Here is just an observation of mine... I have been smoking for about 4 years or so (maybe more). I've noticed that anxiety is associated with an elevated heart rate. I can tell by simply checking my own pulse that on average, my heart rate is higher than it used to be. I used to be around 65 BPM, and now i'm seeing anywhere from 70 to 90 depending on how hard I work my body. Is the fact that my lungs are having a harder time pumping oxygen to my system, and thus increasing my heart rate to accommodate contribute to my anxiety? Pick your brains a little bit...
Funny you should ask this because I just read an article about this very thing today. Most people think that smoking a cigarette eases their stress and anxiety, but actually they are relieving their desire for the nicotine. Smoking actually increases stress on the body by making it work harder (as you pointed out) and thus tends to create more anxiety in some people.
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