Does Smoking Relieve Boredom?
Smoking relieves the dullness or boredom of the moment, it is a common argument made by a pro smoker. It’s a baseless argument to start with because boredom is caused by a situation and usually is just a state of mind. Smoking a cigarette as an activity is performed with the only intention of relieving the nicotine craving. The activity of smoking make take up time and attention but so would any other activity. That does not mean that smoking alleviates boredom. The concept of boredom itself is just a mind state where a person feels disinterested in anything around him. The need to have a smoke arises from this boredom because the nicotine craving is felt more acutely in this state. This leads to a smoker lighting up and claiming that it helps get rid of boredom. Once the cigarette has been finished the smoker returns to his boredom again. Smoking is just an addiction staving activity and it has no capacity to relieve boredom. The only purpose served by smoking is to alleviate the nicotine craving which was generated by cigarettes in the first place.
Isn’t it relaxing to smoke when bored?
When your mind is indulging in an interesting activity you will not feel the need to smoke or may even become unaware of your nicotine craving; I am sure you have noticed this. During circumstances when you are performing an uninteresting work, something monotonous or stressful, your mind seeks to do something stimulating and easily wanders into what is lacking at the moment. It senses a nicotine craving immediately since a smoker is usually in the state of withdrawal after his first cigarette. Hence the need to light up during boredom. It was certainly my favorite excuse to smoke and I don’t blame any smoker for feeling this way because that’s how I felt myself. If I was stuck doing something boring, it was an extremely attractive option to light up. To walk out to the pantry or terrace and smoke a stick of cigarette was entertaining and seemed to relieve boredom. Just that once I got back everything was just the same and now I felt lethargic from the carbon monoxide in my blood stream. Smoking does not alleviate boredom because it’s just an activity of alleviating an addiction craving. It obviously feels good to alleviate a craving for nicotine but how does it help overcome boredom?
Smoking feels like nothing with time
There comes a time, usually in a matter of a few months, when smoking feels like nothing except an unconscious habit. After smoking you don’t feel good about it but feel a need to smoke in sometime. While smoking you don’t know why you are smoking at all because it does not feel good. You feel the obnoxious smell of tobacco add a stink to your breath and have no idea why you keep lighting up. Your previous cigarette generates a need to smoke again, to get some nicotine in, but in a while the nicotine content is well saturated in your blood stream and you still continue smoking for no reason, as it happens with chain smokers. It becomes an ingrained habit which is not in the least enjoyable. It is just something you do and the worst thing is that it is killing you in the process.
Sitting alone without a cigarette
A smoking addict would feel threatened at the very idea of considering sitting alone without smoking. When you were a non-smoker you did not feel the need to do something with your hands and mouth when you were sitting alone. A smoker compulsively feels the need to drag smoke while walking or driving or doing anything which is considered boring. The reason is simple, and this is true not only for smokers but for non-smokers also, when you are performing a non stimulating activity like walking alone, sitting alone, working on a dragging project or just watching a boring movie alone, there is a tendency to find something stimulating to do. A non-smoker would usually end up putting on some good music or something along those lines while smoker might end up puffing on a cigarette to do something stimulating. When you can kill boredom with a harmless activity why would you indulge in a health deprecating activity? The answer is simple, because you are addicted to that health sapper.
Alternatives to beat boredom
There is nothing even remotely engrossing about smoking. In fact after a couple of puffs it is quite usual to start thinking about the reason why you lit up. If you are continuously in the state of restlessness or boredom the problem is deeper and is at the mind level. May be your job is not satisfying to you, maybe you are not happy with your relationship or maybe it’s just a passing phase of depression. If it gets acute you can consult a doctor and ask for some prescription drugs which can uplift your mood or serve to equalize the imbalance caused due to a chemical lack. Smoking is no medication and neither does it serve any purpose. Nicotine is a stimulant and it increases the blood pressure apart from becoming an addiction. It is not known to release any endomorphins (feel good chemicals) in your body.
The excuse of smoking kills boredom is ridiculous, it just fulfills a craving. The sooner you understand this concept the easier it is to understand the crux of quitting without any force.