Getting through the initial couple of weeks when you first stop smoking can be extremely difficult. You are going to have to get over the sometimes intense nicotine cravings that result from stopping smoking. Quitting can be very difficult because of the basic side effects of nicotine withdrawal – these include higher levels of irritability; anxiety; trouble sleeping; headaches and coughing. To get through these times, you need to keep busy and make sure that you keep your mind on the results you want to achieve.
You need to distract yourself by keeping yourself busy. If you are busy, you are less likely to notice the nicotine cravings. A physical activity that gets you to move your body is what you should aim for. Increasing the amount of exercise that you get will help you to speed up your body’s detox process. Of course, you cannot exercise all the time and you should also find other ways to distract yourself. These can include taking some time out to see a friend or family; you could read; garden; watch a movie; have quality time with your kids or pets.
Breathe deeply when the cravings are really bad. You will find that the craving will peter off after about five minutes. Use this time to do some deep breathing exercises. Inhale through your nose, hold the breath for a couple of seconds and then breathe out through your mouth. Try taking up some relaxing activities such as Tai Chi and Yoga.
Make sure that you get enough water – dehydration and detox are particularly nasty when combined. Sucking on ice cubes can help you keep your mouth busy and so become a substitute for cigarettes.
Remember why you quit
Why did you quit smoking in the first place? List all the reasons. These could include premature aging; the risk of lung cancer and several other health reasons. Write the reasons out onto small cards that you can carry with you and pull out whenever you need a bit of motivation.
Give your Mouth Something to do
One of the worst aspects of quitting smoking is to find something to do with yourself instead of smoking. Smoking gives your mouth something to do and you may find that you need to replace this. Try replacing this habit with a healthy snack such as carrot sticks or fruit and nuts. Set yourself some rewards for not smoking – these can be milestones – i.e.: to celebrate a certain number of days without smoking or simply by celebrating each cigarette you avoid. As with anything that is worthwhile, quitting smoking can be difficult but is an achievable goal.