Before you begin your quit smoking journey, know what to expect when you quit.
Congratulations on deciding to quit smoking! It’s a difficult but certainly attainable feat that you can achieve as long as you set yourself up for success. That includes knowing what to expect when you quit so that you can prepare yourself for any challenges that may come your way!
- Nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms can start within an hour of your last cigarette, reach its highest intensity 3-5 days post-quit, and typically last for a few weeks. Though the intensity and duration of withdrawal differs for each person, symptoms can include dizziness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, fatigue, and sleeplessness. Learn more about withdrawal symptoms and relief strategies and find out how medications can help.
Stress is a natural occurrence of everyday life, and many smokers smoke in order to handle stress. When you quit, you’ll need to find new ways to alleviate stress through stress reduction techniques like deep breathing, exercise, or meditation. Here are some more tips on how to reduce stress.
- Triggers and cravings.
One of things you should definitely expect when you quit are smoking triggers, which are objects, times, and/or activities that make you crave a smoke. It could be your morning coffee, a drink at happy hour, or the ashtray on your living room table. These triggers are often a part of your daily life so it’s important to identify your smoking triggers before you quit and remove as many of them as possible. You should also replace your smoking habits with new, healthy ones. For example, take your morning coffee to-go and spend some time walking around a park.
- Weight gain.
Not everyone gains weight after they quit smoking, but those that do may gain an average of 4-10 pounds. If you are concerned about weight gain, try first focusing on successfully quitting smoking while keeping healthy with these tips. Once you’ve gone smokefree, you can then focus on shedding the few extra pounds. That way you won’t split your attention, potentially derailing your quit attempt.
- Better health!
While the other potential effects of quitting smoking can be tough to go through, your body will start experiencing health benefits within 20 minutes of your last puff! Within a few hours, your heart rate and blood pressure begin to normalize and your circulation improves. Within a few days, your risk of a heart attack drops, you’ll be able to enjoy food more with a better sense of smell and taste, and nicotine will be out of your system. And the benefits keep on coming weeks, months, even years later!
Keep in mind that if you know what to expect when you quit smoking and quit successfully this time around, you won’t ever have to go through the negative effects again!
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