Although each person will experience different feelings when quitting smoking, almost all people will feel some nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Your body and brain must adjust to the fact that you have stopped smoking. Although it can be painful, nicotine withdrawal isn’t going to cause any harm – unless your body decides to smoke again.
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As long as you quit smoking, withdrawal symptoms will diminish over time. Feeling the need to smoke
Nearly everyone who smokes has cravings for or urges to continue smoking. These cravings can be mild or overwhelming. To be successful, it is important to learn how to manage cravings.
You have many options to control your urges and cravings. Other quitting strategies and quit-smoking medications can be helpful. Things that remind you of smoking, such as people you used to smoke with or places you frequented, can trigger cravings. A craving can be triggered by a thought, feeling, or even a thought. Other thoughts, such as remembering why you quit, can help you overcome a craving. You don’t have to succumb to a craving and it will pass.
How to manage withdrawal
Use a quit-smoking medicine.
Be busy, and keep your mind off of it.
Spend time with friends who do not smoke.
You can also look into other methods of managing withdrawal.
- Feeling upset, irritable, or grouchy
Quitting smoking can cause you to feel angry or grouchy. Even people who have never smoked will recognize that this is part and parcel of quitting. This can be helpful.
You can manage your feelings by: Remind yourself why you quit. Take a few deep breathes.
- Feeling restless and jumpy
It is normal to feel agitated or jumpy in the first few days or weeks after quitting. The rest of your body will also experience irritation if you quit nicotine.
You can manage your anxiety by getting out of bed and moving around. If you feel tired, get up and move around. Reduce your intake of coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages. You will find that caffeine stays longer in your body if you stop smoking.
- Concentration difficulties
It is possible to notice a decrease in concentration the first few days after quitting. This is quite common.
You can manage your stress by: Allow yourself to relax, especially the first few days after quitting. Limit activities that require concentration.
- Trouble sleeping
When you quit smoking, it is common to experience trouble sleeping. It will improve over time, but if you are having trouble sleeping, speak with your healthcare provider. Poor sleep can cause fatigue, which can make it more difficult to quit.
Here are some ways to manage:
Avoid drinking coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages in the afternoons or evenings if you are a regular drinker. You will find that caffeine stays longer in your body if you stop smoking.
You should take the nicotine patch off at least an hour before you go to bed if you use it. The nicotine in the patches can sometimes disrupt your sleep.
You can also try these other things to help you sleep better: Don’t watch TV, use your phone, computer, or e book in bed.
You should ensure that your bedroom is dark and comfortable.
Do not eat heavy meals or drink alcohol before going to bed.
You can add some exercise to your day, but not before bed.
You should go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even weekends.
6. Feeling hungry or gain weight
Your appetite will increase if you stop smoking. And your body may not burn calories quite as fast. Your body may eat more when you are stressed or because you have something to do with hands and mouth. You may find food more enjoyable because you aren’t losing your senses of taste and smell from all the smoke.
There are many ways to manage your weight: Although some people gain weight when they stop smoking, it is important to quit as soon as possible. Here are some simple ways to reduce weight gain after quitting smoking. These things can help you develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Snack smart. Find healthy foods with low calories that will still keep your hands busy, such as celery, carrots or sugar-free mints, if you are eating between meals. A straw or toothpick can keep your mouth and hands busy.
Get active. Every activity is better than none. Even if you don’t want to go running or join a gym, a simple walk can provide real health benefits.
Focus on what you are eating when you eat. Eating is something that we often do while watching TV or checking our phones. This is how we eat, and it makes us eat more. If you decide to quit smoking, you should make it a priority to remove all distractions from your meals. You can also eat slower and enjoy your food more. This will help you to notice when your stomach is full.
A quit coach can offer advice on how to lose weight if you’re concerned about your health.
- Feeling sad, anxious, or depressed
Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to experience anxiety and depression. People may experience mood changes after quitting smoking. This is something to be aware of, especially if your past experiences with anxiety or depression.
Smoking may appear to help with depression or anxiety for some people. But don’t let that fool you. Although smoking may make you feel more comfortable in the short term, it’s not because nicotine in cigarettes is helping with anxiety and depression. There are better ways to manage withdrawal symptoms and mood swings than resuming smoking. People who quit smoking for a while often feel less anxious and depressed.
Here are some ways to manage:
Get active. Physical activity can improve your mood. Start small and work your way up. If you feel down, this can be difficult to do. Your efforts will pay off.
Structure your day. Keep busy. If you can, get out of your house.
Connect with others. Talking to others or keeping in touch can improve your mood. Connect with people who support your efforts to quit smoking.
Give yourself a reward. Do what you love. You will feel happier if you do even small things.
Talk to a healthcare provider. Talk to a healthcare provider if you aren’t feeling better within a few weeks or your symptoms become unbearable.