How to Beat Withdrawal When You Quit Smoking Cigarettes
Time flies. As days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, suddenly your intention to quit smoking has been prolonged another year. And, while smoking isn’t the only way to develop lung cancer, it is the most common (and controllable!). So time is of the essence when you decide to quit smoking cigarettes!
But you already know all that.
If you’ve thought about quitting smoking but haven’t been able to follow through, you likely have concerns about some part of the process.
For many people, that point of concern is what to expect from withdrawal. That word (and everything it *might* mean) can be scary. But with a little reflection, you’ll be able to tackle even the worst withdrawal symptoms.
Winning Against Withdrawal When You Quit Smoking Cigarettes
Knocking a habit is never easy. It requires intense mental stamina and processing in order to overcome seemingly more extreme desires to give up. Quitting smoking is especially difficult thanks to the addictive properties of nicotine.
If worry about withdrawal symptoms has you concerned about your ability to quit, your best defense is preparedness.
Here’s what to expect from withdrawal:
1. What does withdrawal feel like?
The most common withdrawal symptoms include depression, trouble sleeping, crankiness, frustration, or anger, and cloudy thinking. You may also experience increased anxiety or nervousness, hunger, weight gain, and even flu-like symptoms.
Remember, despite these negative withdrawal symptoms, your health begins improving almost immediately when you quit smoking cigarettes! Your heart rate and blood pressure drop within 20 minutes of quitting tobacco. Over time you’ll experience increased energy, alongside health improvements in organs like your heart and eyes.
2. How long will it last?
The worst withdrawal symptoms will last a few days to a couple of weeks. When they have you feeling like giving up, remember to say, “NOPE”: Not One Puff Ever.
Even one cigarette makes it hard to continue on the path to quitting.
3. Can I get through it?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer explains that it will be easier if you are not alone. Tell friends, family, and coworkers that you plan to quit so they can encourage you on your journey.
Identify someone you can trust to talk through your fears before you quit. Tell them why you want to and ask if you can call if you need to talk. Before you go into it, know that you will likely need to talk at some point.
This is perfectly normal and is one way to actually increase your odds of success!
4. What should I do if I feel like smoking – Like, seriously!!! – ?
One of the most effective ways to quit a habit is to replace the unhealthy behavior with something else. When cravings hit, take a walk, do some stretching, or clean the house.
Better yet, replace your smoking routine with a different activity. If you typically smoke with breakfast, try eating outside and enjoying your surroundings. Or take a pre-breakfast walk. Think through what works best for you and proactively change your smoking habit!
5. What if I cave?
Then you’re normal. Research suggests that it may take as many as 30 attempts for an individual to quit smoking. That’s not to say you can’t quit on your first or second try, but you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you don’t.
Take it from the top – the more prepared you are, the more likely your decision to quit smoking cigarettes is to stick!
We believe in you! Tell us in the comments why you’re committing to quit smoking cigarettes!