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Does Smoking Calm Your Nerves? Are you an easily irritated person? Perhaps emotional? Easily swayed? Maybe even completed a couple anger management courses? If any of the previously mentioned apply to yourself, and you smoke, chances are you would agree with the statement “smoking calms my nerves”. But is that an actual true fact, does smoking calm your nerves?

Does Smoking Calm Your Nerves – Personal Experience

From personal experience, I can full-heartedly say that yes, I believe smoking, for sure, calms my nerves! But with that being said, I am not a researcher or doctor. What I state is solely from my own personal experience alone. A couple of years ago though, I quit smoking and switched to vaping. I started off with 12mg of nicotine, and am now at 3mg. I don’t rely on my electronic cigarette like I used to, I also though am more active. That’s one thing I found that really calms my nerves – moving, running, dancing, yoga and fitness classes have the ability to spike dopamine levels. Which in turn, calm your nerves. But what does dopamine have to do with calming nerves?

Does Smoking Calm Your Nerves – Poke The Bear

There are several tests done by many researchers, health advocates and Doctors alike that show that smoking does have an effect on us. But alas, those effects aren’t what smokers hope they are. Cigarettes contain nicotine and nicotine is a psychoactive/mood altering drug. When nicotine enters the system, it reaches the brain in 8 seconds flat, where it releases a chemical known as dopamine. Dopamine is an addicting chemical, that when released into the system as it envelops an overwhelming sense of pleasure and relaxation. But what these sensations mask is the fact that smoking raises blood pressure. Increases heart rate and muscles become tense – all signs that the bodies under stress, not at all like it’s calm!

There’s one case study that I really enjoyed reading. In this study, Jean Gehricke and a team of researchers from the University of California studied the effects of nicotine patches on subjects who’d been provoked into agitation. So in other words, they poked the bears. In this study, the subjects played a video game in which they could see (whom they thought to believe was) their opponent. When in fact, they were actually playing alone. After the game, the winner could give the “opponent” a burst of an obnoxious noise, which they chose the length and volume of. The tests concluded that those wearing the patches were more likely to blast the opponent with the obnoxious noise rather than those who were not wearing the patch. As the nicotine in the system spiked their emotional “rage” and even increased the length of time the subject felt that rage.

Does Smoking Calm Your Nerves – Placebo Effect

In conclusion, smoking doesn’t actually calm your nerves. What’s happening (other than the dopamine) is pretty much just a placebo effect. If I full-heartedly believed that taking a banana and smooshing the meat in my hand was able to take me from hulk mode to innocent little kitten mode. Then that would actually calm me down. Our brains are fascinating pieces of work that have the ability to make things happen. A little off topic, but if you’re feeling down and blue, just the simple act of making yourself smile rewires your brain into thinking it’s happy. So, the same goes for smoking – if you believe that smoking calms your nerves, then you’ll undoubtedly calm down.