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 Pipesmoking and stress

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Greyson

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Age : 36
Location : England
Registration date : 2012-08-03

PostSubject: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:08 am

Hey guys, I'm just experiencing something odd and I wanted to see if it was common or if I'm in the minority, there's a bit of background below that may bore you, apologies for beating around the bush.

As some of you know, I'm looking for a house. I've been looking for a house for about six months now since I lost my previous home of 25 years due to bad debt problems. Because my brother lied, cheated and stole from my family all his life, he was written out of the family will and no longer speaks to us, I haven't even heard from him in five years, and my sister moved to Australia about three years ago. Basically, I'm all that my mother and father has left to help them in their old age, and I've had no real choice apart from to try to live near my parents and help support them as they are struggling with various medical issues and cancer.

I have had three house deals fall through now, one where I decided to pull out of the purchase, and two where other factors negated the sale. Today was a bad day. I had finally found another place that was quiet enough for me, 5 miles from there to my parents in case of emergency, it had enough living space and was within my price range ect. However the brief results of the Homebuyers survey came back today, and there's a lot wrong with the house, an estimated 20,000 / $32,000 worth of problems that need to be fixed. I'm already beyond my budget and borrowing money from family just to buy the place, so I cant pay for repairs on top of the price, and the seller wont reduce the price. So it looks like I've lost another house, we are waiting until next week for the written form of the survey to come through because the sellers don't believe the findings are real.

Anyhow, that's the background. What I noticed today was... if I was a cigarette smoker, I'd probably have been smoking a lot. Being in the position of not having my own space, not having control over my life, feeling trapped and damned no matter what I do is taking a pretty heavy toll on me and keeps me under stress. But as a pipe smoker I sort of have the opposite reaction, I'm not drawn to it at all, in fact when I've thought about it today I've felt the same as when I thought about eating: faintly nauseous. (I cant eat when I'm stressed either). This reaction to thinking about smoking doesn't make sense, as I really enjoy pipe smoking. So I was wondering if others had the same reaction to stress with pipesmoking? I thought it might have been something to do with the fundamental differences between cigarette smoking and pipe smoking, like the cigarette basically being just a delivery mechanism for nicotine, and pipe smoking being more of a luxurious ritual of relaxation than just drug delivery. Or perhaps its because pipesmoking for me is very much about the taste and flavours, which might align with the physical / emotional experience of eating and therefore gets hit with the same hangup as when I get stressed and cant eat. I just thought it was an odd reaction, and I wondered if you guys felt anything similar under stress.
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gravel

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Age : 43
Location : Oregon
Registration date : 2011-12-07

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:09 am

You're not alone. When I'm stressed, pipe smoking doesn't appeal to me. If I am able to relax, then I find the simple ritual helps with clear thinking.

Besides talking it out with my wife, I find a good workout helps with my stress.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:17 am

Wow, and here I thought I was alone.

I used to smoke the deathsticks. Quit a decade ago. They were a perfect crutch, anti-social excuse/social excuse (where appropriate), stress reliever, better counsel than some friend with pesky opinions when I wanted to simply stew...

...pipes are different for me. I cannot smoke a pipe comfortably when stressed. There's little nicotine satisfaction, flavor/technique/moisture/heat issues, and I usually get about 1/4 the way through the bowl and I dump it out. And I can't afford to waste tobacco (I smoke the dregs to the bottom for a reason).

Social anxieties also take a toll on my smoking, when everything's "just fine," but I then notice I'm not getting anything close to a decent smoke compared to when I'm alone and lost in my own head, reading a book, on the computer or doing work.

Pipes are not a crutch, they're kind of a fair-weather friend, or as I see them, like a teacher, instructor, sensei or mentor: when you're ready, willing and open--you'll get what you ask for.

Meanwhile, it's a good method to train yourself to breathe, relax and enjoy a moment.

Cigarettes are the bad friend your wife/family hates that always gets you into trouble and is very hard to tell to "go to hell" (forever)... Laughing Fun as they were, no good...no good.

Cool
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kaiser83

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Age : 34
Location : Wherever the smoke clears
Registration date : 2012-02-22

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:25 am

The people I associate/work with have come to realize that if I am smoking a pipe I am a very approachable person. Heck just in general I am fairly approachable to most people. Only when I get extremely stressed from work or mad from my ex or work will I ever bum a cigarette (maybe 4 times a year). If I grab a cigarette people leave me alone and let me smoke it wherever I want regardless of what rules they have...which generally isn't a huge issue considering I don't often work in the states. If I am mad/stressed the pipe is the last thing on my mind because I don't want to slow down.
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PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:18 pm

Funny.

There are people who are wired backwards. As in people give them sedatives before an operation and it only winds them up instead.

It must be in keeping with that pattern that, home from work and relaxed, I go days without smoking a pipe. Not because it's not enjoyable, but out of contented laziness. I look at the pipes around the computer desk, smile, and am content.

But when Sundays come, the anxiety (or motivation) (or arousal) level goes up, whether the (Steelers) game's @ 1:00, 4:30 or 8:30, and the pipe selection begins before noon. Usually, that's the two or three favorite pipes and their respective tobaccos. All carried (along with the cleaners, tools, tobacs &c.) out to the coffee table by the TV and arranged.

Beside adding an additional dimension of enjoyment, they give me something to do with my hands -- something outside of football to focus on along with it. Keeps the adrenaline from spiking completely over the top -- adds just enough calm reflection to keep the boat more of less level in the water.

Takes all kinds, I guess (?)

cat What a Face study
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:23 pm

I'm the same way. I don't want to smoke in the morning, so I'll take a few minutes then to load and line up pipe(s) for the rest of the day. Sometimes I take the day off.

And I hardly ever clench a pipe while working. For me pipes are a welcome and relaxing diversion to enjoy for itself. I go into the rhythmic, controlled (almost meditative) breathing, concentrate on something in the distance, and in no time I just plumb feel better.

Most of the books you'll read on the history of pipes and tobacco spend a few pages on native Americans, smoking pipes and the Great Spirit. I think there's something to that.

The relaxation thing is a goal in itself, not requiring an expensive pipe or optimum tobacco. I've watched many a tide roll in while puffing a bowl of RLP-6 in an old briar with a bitten-through stem and felt all the day's stresses and tensions just slip away.

P.S. I should say this relaxed state is also available indoors. In my home office, right across fom my comfy chair, I have half a dozen smallish oil paintings of familiar shore scenes (seasonal images of Nubble Light on Cape Neddick comprise half of them) and they do very nicely, particularly if I turn the computer audio to surf and sea bird sounds.

P.P.S Go Steelers! Welcome back, Ben!
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Slide



Age : 55
Location : Benton, Louisiana
Registration date : 2011-11-23

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:35 pm

Lack of nicotine stresses me out.

So if I am stressed nicotine will help calm me down. If I am calm nicotine helps keep me there.

If I am extremely stressed taking time out to smoke a pipe and put things in perspective helps me.
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:47 pm

Sorry to hear of your tough times, Greyson. I think buying a house anytime is stressful. Hang in there, bro.

Pipe smoking is a contemplative experience for me. If I'm in a bad space mentally, I certainly don't wish to have a long smoke while ruminating my troubles. Cigs, on the other hand, are just as you say: a quick fix. They make you feel different with little thought or effort and are just a compliment to whatever you might be doing or feeling.

I notice that when I'm busy and stressed, the pipe hardly comes out at all. I also tend to gravitate to cigs and coffee during those times as a "keep me going" mechanism. As soon as the heavy concerts (or whatever) are done, the "celebratory pipe" will come out. It's symbolic of "ahhhh, life's good".

For me, pipe=good mental space. cheers

_________________
Many of the greatest pleasures in life are illegal, immoral, or smelly.

-Yak
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:53 pm

Yes.
If I'm stressed, I don't want to drag one of my favorite pastimes down into the mire as well. Pipe smoking is something I associate with calm contemplative mornings. Not stressed out evenings after work.
I'll usually just grab a guitar when I need something to relax me... Cool
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Slide



Age : 55
Location : Benton, Louisiana
Registration date : 2011-11-23

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:26 pm

Pipe smoking can be like meditation for me. Helps clear my mind, takes my thoughts away from the stressful situation and allows me to approach it from a fresh angle when I choose to revisit it.
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Puff Daddy
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Age : 53
Location : South of heaven
Registration date : 2007-12-09

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:34 pm

I've been under a good deal of stress off and on for a few years now. Not ordinary life stress, but stupid ridiculous crap from legal battles and health issues. Unfortunately I'm one of those people who fights and fights and then, when it gets to be too much, I go into depression for days. I know I'm doing it but I can't stop it. My blood pressure skyrockets, I just sit and stare and ignore everything, I don't talk to anyone, don't do anything I usually do to take my mind off things. When this happens I won't smoke because that's enjoyable and I'm not enjoying anything, I won't workout like I usually do even though I know it's what my body needs to fight the stress and lower the blood pressure. It's like I'm living two separate lives, the 75% reasonably happy and the 25% depression. Pipe smoking goes along with happiness, it doesn't create it or produce a chemical fix for unhappiness.

_________________
These are horrible times and all sorts of horrible people are prospering, but we must never let this disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to annoy and hinder them at every turn.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:08 pm

...just to add,if I'm on the waning side of a stressful day or episode, the pipe is okay. I just don't twitch in a bad situation going "man, I could go for a pipe right now." PeeDee makes a good point about quasi-depression. Being somewhere in the ASD realm, I have "depressive triggers" rather than actual depression. Same goes for weird, random pops of moodiness and anxiety. None of these times are good for a pipe, but like working out and meditation, the pipe on a regular basis helps regulate them all and keep them from boiling to the surface. Keeps the neighbors, non-blood family and grocery store population happy and secure in normalcy when I'm out of the cave.

Alcohol also isn't enjoyed when I'm in states other than joyful and mostly carefree. I can't "boredom drink." I don't "stress drink." Believe it or not, like the pipe, if I try and drink when I'm off somehow, I find I can drink about ten times as much and not even feel it. So I stopped trying. On a "normal" (*cough* happy) day, I drink a beer or two, and I'm spinnin' like a top, havin' a great time. Weird stuff.

The pipe just happens. Sometimes it doesn't. Both are okay, but the pipe has become an interesting component in my life.

Cool

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WaydeG

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Age : 60
Location : DFW - Frisco, Tx
Registration date : 2011-05-01

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:55 pm

MisterE wrote:


Pipe smoking is a contemplative experience for me.

Right there with you. I'm an aspiring writer and when I'm in outline or creative process mode, a pipe seems to help. My creative partner and I usually grab a scotch or a cold beer, a pipe of cigar and throw out ideas. Works well.

On the other hand, when I'm stressed a pipe is not on the agenda. I have a 100lb heavy bag in the garage that bears the brunt of my frustration. I find 4 or 5 intense 3 minute rounds on the bag takes away a LOT of stress and anxiety and clears my head. If you've never tried a heavy bag, I highly recommend it.
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beetlejazz

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Location : Finland
Registration date : 2012-08-17

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:23 pm

Interesting - I am this way too. If I'm really stressed, I crave a cigarrette, not the pipe.

This reminds me of something Milan Kundera has written - perhaps in Slowness? - about walking; that people who want to forget, walk fast; and people who want to remember and dwell on, walk slowly. Perhaps to some of us, this works with smoking too.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:41 pm

P.S. Re: Pipes, relaxation techniques and rhythmic breathing

My doctor nags me to quit smoking even though she can't find any objective reason to say that pipe smoking for 50 years has done me any harm.

Once I told her that pipes are a health aid, particularly in the areas of calmness and relaxation. "Pipe smoking helps me control at will my heart rate and BP," I told her.

"Right. Show me," she said strapping on the cuff.

I picked a spot on the wall to stare at and went into a slight exaggeration of my breathing technique while smoking.

The needle for HR dipped to 55, then 50, then 48 . . . "Stop!" she cried. "Don't do that, you could faint!"
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Jers

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Location : Ireland
Registration date : 2012-07-14

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:41 am

Sorry for your problems Greyson.

My own experiences of pipe smoking and stress/depression fall broadly into what has been discussed above. Smoking a pipe is an enjoyable experience for me and when I am really down I don't feel the ability to enjoy anything. That said, if I don't feel too low, I will sometimes force myself to load a pipe in the morning and try to regulate and elevate my mood by smoking whilst attempting work through my low mood by cognitive reasoning and/or reading a book. It doesn't always work but it can help start the day with an improvement. I view the strategy as a sneaky back door into meditation.

In any event good luck with the house brother - hopefully things will fall into place for you.

Best wishes

Jers


Last edited by Jers on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Simple Man

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Age : 56
Location : Atlanta-ish
Registration date : 2011-10-24

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:12 am

As some of you remember, I am a bit of an expert in this arena... if being an expert means you've been fighting and losing the battle for quite a long time. Rolling Eyes

I have three ways of handling stress and working through problems, the first two are unhealthy. I tend to eat like a fiend even when I know I'm not hungry. It a mindless way of not dealing with the problem at hand. I'm sure this is something I learned from early on and have not been able to shake. Come home from a hard day at school eat a dozen cookies, the problem is forgotten, for a bit. Somehow, I managed to stay very thin in my youth... I guess I just had a great metabolism.

The second way of not dealing with the situation is to do nothing and allow myself to sink into full depression and despair. That's a really bad one, sometimes I fear I'll never be able to come back from that or even want to. A lot of really good people have lost their way in the midst of despair. When you feel the dark grasp of depression clutching you, it is a signal that you need to do something to fight it. I totally understand how hard it is to do that because everything in you just wants to give up and go to bed and forget it.

Which brings me to the third way of handling stress and the onset of depression. Exercise! It's the only way I can effectively fight off the effects of stress. For me it's a heavy bag. Beating the crap out of a heavy bag until I am completely exhausted always elevates my mood and gets my brain functioning right so that I can really deal with the issue that is causing concern instead of just letting it lay there and steep. Since I've been dealing with the blues in this manner, I have not fallen back to the low lows. I know I'm just one person and what works for me might not work for the next guy, but I thought I would throw it out there.

Hope things work out for you soon Greyson. I kind of have the opposite housing problem, I'm stuck in a house and State that I really don't want to be in and don't see the way of getting out of it any time soon.
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idbowman

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Age : 35
Location : Painesville, OH
Registration date : 2011-12-19

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:05 pm

Harlock999 wrote:
Yes.
If I'm stressed, I don't want to drag one of my favorite pastimes down into the mire as well. Pipe smoking is something I associate with calm contemplative mornings. Not stressed out evenings after work.
I'll usually just grab a guitar when I need something to relax me... Cool


+1.

Well, except the bit about the guitar.
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chris

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Location : London, England
Registration date : 2008-01-01

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:54 pm

Greyson - sorry to hear of your troubles and I hope it all resolves soon.

I've been thinking about the same topic myself recently. I've been under a lot of stress with work - nothing bad just too much work - and I have hardly touched my pipes for weeks. Instead I reach for a cigar - thankfully I gave up cigs years ago - and that seems to do the trick.

As others have said I simply cannot enjoy a pipe unless I am already relaxed to some degree and then the pipe aids the deeper relaxation.

At least having read the other comments here that seems to be a normal reaction - so I don't need to stress about being odd. Suspect

Good luck with the property situation.
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Slide



Age : 55
Location : Benton, Louisiana
Registration date : 2011-11-23

PostSubject: Re: Pipesmoking and stress   Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:45 pm

Another thing to add to the list when I am counting my blessings! Very Happy

I am glad I can smoke and enjoy my pipe in times of stress.

Very glad Laughing
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