21 March 2019

Stopping Smoking - Can It Change You As a Person?

Just a little musing on the blog today and a question:  Has anyone experienced a real change in their personality, mental health or general mental wellbeing since they stopping smoking cigarettes?

Image by roegger from Pixabay
First and foremost, let me say that I am not one of those irritating ex smokers who suddenly think that cigarettes are the plague of the earth and shout loudly and regularly from the rooftops of how disgusting smoking is.

I MISS IT.  I miss it so much.  I miss the after dinner cigarette, I miss the pleasurable addition of smoking when having a glass of wine or a cocktail; I miss the temporary calmness they would give me if I was having a bad day.  I miss them.

As a smoker you are well used to all the people that would wax lyrical about how bad it was for your health and how much money it must be costing you etc.  You would feel like wanted to stab them in the eye?  I still feel like that.  Sanctimonious ex smokers can take a hike.

Anyway.  Back to topic.  Physical health and money benefits aside, can't say I have really noticed either yet, I have to say that my mental health and wellbeing has definately changed.

For as long as I can remember, probably my whole adult life, I have had a numbing or  muting of emotions.  General the positive emotions.  Sadness, pain and anxiety I never had a problem with.  How typical. 

Feelings of anticipation, excitement, joy, happiness, feelings of just being damn normal, were just not really there.  I said the words and played out the emotions for people, but I never felt them.  I knew what they felt like because I used to experience them, but hadn't in many many years.

Not feeling, felt normal.  All the bright colours of emotions just did not live within me, except the black that occasionally would overtake me.  Everything was just muted.

Image by Alexandra Haynak from Pixabay

The only reason that I knew that I was not "normal", if anyone ever really is, is that on the occasional day, I felt everything.  It felt wonderful.  I would just wake up one day and experience a full day of normal feelings.  The world became exciting and full of wonderment.  Sadly, the next day, I went back to normal, my normal.

Not to tempt fate here (please fate, I'll be good I promise), but after around four weeks of not smoking, all of these feelings have come back.  I feel genuine happiness.  I feel excited when plans are made.  I feel anticipation when something good and new is about to happen.  I feel.   I feel everything.

Is this an effect of stopping smoking?  It would a be a very large coincidence if it was not related. 

My question I guess is very specific as I do not know anyone else who lived with the muting of emotions that I did.  I am sure that there is a name for it but I do not know what it is.

Whatever the reason, the world is full of colour again.  I look forward to each day, whatever it may hold and there is always now, some happiness to be found.  Even in the smallest corner.

How To Be Confident In Photographs

Image by Rene Pister from Pixabay

No matter who you are, in this day and age of social media photos are everywhere and hard to avoid. So, if you’re not feeling confident in front of the camera, then this might be something that fills you with dread every time your mate gets her phone out. Well fear not, there are ways you can overcome this and look and feel your best in every photo.

Know Your Angles
Standing in front of a mirror and taking some time to see what angles you prefer on your body might sound silly (no one needs to know) but it’s actually really beneficial and will help you to feel more confident if you already have an idea how you like to look! 

Another thing you can do is take lots of selfies; they’re really great for helping you to know what to do when someone else is taking the photo! So next time you're in front of a camera, get your instasmile ready and just pretend you're taking a selfie.
Ignore Everyone Else
It's so easy to feel self-conscious when taking a photo of yourself or having one taken of you. If you’re in a town full of people you might be feeling concerned about what other people think of you, or think you're being judged, but you need to forget all that because honestly, most of the time people don't even notice or they don't care. Try to forget about the rest of the world around you and enjoy the process.

Enjoy Yourself
It's so important to try and have fun while you're having your photo taken as this will shine through on the picture. The more you relax and let yourself go, the more fun you'll have, the more confident you will feel, and the more beautiful the photos will be.

Wear Something You’re Comfortable In
If you're not very confident in front of a camera, then you should definitely stick to wearing something that you feel confident and comfortable in. There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable and unconfident in photos as it will show and they won’t be photos you’ll want to look at again. If you are having a photoshoot or you know you’re going to be having your picture taken then wear an outfit that you love, and your confidence will shine through so much more. Then, once you're happy having people photograph you, feel free to experiment a bit with your outfits!

Fake It Till You Make It
No one knows at first what they’re doing in photos, not even models. They’ve all been there and look at them know. A lot of the time, people you think look great and confident in their pictures are often putting on an act, and pretending that they do, and you know what? It works! Pretending that you're confident in yourself will more often than not make you actually feel confident. So just fake it till you make it!