A new study from the University of Missouri has discovered that smoking triggers the personality traits of neuroticism (being emotionally negative and anxious) and impulsivity (acting without thinking) among adults. Fortunately, the study indicates that smokers who exhibited these traits can improve their personality through smoking cessation. Keep reading to learn more about the study as well as how a marriage therapist in Newport Beach can help if smoking is affecting your relationship.
How Smoking Affects Personality
In comparing smokers with their peers who had quit smoking, researchers found that smokers had much higher levels of impulsivity and neuroticism. The smokers were also much more likely to engage in deleterious, self-harming behaviors. Once they stopped smoking, these traits improved, especially for those aged 18-25.
The researchers explain this improvement, at least in part, as such: people who start smoking tend to be more impulsive, thinking more about immediate gratification without giving a lot of forethought to the negative, long-term consequences of self-harming behaviors. Once the individual has exhibited self-control, tolerance of frustration, and delayed gratification in stopping smoking, these disturbances in personality improve.
This, however, does not appear to explain things in their entirety. Why does neuroticism improve? It would also appear that later in life especially, smoking has much more to do with habit and cravings than impulsivity and neuroticism. The good news, however, is that smoking cessation improves not only physical health but mental health as well.
Get Relationship Help From a Marriage Therapist in Newport Beach
If you feel that your personality is affecting your relationship, especially due to smoking, seeking help from a marriage therapist in Newport Beach may improve things for your relationship. Smoking cessation may be able to help improve your personality, but sometimes extra help is needed. This is how marriage or couples counseling can help.
Jennifer De Francisco, MPA, MSW, LCSW, is a couples therapist in Newport Beach, CA, for couples at any stage in their relationship. Her approach provides a safe environment to openly and honestly share thoughts and emotions. Through developing a positive, therapeutic relationship, you and your partner can interpret what is going on, both in your life and in the session, creating a better awareness within your relationship. Contact Jennifer De Francisco by calling (949) 251-8797 or make an appointment online.