Did you know that smoking seriously harms your physical fitness and well-being, even by smoking small amounts or being a 'social smoker'? Not smoking has lots of well-known benefits to your physical and mental health.
Most people are aware of some of the ways that smoking can impact their health. Smoking can affect your appearance and increases your risk of developing many different health conditions, we have listed a few below:
- Appearance – Smoking can change your appearance, giving you wrinkles, grey tinged skin tone and staining your hands and teeth.
- Heart and lungs – smoking increases the risk of heart disease and lung conditions such as COPD and chronic bronchitis.
- Cancer – smoking greatly increases your risk of many different cancers.
But what about mental health?
Although it may feel relaxing, smoking actually increases stress on the body and the brain. In surveys, people who smoke report being less happy than those who do not – and people who stop smoking report that they feel happier afterwards.
Why not improve your mental health by looking to other, more positive, ways to take a break or to cope with stress?
Here are a few suggestions:
Be active- this could be something as simple as getting out a walk or some gentle exercise. This can reduce feelings of stress, boost self-esteem and improve your sleep. Here are some tips to boost your physical activity.
Talk to someone- whether it is on the phone or in person, sharing your thoughts can help to reduce stress and make you feel better about a situation. If you feel you need extra support there are organisations that can help.
Enjoy good food – eating healthily is not just good for our bodies but helps to prevent us from feeling sluggish and tired. Make healthy swaps and try not to skip meals.
Get enough sleep – Aim for about eight hours every night. Going to bed the same time each night, avoiding caffeine in the evening and having some social media free time can help your brain relax. Check out our top tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
Be smoke-free and be fitter, happier and better off. Keep on reading online on the Be Free homepage to find out how you could benefit.
If you smoke and are thinking of quitting why not visit the Quit Your Way homepage for free information and advice.