The Nicotine Buzz: What is it?
The feelings, both physical and psychological, that are associated with nicotine entering your system is better known as the nicotine buzz. Nicotine is what addicts you to cigarettes and it does not do that by magic. There is a lot going on in your brain and in your body when it gets a hit of nicotine.
Some of the immediate effects of the nicotine buzz are:
- Pleasurable sensations
- Feeling relaxed and euphoric
- More focus and energy
New smokers feel the nicotine buzz the most. People who have quit smoking for a while and then start again feel it hard as well. Anyone who smokes or takes nicotine feels the nicotine buzz even if they do not notice it.
The Nicotine Buzz: Long-Term Effects and the Chemistry behind It
There are strong feelings that come with the nicotine buzz. Here are some of the more subtle ways the nicotine buzz affects your body after you come down from the high:
- It raises you heart rate and blood pressure
- It makes more glucose in your body
- It dulls your senses
- Decreases your appetite
- Drops your skin temperature
Here is the process that produces the nicotine buzz:
- You take nicotine, either through smoking a cigarette, chewing tobacco or by inhaling nicotine vapor from an e-cigarette.
- The nicotine takes only a few seconds to get to your brain.
- When it gets there, the nicotine attaches itself to things called acetylcholine receptors. These receptors control levels of dopamine in your body.
- Dopamine is released into your body, that is the beginning of the nicotine buzz.
- Serotonin is another pleasure causing chemical that gets released into your body by nicotine.
When the dopamine and serotonin levels go back down, and they do, you also go back down. You feel tired and without energy. Your body wants more of all those good feelings so you take some more nicotine and that is how addiction to nicotine begins.
Chasing the Nicotine High
If you are a heavy smoker, the nicotine buzz is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning. You can already feel your body craving nicotine. This is a part of the nicotine buzz. The pleasing calmness that washes over you when you take a hit of nicotine is the cure to the craving and anxiety that nicotine addiction causes in your body.
Nicotine is both a stimulant and a sedative. It brings you up and then brings you down. If you are a regular smoker, the nicotine buzz is something you probably plan your day around. You probably have specific times during the day, when you know you will need a hit of nicotine:
- Maybe with your morning coffee
- Before you go to work
- Right after lunch
Then there are the things you do not plan. Maybe you get some bad news and you start to feel nervous or anxious, the nicotine buzz will calm you down. Maybe you get into a fight or argument with someone and you need to relax, the nicotine buzz comes to the rescue.
The point is you can use the nicotine buzz is so many different ways. You do not care that smoking causes cancer or that it puts you at a higher risk for strokes or heart attacks. You just want to feel better because there is too much stress in your life.
Sure, the nicotine buzz makes you feel better, but it puts your health at risk. Here are some ways to beat the craving for the nicotine buzz:
- Breathing exercises. Taking deep breaths increases oxygen levels in your blood making you feel more at ease and relaxed.
- Drinking water. The worst part of the nicotine buzz is that it becomes a habit so replace that habit with something else. Drinking water is an easy way to avoid the nicotine buzz. It is good for you and it helps you avoid smoking.
- Exercise/Go for a walk. Maybe you need to work off all that nervous energy. Instead of reaching for your pack of cigarette go out and get some fresh air. Exercise, even a brisk walk, increases your blood flow.