Smokers are usually categorised into three types, occasional smokers, moderate smokers, and addicts. While the first two can deal with quitting easily, the third ones will suffer from withdrawal symptoms. The moment they quit smoking, their bodies show certain cognitive and behavioural symptoms. These symptoms are actually signs of recovery and can be managed easily. This article looks into some of the most common symptoms and ways to manage them effectively.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms
Nicotine is a sedative drug that slows down brain function. To compensate this, the brain cells increase their basal activity. When you cut down the nicotine, the brain continues to remain hyperactive, which results in anxiety, restlessness, irritation, frustration, or tiredness. Some people may find it difficult to concentrate or sleep. Some people may also experience other symptoms like surge in appetite, craving to smoke more, fatigue, headaches, drowsiness, and constipation.
Ways to Deal With Withdrawal Symptoms
The first thing that you need to do is eliminate your fears and worries as these symptoms are signs of recovery. When you are happy, your brain releases four ‘feel-good’ chemicals – serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphin, which help you in dealing with these symptoms. Below are a few ways that will help you to be in a relaxed state of mind and increase these chemicals’ secretion.
Meditation will help you to train your mind and redirect your thoughts in a positive direction. It will help you to reduce stress, control anxiety, manage cravings, and improve sleep. Besides, it also helps in enhancing self-awareness, compassion and heals the mind from within.
With the ongoing lockdown and lack of outings, it is easy to feel bored and resort to smoking. Therefore, it is important to engage in recreational activities such as playing with your kids or helping your spouse in chores or pursuing your own hobbies like reading, singing, skating, etc.
When you experience withdrawal symptoms, it is beneficial to talk about your feelings with a friend, a family member, or a health professional. Make sure that they are always around you and you can talk to them during your moments of cravings or discomfort.
Quitting smoking is not easy and there will be setbacks on your way. When they happen, show a little kindness to yourself. Think about the reasons that made you slip and put the setbacks behind you. Remember why you wanted to quit in the first place and keep going.
Switch to Safer Alternatives
There are several safer alternatives like nicotine replacement therapy and e-cigarettes that are worthy of a try in moments of high cravings. Several studies have affirmed their faith in e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking. Smoking is more than just a nicotine addiction; it is a habit. While most quitting techniques try to kill this habit, vaping helps you to maintain it, but with less toxins than smoking. That is why it is much more effective and successful than other means of quitting.
As you move on your smoke-free journey, your mind and body will begin to heal. You will experience a new motivation towards healthy habits and soon these withdrawal symptoms will be a thing of past.