Exercise. Its contribution to good mental health is often overlooked by those desperately attempting to pump depressives with expensive little pills.
But exercise is the last thing you fancy when you feel like shit. Chocolate, wine and oh yes cigarettes – that’s what feels good. But not in the long run unfortunately.
Interestingly, the rates of smoking are extremely high amongst those suffering from depression and anxiety (Breslau, 1995*) and if you believe Oliver James, then (most likely) every schizophrenic ever studied has been a smoker too. Oral fixation, dontcha know.
But braking cycles of behaviour is hard and you need a pro-exercise support system or a hell of a lot of will power to make these kinds of changes. But I’ve read many, many papers and case studies that say that smoking is the last thing “Teh Professionals” try to deal with, because clients/patients usually have so many more.. interesting.. dysfunctions to deal with first.
On the other hand, you could decide spontaneously to quit smoking, start running, upset an old knee injury, get a bad cold from overdoing it and end up drawing cartoons about it. Oh wait..
91 days and not really counting any more (I have an app for that )
* For the psych geeks among you – Psychiatric Comorbidity of Smoking and Nicotine Dependence, Breslau 1995 [PDF]