It's not exactly a secret how truly difficult it is to quit smoking. If you've ever been addicted to cigarettes or you know someone who has, then you probably understand the hardships faced when attempting to kick the habit. From friends and family on your case, to feeling defeated virtually everyday you reach for a smoke -- it's not an easy task what so ever.
And according to research conducted earlier this year, there's apparently something particularly special about those who are actually able to quit. That's right, if you've managed to quit smoking in your lifetime then you're not only remarkable to those around you, but to science as well.
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In a study published in the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology back in May, researchers looked at the brain activity of 85 smokers per month. They then followed up with the smokers about their smoking behaviors for another 10 weeks straight.
At the end of the study, 41 smokers relapsed, while 44 did not and the results revealed something interesting about those who managed to quit. Apparently, they had a few things in common that caught researchers attention.
First off, they showed better connectivity between an area in the brain that involves in addiction and another which is responsible for executing voluntary movements. But the most fascinating part of the whole thing wasn't the results themselves, but that they were actually evident in scans taken 30 days before the participants' end dates.
%shareLinks-quote="Simply put, the insula is sending messages to other parts of the brain that then make the decision to pick up a cigarette or not." type="quote" author="Merideth Addicott, PhD" authordesc="Duke University Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences" isquoteoftheday="false"%
In other words, if these messages are strong enough, you're more likely to be able to make the difficult decision not to smoke, as well as virtually any other tough decisions in life you're faced with. Now, THAT'S what we call self control.
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