Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms
It is tough going through the period of quitting smoking. This is mainly because many parts of the body get affected when you withdraw from that daily puff. There are physical, mental, behavioral and emotional symptoms of giving up cigarettes. You can expect to start craving intensely for the cigarettes. The pressure of staying away from nicotine will make you feel irritable, angry and restless. There will stay a constant feeling of tiredness but the nagging lack of sleep. The more of a long-term smoker you are, the more you can expect to feel the detrimental effects of smoking cessation.
The point is just to have faith in oneself and hang in there. It all gets okay after a few weeks and when that happens nicotine is entirely out of the system. The healthy body and mind that you get is your biggest reward for giving up smoking. Dealing with the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can get tough but fret not as it is not impossible. Here is an idea of what to expect and how to deal with the harsh few weeks.
Dealing With the Extreme Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
The most long-lasting and strongest withdrawal symptoms are the cravings. The risks of smoking include that the cravings start to manifest themselves within half an hour of your final puff, just as the effect of nicotine wears off and the mind tells you to have more. Now, the fact of the matter is that the physical craving for cigarettes goes away within a few days, but the mental craving persists. The few weeks that you need to completely get away from nicotine is due to the incessant mental cravings.
The truth is that you will need to take one step at a time in smoking cessation. This is not something that you rush into, and rushing will increase the cravings even further. The general period for lasting of the cravings is around 15 to 20 minutes, and several ways are outlasting the cravings. Here are a few of the ways that you can try out:
Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms
- Keep chewing hard candy, crunchy food or gum to keep the mouth busy. But do not gravitate towards unhealthy munchies in a bid to keep the mouth busy.
- Try the nicotine replacement therapies like lozenges, nicotine patches or gums.
- Move away from the things at hand or what you are doing when the craving hits you. Try going out for a walk or some quick exercises when you feel the need for a puff.
- The other trick that many ex-smokers have found effective is moving to a public place where they are not allowed to smoke.
- Take up new routines for those times when you used to smoke.
- Try calling family or friends to help keep you motivated on the path of nicotine withdrawal.
- Several triggers make you want to smoke, like caffeine and alcohol. Stay away from those triggers and even from the people who you used to smoke with.
Taking Up Therapies and Physical Activities
Smoking replacement therapy can also come to aid. Apart from helping to deal with the cravings, it can also ease out the other symptoms by letting in a small hint of nicotine without the other harmful chemicals present in the cigarettes. Chewing nicotine gum or sucking on candy can help you if you are feeling anxious or stressed out.
Try to stay as busy as possible during the first few days of giving up smoking because whenever you stay free, you will start to feel the need for a puff. You can also go for some meditation or yoga classes to help you deal with the situation. Take deep breaths when the craving for a smoke hits you.
Dealing With Withdrawal-related Depression
The other common feeling when you give up cigarettes is depression. The mild depression begins on the first day of withdrawal and might continue for a couple of weeks. In rare cases, this depression can turn out to get severe. You will need help from a therapist if you get hit by severe depression. But in case it is a mild depression, certain things might come to aid in increasing physical activity. Try making a list of things that are making you upset and write down the possible solutions to the issues.
You need not do more than just staying away from the vicinity of the smokers. You must vow not even to buy, bring, light or hold cigarettes for other as well. If you are in such a group where people have lighted up cigarettes, get away from the place and do not come back until they are all done with their cigarettes.
Dealing With the Food and Caffeine Cravings
As it has been mentioned earlier, coffee or tea can bring back the cravings for cigarettes. Take deep breaths to take in the aroma and count to five. Breathe out again and count to five. This should help in getting out the craving from your mind.
The chemicals in cigarettes work to curb the appetite. So craving for more food is also part and parcel of quitting cigarettes. People end up gaining as much as 5 to 10 pounds during the first few weeks of leaving smoking. You can take the food cravings in your stride by going for healthy food like fruits and nuts. If you are planning to make eating an activity to deal with nicotine cravings, remember to keep healthy snacks near at hand.
The final word of advice on dealing with quitting is that you need to keep reminding yourself of the risks of smoking. Keep telling yourself about why you gave up on smoking in the first place. You are the best person to take yourself away from smoking, and none of the motivations will work if you are not able to motivate yourself. Focus on the physical and mental gains that you have on quitting.