that smoking helps you think.

Better mood: Numerous studies have shown that quitting smoking can improve general mood and even decrease anxiety. This is because cigarettes increase anxiety – smokers believe cigarettes soothe anxiety, but in fact smoking creates it in the first place through withdrawal generated immediately after a cigarette is smoked. Quitting long-term will eliminate this catch 22 for good.

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