Keep calm and beat nicotine.
It’s not easy for most people to never pick up another cigarette when they decide to quit smoking. That’s because over time their bodies have become physically addicted to nicotine and their smoking habits have become a part of their everyday life and routine. We’ve talked about how to break smoking habits, but let’s talk more about nicotine addiction and how you can overcome it.
After the first cigarette puff, nicotine reaches the brain within 10 seconds and releases that content, happy feeling. But as that feeling quickly goes away, you’re left with feelings of withdrawal symptoms like irritability, anxiety, and depression, leading you to crave more and more cigarettes. Over time, smoking changes the chemistry of your brain, and you’ll need more and more nicotine in order to get the same happy effect. So although it may feel like you’re the one in control of your smoking, it’s actually nicotine that’s calling the shots for you.
Here are five ways to help you avoid nicotine’s call and to free yourself from smoking:
- Use a nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT).
About 95% of people who quit cold-turkey without therapy or medication end up smoking again. When you prepare for your quit, consider using scientifically proven methods like nicotine gum/patches or medications to help you deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and stay quit. Find out more about what might work for you here.
- Adopt positive thinking.
Staying positive can be the factor that helps you stay quit – permanently. It helps you to focus on the bright side of things and the benefits of quitting, overcome cravings and moments of difficulty, and increase your confidence in quitting and expectations of positive results. When you notice your internal dialogue is leaning towards the negative, change the tune and tell yourself what you can do instead of what you can’t. Positive thinking is a stepping-stone to positive action.
- Start to identify yourself as a non-smoker.
How we see ourselves contributes to the way we behave and the decisions we make. For example, if you see yourself as a lazy person, then it will be difficult to motivate yourself because your expectations of who you are and what you can achieve are low. So even if it’s been one day or one month since your quit, identify yourself as a non-smoker living a smokefree lifestyle. Once you’ve adopted that identity, it’ll be easier for you to make decisions that are in line with who you want to be.
- Embrace the bad in order to feel good.
When you quit, your body will go through nicotine withdrawal, but that is because it’s purging the bad stuff in order to get you healthy. So when you’re having a particularly hard day, embrace the pain and think about it as good because you’re getting rid of the unhealthiness in your body. Remind yourself that you are getting over your nicotine addition, and that anything good worth having is worth working for.
- Drink plenty of water and catch some ZZZs.
When you drink water, it helps flush out many of the toxins in your body, especially those from smoking. Make sure you drink lots of water during your quit to help your body recover from smoking damage. Additionally, being well rested will help you deal with some withdrawal symptoms like irritability. So count those sheep to make sure you are ready to take on the next day and those nicotine cravings.
We want to know what has worked for you to fight nicotine addiction. Send us a tweet!