Do you know that around 44.5 million adults in the US are smoking a cigarette as you’re reading this? The world is tough out there, and you’re doing your’re best to put up with people you’d rather not talk to, pay for bills which you wish you never had to do, and work in a place where you’re not appreciated, and you look forward to light a ciggie, take a lungful of smoke in, and let it out slowly in the air. Yes, it keeps you sane, but you’re paying the price with elevated risks of cancer, skin issues, fast aging, and the list goes on. Nicotine is an addictive substance, and it’s not easy to stop taking it in any form. If you’ve got a plan, or resolution, to break the habit, here are some signs of withdrawal symptoms and tips you can use to make a smooth transition from a smoker to non-smoker.
1. Intense Craving For Nicotine
This symptom shows up after 2-3 hours of smoking. As the nicotine levels goes down, you start craving for a cigarette. Smoking increases the number of nicotine receptors in your brain, and those receptors keep craving for nicotine when they don’t get it.
What you can do: Pop a nicotine gum in your mouth whenever you feel like you can’t do without a ciggie anymore. Plan a detox regime to cleanse your body from nicotine and other toxic metals and chemicals you took into your body with every cigarette you smoked.
As you’re trying to quit smoking, you’re depriving your brain from nicotine. It’s common to feel anxious over things which don’t matter. You might lash out at people and feel miserable.
What you can do: Take 10 deep breaths, and remember that this is all in your head. Keep a journal with you where you write about how you feel and what’s agitating or worrying you. Every time you feel anxious, open your journal and jot down why you don’t want to smoke anymore.
When you’re brain is not getting the nicotine which it use to, you might get angry, sad, hurt, and broken. Depression is a common withdrawal symptom. You may feel sad about yourself and your whole life, cry about things which happened in the past, and things which may happen in the future but you’re not too sure about it.
What you can do: Start eating foods which are good for brain health and can ward off the blues. Include dark chocolate, fresh green leafy vegetables, nuts, and berries into your diet to see a change in your mood. Keep yourself busy with a novel, or a hobby which relaxes you.
When you try to quit smoking, headaches become your new friend. This, again, is a common symptom of nicotine withdrawal which you need to watch out for. You will have a hard time thinking straight, get angry at small things, and feel like popping an aspirin.
What you can do: Take five minutes out to take a walk, and take some deep breaths. Drink plenty of warm water throughout the day to fight with these bouts naturally.
5. Increased Appetite And Weight Gain
When you’re not smoking, you’re always eating something. Smoking suppresses your hunger and appetite. When you’re off your smoking habit, you’ll feel very hungry throughout the day and see a change in your weight too.
What you can do: Keep healthy nuts and raw veggies ready to be munched whenever you’re feeling like eating a snack. Include foods which can help you recover fast from the damage of prolonged smoking. Make some green juice, or blend a strawberry smoothie to keep your weight in check.