So yes when you smoke you may feel slightly relaxed - this is down to the way you breathe when you smoke. It's less about the nicotine and more about how you breathe when you are smoking. Have you noticed any difference in the way you breathe when you smoke? Take a minute and put your fingers to your lips and pretend you are smoking.
Have you noticed anything different in comparison to your normal breathing patterns? You should have noticed the two following patterns.
Firstly, your in-breath was much stronger when smoking. Try it again, inhale as if you were smoking a cigarette. This deeper in-breath sucks in a lot more air than normal breathing because you are relaxing your diaphragm. With this extra air also comes more oxygen - your brain and body's fuel, up to 20% more oxygen in fact than when you breathe normally.
The second thing you should have noticed is the way you exhale. Your out-breath was also much longer and deeper, when smoking. Try it again, breathe out deeply without cigarette smoke, do it several times.
How do you feel? You feel relaxed and calm don't you! Exhaling feels good, especially when it is done strongly. Have you noticed that when you laugh and when you sigh you exhale and breathe out strongly? Breathing out has a calming and positive effect on the body. So even though the smoke puts a strain on your system, when you breathe out strongly you feel good.
So basically when you smoke you are just practicing deep breathing exercises.
The deep breaths provide your body and organs with more oxygen, which helps you to relax and release stress to a degree. I say to a degree because that extra oxygen is not enough to compensate for the strain that the chemicals in a cigarette put on your body.
So smoking itself doesn't actually reduce stress, or help you concentrate in any way - it's the way you breathe that does that for you. Have you ever wondered why people tell you to take deep breaths when you feel a craving or withdrawal symptoms? It's because the deep breathing mimics the way you breathe when you smoke.
So if you are trying to quit, just take some deep breaths and use a fake cigarette if it makes it easier for you. Eventually try to do some Qigong (reverse) breathing for life!
Read Daniel Fargher's full article here at ezine articles . My comments are in red.