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Dealing With Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms And Timeline
Dealing with nicotine withdrawal and the usual symptoms of nicotine withdrawal should be on your priority list if you've made up your mind about quitting smoking cigarettes.
There is only one reason why people find it difficult to quit smoking and.....it simply is nicotine. Believe it or not, nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. The fact that its use is widespread and legal makes people think nicotine is feebly addictive. Well, the truth of the matter is, nicotine has the ability to have a very strong covalent bond with your mind and physical being.
It’s due to the power of nicotine’s addiction that you have continued to smoke more and more cigarettes over the years. Remember when you started smoking, you probably had a few cigarettes a day and now, ask yourself this question: how much do I smoke now compared to a few years ago?
If you have smoked for 5 years or more, I’m almost certain you have doubled your initial quota of cigarettes for the day.
Talking about the nicotine withdrawal timeline, you will begin to experience the quitting smoking side effects within a couple of hours following discontinuation of cigarette smoking. This initial reaction is due to the lack of your usual blood levels of nicotine and your body tries to resist this low level of nicotine by manifesting these nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
The peak of nicotine withdrawal is about the 2nd and 3rd day which is when you are going to be most vulnerable to relapse.
Another feature of the nicotine withdrawal timeline is how long these withdrawal symptoms last. It varies from person to person but would last about a week or two in most individuals on average.
So, dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms effectively helps prevent relapse which is all too common.
The fact nicotine alters your brain chemistry means this deprivation will lead to all sorts of symptoms like irritability, poor sleep or insomnia, depression, fatigue, restlessness etc
Here are some tips at dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms:
- It makes sense to put on paper the reasons for which you want to stop smoking. Write as many as possible. In fact, take that piece of paper to work to keep adding to the list. The more reasons you have on that paper, the better. Have a look at that paper every time the urge takes hold of you to act as a reminder giving your mind the ability to overcome.
- Get yourself some healthy snacks (the operative word here is "healthy snacks") that you can use as substitutes for your hand-to-mouth action. The snacks could be just fruits or vegetables that you fancy.
- It is not a good idea to expose yourself too soon to environments where the temptation to smoke will be too powerful for you to resist. I’m talking about night clubs, pubs and going to parties. If you become anti-social for the first couple of weeks following smoking cessation, then it is worth it. Don’t worry, this is just a passing phase.
- One good tip for dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms is to look for distractions, activities to do quite often to take your mind of the urge to smoke. Activities like going for a walk, reading a book, knitting, listening to relaxation music, playing with the kids, solving a puzzle, tackling brain training games on Nintendo etc.
- Exercise is a very good distraction therapy with the added bonus of keeping you fit. It doesn't matter what type of exercise you engage in. Just so long as it keeps your mind busy and increases your heart rate.
- One of the ways of dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms is a change of mindset and this is very crucial. You are certainly going to have several days where you think you cannot do without your cigarettes and the temptation to re-start smoking will become very strong. To avoid scenarios like that, you have to have a positive mindset that reminds you of the positives that await you at the end of journey all the time.
- Give yourself some sort of recognition of your efforts by giving yourself “loyalty award” for every week that you endure the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This reinforces your efforts and your positive mindset.
- Another tip for dealing with nicotine withdrawal is to find some support groups of people going through the same ordeal or those who have been through it. They will have some tips and strategies they would like to share with you. Do not underestimate the value of this tip. Go online to search for support groups or telephone helpline etc.
- If you are finding the effects of nicotine withdrawal too much of a burden, you may seriously consider nicotine replacement therapy. These come in the form of gums, patches, nasal sprays, lozenges. The problem with this, is the fact that you are simply swapping one form of nicotine for the another. You will have to gradually withdraw this replacement nicotine with time.
These are some of the ways of dealing with nicotine withdrawal and be rest assured that the symptoms will eventually ebb away with time. You know you've won the battle when you have the ability to resist cigarettes even with smokers around you.