What to Expect after You Quit Smoking
Making the decision to quit smoking is only the first step in the quitting process. You have a lot of withdrawal symptoms and cravings to deal with before you can finally be free from the habit. As you stay off the cigarettes for longer and longer, the symptoms and the cravings change, and your methods for dealing with them need to change over time as well. Here is what you can expect as you attempt to quit.
When you quit smoking, you don’t just feel like you need a cigarette to be happy, to calm your stress or to feel sane. You also start to remember those times when cigarettes calmed you down and made you feel better. These are flashback cravings, and your mind is going to try to convince you that cigarettes are the only way to satisfy those cravings and to make yourself feel normal.
Basically, a part of yourself will be convincing you that cigarettes made you happy in the past and they are the only thing that can do so now. These cravings will not be constant though. You can tough them out until they pass, and you can be free of them after a little while. Keep that in mind as those cravings come. Tell yourself the feeling is only temporary. Once it has passed, you can stop fighting and start enjoying the freedom that quitting brings.
Many people fail to quit successfully because they lost the focus they had on quitting. The cravings caught them off guard and their mind wasn’t prepared with the proper defenses. This can happen to anyone, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. You need to surround yourself with constant reminders about why you are quitting and be prepared for the cravings when they come.
You can do this in a number of ways. The best way is to stay close to people who are determined to help you quit. Keep them near you and ensure that they are on your side when it comes to quitting.
You can also get constant reminders about why you are trying to quit. Hanging up posters in your home or work that remind you why you are trying to quit or that showcase the dangers of smoking can be a great way to keep your motivation ever-present.
When you quit, you are going to find yourself in a lot of situations where there is stress or boredom, and at these times you would have normally taken out a cigarette. But you are going to have to find ways to keep yourself busy if you want to avoid that compulsion to smoke. Maybe you liked to smoke just before going in to work to calm your nerves. Instead, spend that time talking to someone who supports your quitting or visiting quit smoking forums on your phone. There you will find the encouragement you need to stay focused and keep on the path to freedom from your habit.
Not all aspects of quitting have to do with just wanting a cigarette and trying to overcome that supposed need. You also have to deal with a lot of side effects of nicotine leaving your body. Your hands may shake; you may feel irritation in your throat or mouth. You might feel weak and constantly tired or just sickly.
All of this can be treated fairly easily though. A big part of it can be taken care of by changing your diet. Eating healthy, carbohydrate and protein-rich foods gives you the energy you need to combat a lot of the effects. Avoid sugary stuff when you can, but also don’t be afraid to indulge once in a while to deal with the stress and the cravings. You also want to drink plenty of juice and water to keep yourself energized and to detoxify your body.
Eating healthy has a great effect on the nicotine still present in your body. It expels it and cleans out your body, making the quitting process go that much faster and making it so much easier to handle.
Quitting smoking will be different for everyone. You may experience different things or different degrees of symptoms from what your friends or acquaintances felt when they tried to quit. The important thing is that you know what to expect and you make sure you are prepared for it. If you can do that, you greatly increase your chances of quitting.