For some people, quitting smoking comes naturally. But for some, it can be extremely challenging. Quitting comes with different withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, irritability, craving, and headache. Headache is such a debilitating condition. It can affect your productivity, sap your energy, and negatively impact your quality of life.
Headache is common among people who are undergoing smoking cessation. It strikes at any time of the day, usually in the morning. The good news is – there are plenty of ways to stop smoking without having to experience headache. Follow the steps below to make smoking cessation an easy experience:
1. Don’t immediate cut back on smoking.
A sudden decrease in your body’s nicotine levels can lead to tremendous headache. So don’t try quitting cold turkey unless you are pretty sure you can handle the cravings alone. It would be better if you will slowly reduce your cigarette consumption especially if you are a typical one-pack-a-day smoker. Make a plan and set your quit date. Be realistic. It’s okay to give your time several weeks or months to finally let go of smoking. Just like what they say – do it slowly but surely.
Drink lots of water. Dehydration is likely to aggravate the headache associated with quitting smoking. You can drink coffee as it also helps reduce pain but too much caffeine can do more harm than good. You can have green tea as well. Aside from water, coffee and tea, best sources of fluids are fruit juices. Choose the natural ones. Fruits and vegetables have natural healing effect. They will not just take away your headache but will also help your body recover from the negative effects of smoking.
3. Stay active.
Physical exercise is crucial in quitting smoking. When you do physical exercise, your brain produces serotonin – hormones that are responsible for the feeling of happiness and pleasure. When you feel good, you are less likely to experience the headache. Enroll in a gym or set an appointment with your personal trainer. Experts suggest at least 4 hours of regular exercise every week to reap its benefits. Aside from relieving your headache, exercising will help your lungs revive its health.
4. Learn some breathing exercises.
Whenever your headache strikes, it can be helpful to perform some breathing exercises. You can ask a therapist or read some self-help books or blogs on the internet to learn some breathing exercises. Every time you feel that your headache is about to erupt, take a deep breath. Inhale and exhale for a couple of times to release the tension and stimulate your blood flow.
5. Take meds if necessary.
If the pain persists, consider taking medications. There are prescription and over-the-counter drugs that are effective in relieving headache. You may also consider taking a smoking cessation drug to easily deal with the withdrawal symptoms. Just make sure you choose the medication that does not contain nicotine.
Don’t hesitate to seek help if you think you need it. Talk to your doctor and improve your chance of quitting smoking today and forever.