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Smoking, cortisol and stress – why is healthy management so important?

Some studies have found that smokers have higher levels of cortisol than non-smokers. This is attributed mainly to the nicotine inhaled. On the upside, when you stop smoking, those levels go down. And since too much cortisol creates problems within your body, it’s best to keep them low.

That means that, apart from benefiting from stopping smoking, you might also have to look at managing other stress that impacts on your body and the levels of cortisol. Look at the relationships you keep: do they stress you out? And if you continue them, what could you change that would help you keep stress to a minimum? Do you sleep enough? Do you exercise enough?

There are a few things you can do to minimize your response to stress:

- Relax your body by stretching, yoga, walking on the grass and/or beach

- Relax your mind by meditating, taking some time out to watch the forest or the waves

- Stop smoking, or at least reducing the amount of cigarettes you smoke

- Deep breathing, or belly breathing regularly throughout the day, bringing oxygen into your body and calming your nervous system.

Belly breathing when needed to decrease anxiety:

Putting one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen, breathe in only into your abdomen. The intention is not to move the upper chest at all, and only feeling the abdomen expanding. Do this for about 10 breaths or as long as you desire until you feel anxiety receding.

I can help to address the smoking issue. You do not have to live locally in the Byron Bay area, the session can also be held online, and you’ll find yourself quitting cigarettes in no time with ease.

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