One of the most challenging things anyone can do is quit smoking. Trying to quit can feel almost impossible at times. One cigarette contains a deadly concoction of 7,000 chemicals.
Still, there's never been a better time to quit than today! It doesn't matter if you smoke or not, if you know someone who does, this might help them understand some benefits to putting the cigarette down.
Before Going Cold Turkey, Prepare Yourself
Many people tend to quit cold turkey. Those who do that don't realize how difficult is it and how powerful nicotine is. With that in mind, prepare and plan. Make sure to utilize every strategy mentioned to withstand going cold turkey.
Oh, and symptoms of withdrawal can last up to three months.
Set A Date
Quitting means quitting. To help your journey, start by setting a date to put down the dart. There are a handful of online apps and tools to help you establish a time.
You should even consider writing out a contract, then signing it. Then, give it to a friend or a partner to hold you accountable.
Anxiety, Fatigue, Loss Of Interest Are Symptoms After Quitting
You can also add depression as another symptom of quitting smoking. Depending on the person, it might get worse. Even if you have a history of depression, that might be signal for you to seek help from a doctor to manage it.
It's hard to stay focus and maintain the craving not to smoke.
Alcohol Triggers The Craving
It's probably best to put the bottle down for a while. If you're trying to quit smoking but want to drink, it's not the best combination. The more drinks you have, the better chance you have of relapsing.
Essentially, alcohol is a common trigger to smoking, so definitely don't drink.
Do NOT Go On An Extreme Diet
Going on an extreme diet is not the best idea. Instead, your focus should be on only quitting smoking. Having an intense diet while quitting smoking will cause your cravings to become more intense.
Instead, try to eat healthier foods like pasta and salads while taking in the same amount of calories.
Instead Of A Big Diet, Switch To Decaf
If you are a heavy coffee or soda drinker, you need to know that caffeine is another smoking trigger. However, there is a way to avoid having all of that caffeine in your body.
That means you'll have to have half of the caffeine you once did. So, it's best to switch to decaf.
Wash Your Clothes For One Reason
You might not have noticed before, but your clothes could be smelling like smoke. Once you put down the cigarette, your clothes will smell like smoke, another trigger for relapsing. While you're at it, get an air freshener for your car.
And, try to clean anything else that might smell of smoke.
Eat More Fruits & Vegetables
It's sound like a cliche, but it's not. The part of eating healthy just means increasing more fruits and vegetables. According to a study from Nicotine and Tobacco Research, it showed that eating more of these foods is a big benefit.
It helps people last longer while quitting smoking.
The Short-Term Benefits
Within the first 24 hours of quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure will drop. Other benefits are rather instantaneous. Nicotine drops by half and more oxygen will be in your blood system.
Also, your carbon monoxide levels drop significantly. Remember, these are just some of the benefits that occur right after quitting.
After 24 Hours
A lot will go down after only one day of putting down the cigarette. At first, your risk of a heart attack decreases. After 72 hours, your bronchial tubes will relax, circulation improves, and your lung function increases.
Remember, the further you go without smoking, the further your body will heal and repair.
You Might Get Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers affect two in five smokers who quit. There's a pretty good chance you may get that mouth disease at some point while you're quitting.
But, for dependent smokers and those that use oral nicotine replacement, they're also ranked as likelier to get the ulcers too.
The Long-Term Benefits
The short-term benefits are helpful, and so are the long-term benefits. After one year of quitting, your risk of coronary disease is reduced by 50%. After five years, the risk of your mouth, esophageal, throat, and bladder cancer reduce by 50%.
After a decade, pre-cancerous cells are replaced with healthier ones.
You Might Have Some Trouble Sleeping
Get ready to have some trouble sleeping while not smoking. Loss of sleep, disturbances, and maybe even insomnia are significant side-effects. Instead of laying awake all night, try having a warm bath.
If not that, meditating, or even yoga will help get a good night sleep.
Consider Using A Nicotine Patch
The dependency on nicotine is pretty much like running the Boston Marathon on your bare feet. If you can't go cold turkey, perhaps consider using nicotine replacement therapy.
This should help you get to a place where you can finally quit for good, and not feel guilty about it.
Get Off Your Butt And Start Exercising!
There are numerous benefits of exercising, especially after you quit. Not only will it help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it helps keep your mind off the craving.
On top of that, working out is a benefit to improve your mood, and you'll feel more energetic.
The Mental Fog Behind Quitting
It's a severe state of mind to describe. Nevertheless, some have said quitting smoking is like the feeling you get when you just woke up. That mental fog is a common effect after you put down the cigarette.
Trying to stay focused or formulate any other thoughts besides the craving is challenging.
Having an accountability friend can be a good motivator. It can also be a source of encouragement as you go on the journey for better health. But, be sure to pick someone you know who will be patient.
They should be the ones actually to hold you accountable.
Save Your Money, And Treat Yourself
Once you quit smoking, put that cigarette money to good use. After saving up, set milestones every few months for yourself. It will make you feel good because you see more money in your pocket.
So, that might mean you can treat yourself on clothing or anything that's not cigarettes or booze.
Constipation Might Be Another Effect
It sounds bizarre, but it's an effect after you quit. Remember folks — nicotine affects your whole body. Add up the stresses of quitting and you could be sitting on the toilet for quite some time.
Fortunately though, if you do get constipated, it should go away after a few weeks.
If You Relapse, DO NOT GIVE UP
You're not a failure if you relapse. Don't even consider wasting away all of your hard work. You're still making progress, and that's what matters most. Of the people who try to quit, 75% relapse. Surprisingly enough, it can take more than three attempts to stop for good entirely.
Don't give up!