How to ward off withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking
When quitting smoking, tobacco addiction manifests itself in the form of physical symptoms. We’re going to give you some tips on how to prevent relapse
Improvement in general health, reduction in stress and anxiety levels, and saving money are just a few of the well known benefits of quitting smoking, and they happen immediately ... So why don’t all smokers just give up this habit? Because it isn’t that easy. All smokers total about 5-7 attempts at quitting and only 5% manage to stop for good. In fact, in most cases, the big danger is relapse. In this entry, we’re going to explain how smoking withdrawal symptoms work and how to combat them.
The worst withdrawal symptoms are those involving physical addiction to nicotine, which start in the first 24 hours and can last between three days and a week.
Day one: restlessness
The first symptoms appear almost instantly after stubbing out your last cigarette. A feeling of panic kicks in and time feels endless. Not to worry. When this happens take a minute to focus on the moment, on that second. Don’t think about what you have to do in the next hour. Take a deep breath and take in the moment.
After 4-10 hours your body will be crying out for its nicotine fix. Don’t simply give in and accept defeat. It’s time to find things to do. Re-arrange your kitchen or office, or clean your flat. Keep yourself distracted, your mind busy, and end the day with a few basic relaxation exercises.
The first time you wake up tobacco-free won’t be the best of experiences either. Your levels of irritability will increase and you won’t be able to do much about it. Warn the people around you and avoid interaction and tense situations as much as you can.
Day two: set aside time for a nap
The worst is already over, but now you’ll suffer what feels like a pretty bad hangover. After the big effort made to take your mind off tobacco for a day and keeping yourself busy, you’ll get a pounding headache. Don’t fall for it! Your body’s instinct is telling you to light a cigarette to alleviate the pain.
Resist it. Drink more water than usual and, if it persists, take an ibuprofen. Ideally, you should save a moment in the day to have a lie down. A nap should help get rid of the headache.
The final phase: do a bit of exercise
Stopping smoking reduces stress and anxiety levels, but it doesn’t happen instantly. In fact, these will be your symptoms on day three, especially if it coincides with a working day.
Again, the best thing to do is to drink water, do 15 minutes of exercise and avoid coffee if possible. Of course, we wouldn’t ask you to stop all your bad habits at once.....
Apart from the ways described above to overcome withdrawal symptoms, there are some things to bear in mind the days leading up to lighting your last cigarette, which will help you better deal with those first few nicotine-free days:
- Start an exercise routine. This will increase your metabolism and reduce the feeling of anxiety and insomnia.
- One of the biggest fears following quitting smoking is the danger of putting on a kilo or two. And yes, it is a possibility. So in the days before quitting, fill your cupboards up with vegetables and fresh as well as dried fruit and nuts. If you’re going to combat anxiety with food, at least do so healthily.
- In accordance with the point above: Keep your greediness under control! Just hours after quitting smoking your ability to taste will improve, which will tempt you to eat more and more. Your body takes about 20 minutes to feel full, so don’t rush your food if you don’t want to end up with stomach pains.
Unveil the secrets to quitting smoking on our MOOC ‘Quitting Smoking’.
SUBSCRIBE Get the best tips and tricks straight to your inbox.