Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Smoking and Mood

Think smoking helps you feel better? New research shows people are happier when they quit smoking. To improve your mood, kick the habit.

If you’re a smoker, you probably smoke more when you’re unhappy or stressed. That’s because we tend to indulge in unhealthy behaviors like smoking and drinking when we’re fretful or depressed. In fact, many smokers believe cigarettes can help them cope with stressful or sad situations — which can compound the negative effects of stress and depression.

But as it turns out, those extra puffs aren’t helping your mental state one bit. Researchers at Brown University tracked the moods of smokers and found that they are happiest when trying to quit. During the study, those who remained the unhappiest were those who never attempted to give up cigarettes. Because negative moods can intensify cravings, a smoking cessation program that incorporates stress management techniques may boost your efforts to quit.

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