There comes a time in nearly every smokers life when they decide the time is right to quit. For some it is a personal decision to lead a healthier life style, for others it is forced upon them by the world around them. So when you reach that point of knowing that you want to quit, you'll want to be aware of the first few challenges you'll need to overcome. Withdrawling from cigarettes is relatively easy compared to other substances, but when you're going through the withdrawals, it certainly won't seem that way.
So to help you reach your goal of becoming smoke free, I'm going to offer you a basic guide of the withdrawal symptoms you might experience. It won't make going through them any easier, but it might help bring you some peace of mind along the way.
Symptoms of Smoking Withdrawal - The First Month
This is probably one of the most notable symptoms for both the quitter and those around them. It happens because you are changing a habit that you've probably had for quiet some time, and because those little sticks cause your brain to create feel good chemicals that it is no longer creating when you quit. This is often the most common reason for smokers to avoid quitting. The agitation can be quite a lot to deal with.
After a while of dealing with the agitation, you'll probably find yourself at a state of continual confusion (I thought I put those car keys right here....). Besides being dazed and confused, you'll probably won't be able to concentrate as clearly as you normally would. This can put a damper on a projects that require attention to detail, so you might want to give yourself a break for a while when you are dealing with this withdrawal symptom.
It might be because you're agitated, or it might just happen because your body needs an outlet for that nervous energy. Either way, you'll probably find yourself twitching and fidgeting in different ways. It could be a bouncy knee, playing with your hair, bitting your nails or even pacing around the room. When you find yourself fidgeting, going for a walk can be very helpful.
#4. Mood Swings
Happy, sad, angry, depressed, apathetic, overjoyed.... You might feel these at random moments, or they might all hit you in one moment. It's tantamount to being pregnant and can happen to you whether you are a man or woman.
#5. Fluctuating Appetite
Cigarettes are particularly nasty, because when a person develops a habit of smoking them, those cigarettes start to bond with the digestive system. For many long term smokers, it can be very difficult to eat without smoking first and again afterwards. So when you quit, you might find it difficult to want to eat or to be able to eat. Until you take control back, your blood sugar will be a little screwy. You might find yourself eating way less, or you might find yourself constantly snacking or eating a lot to compensate for your bodies want for those little white sticks.
After smoking for years, your nervous system has been effected and although you probably already have "smokers hand", you might find yourself shaking even more when you quit. This will not last long, but it can seem unnerving for most who quit. Find yourself a tension ball and squeeze it often to help keep your mind away from any shaking until it passes.
Continuing to smoke will actually take much more of a toll on you then quitting, though your body and mind will be making a lot of instant changes when you quit smoking. Your body has to remember how to live without those addictive chemicals that have been there for so long. It also has to learn to self regulate blood sugar and your brain has to force itself not to want something in your hands and mouth constantly. That can be a lot of work all at once, which can make a person rather tired. Go ahead, take a few naps. It will help you get through it.
Please keep in mind that every person is different. You might notice all of these withdrawal symptoms or none of them. Some symptoms may seem worse or easier to handle then others. There is no set rule for how it will happen to you. These are simply the most common side effects from cigarette withdrawal.
Keep in mind that no matter how bad or easy it is for you, it only takes a few weeks for you to be physically clear of the addiction. Many withdrawal symptoms can last for a few months, but most of them are generated from your brain, not your body. Some say that your mind is the hardest thing to fight when you make a plan to quit smoking.