When you cut your body off something it got used to over years, maybe even decades, it is natural it will resist and will lay into you. It is not very likely you could avoid the withdrawal symptoms as they are a natural part of the quitting process. The success lies in understanding them and getting ready.
The first week without cigarettes
The beginning is difficult when it comes to any challenge we come across in our life. It is OK to move forward taking little steps, it is OK to make small mistakes and it is OK to ask for help.
The withdrawal effects you will probably deal with in the first days:
- Strong physical urge to smoke. The cravings come top and it may accompany the abstaining smoker repeatedly. Don’t lose hope though as the cravings weaken with time.
- Restlessness. It’s annoying and nobody likes the feeling. Sweating, shivering, being in doubts, lower self-esteem, all of these are the effects of quitting.
- Irritability, fractiousness. The restlessness often brings lower ability to stay calm in tense situations. It can occur when it comes to relationships with your colleagues or with family. The boss is too fastidious, your husband doesn’t understand you, your children seem suddenly more naughty than usually… One can easily burst with anger while quitting and is sorry then. When you feel your anger cumulates inside, don’t do the very first thing that comes to your mind – bawling everyone out. Take a deep breath instead and have a short break, get your thoughts into shape, be it in a separate room. After a few minutes you’ll see how to solve the given situation much more clearly.
- Difficulty concentrating. The cigarettes are still on your mind during any activity you need to focus. Heavy smokers may even find difficult to drive.
- Constipation. For some people the morning cigarette is the only way how to relieve oneself and set off to work light as a feather. Eat more fruit, vegetables and high fiber foods. Drink more, with water and tea with no sugar being the best option. Regular physical activity helps to boost peristalsis too. You don’t have to start running marathon, easy exercise or walking will do. On the way to work in the morning walk to the farther bus stop and get off two stops earlier on the way back. Apart of being good for your health this can improve even your mental condition. You will clear your head, get some fresh air and will unwind yourself.
Roughly after three days without cigarettes you might feel you are unable to hawk up and you may, paradoxically, even suffer from breathing difficulties. That day is a critical one and it has to be overcome without a cigarette. The dyspnoea is a positive sign of you are getting cleaned up.
Next weeks without cigarettes
Remember that no withdrawal symptoms last forever and the first two weeks are really the most difficult ones. When you get over the beginning, the worst part is behind you. Some of the symptoms will still be felt though.
The withdrawal symptoms after the first month without cigarettes:
- You may notice you are being absent-minded. However, your ability to focus and your memory will improve soon. Even more – they will be in better condition than before, because not smoking has a positive effect on your circulation and brain engorgement.
- Increased appetite. In the long term, you may notice having the munchies even several times a day. It’s natural as your body is looking for a substitute for the cigarettes, that would create the feeling of pleasure for a moment. Don’t try to punish yourself if you happen to put on weight a little. However, don’t put off planning new diet, even with the help of a specialist.
- Insomnia. You may suffer from insomnia during quitting. All the other withdrawal effects are much harder to deal with with lack of sleep, but even that phase will wear off, believe me. Make sure you go to bed when feeling tired but not exhausted and try to create some bedtime relaxing rituals – ambient music, a nice book, hot bath, tea for better sleep.
- You can notice sweating at night during quitting, but it is a side effect of cleaning your organism as is the above mentioned dyspnoea.
You may not suffer from all of these, but you probably won’t avoid some. Adam the virtual addictologist is prepared for the reactions of your body and will recommend you how to deal with your cravings that may hinder you in your everyday activities. The positive outcomes of not smoking will occur surprisingly soon and it will motivate you to go on.