Quitting smoking is a big step towards a healthier life that requires not only a strong will but as well as tremendous efforts to stay quit. The different nicotine withdrawal symptoms bring great discomfort to the person trying to quit. It peaks on the first weeks but slowly weans down as the days pass. These symptoms are unavoidable and part of the whole quitting process. They may be temporary but staying quit is a lifelong process where there is always the possibility of reverting back to smoking.
It is important, however, to make behavioral changes and focus your attention on the benefits of quitting rather than the discomfort you are or about to feel. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, celebrate and appreciate the accomplishments you have made after quitting. This will inspire you and keep you motivated.
The Withdrawal Symptoms
Mood Swings. Imagine, you’ve been depriving yourself of meat, soda, and carbohydrates for several days, and have been eating only fruits and a small slice of chicken meat, you’ll feel grumpy right? Quitting smoking causes similar effect. Because of low nicotine level in your blood, the neurotransmitters in your brain are no longer stimulated, plus the hormonal instabilities and physical withdrawal symptoms, you’ll easily get sad, angry, irritated, and always on the edge. To make it worst, you can’t smoke and it adds to your frustrations. This can last for a few weeks. It is best if you can find new coping mechanisms and activities to keep you busy and distracted. Going out with friends, learning new sports, or joining the class you have always wanted to take can be very helpful.
Insomnia & Fatigue. Most smokers would feel exhausted even after waking up in the morning or regardless of the number of hours they sleep. Others would find it difficult sleeping at night and would feel exhausted because of lack of sleep. Either ways, it makes it very difficult for smokers to quit and cope with the withdrawal symptoms. This normally passes by after a few weeks but there are ways that you can do that will help improve your sleep like reducing your caffeine and sugar intake, and increasing your physical activities.
Physical Withdrawals. Other nicotine withdrawal symptoms include headaches, flu-like symptoms, hunger, and sudden cravings for cigarettes. Don’t be discouraged, these are all part of the withdrawal process and will pass after a few weeks. Try to redirect your thoughts on the positive effects of quitting and on the reasons why you wanted to quit. Living an active lifestyle and eating healthy foods can help lessen these physical symptoms of quitting.
The New You
The new you may not be very comfortable as the old you. The changes in your routine and lifestyle may feel strange but as days pass by you’ll start to like and love the person that you have become – a healthier and better non-smoker you. This may require a lot of patience, practice, and time but it is all worth it. Stay committed and celebrate what you have become!