Hungry, Grumpy, and Tired: Living Through Nicotine Withdrawal and Keeping Your Sanity

tobacco-addictionWithdrawing from nicotine is every bit as difficult and uncomfortable as coming off any drug. In fact, it has been said that getting off nicotine is as uncomfortable as quitting heroin. If you are quitting, you will deal with the physical and mental sides of withdrawing from a strong drug. However, with a few tricks up your sleeve and by knowing what to expect, you will be able to work your way through your withdrawal with your body and sanity intact.

Drink lots of water. Keeping hydrated can help you feel less hungry while you are going their withdrawal. Water will help you feel full instead of loading up on empty calories from sugary snacks or high carb options. It will also help to flush out your system, ridding your body of any left-over nicotine or other toxins from smoking. When you feel hungry, first try drinking a glass of water before heading for a snack. If you are still hungry after the water, a low calorie snack, such as an apple or some carrots, will help. Remember, your body is working to repair itself from both the smoking and the withdrawal so you may be a little more hungry than normal as your body works harder.

Remember why you are quitting. When you start feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, remind yourself why you are quitting. Be as specific as possible with your reasons for quitting. Withdrawal is hard on your body and your mind so you will need to have a strong motivation to get through it. Your cravings for nicotine will come and go so you need to be ready at a moment's notice to remember why you are quitting. If you need a visual reminder, create one, such as a photo of your family or your significant other. Sometimes it helps to have a picture of what you feel is your most important reason to quit close by at all times to help when you feel that you want to start smoking again. Most of all, remember that you can't quit for anyone but yourself if you are planning on staying smoke free.

Change your routines. There are certain acts that smokers associate with having a cigarette, such as talking on the phone for a long time or having a cup of coffee. It is important, then, to break that association if you want to be successful at quitting. The first few times you are doing that associated action, you will probably have a strong craving for a cigarette. Humans are creatures of habit and pattern. Reworking those patterns isn't an easy thing because we are so tied to the way we do things. Focus on taking smoking out of the action not quitting the action all together. If you always have a cigarette with coffee, you should focus on not smoking while having coffee. Some people try to give up cigarettes and coffee at the same time with disastrous results. Giving up one addiction at a time is enough for anyone if they want to be successful. Remember, nicotine is both physically and psychologically addictive so you have to change both your physical habits and your mental ones too in order to successfully live a smoke-free life.

Rest when you need it. Your body is using a lot of extra energy to deal with the withdrawal and heal. You will feel more tired than usual. Nicotine is a stimulant so you will be missing that extra little boost you got from smoking. You also may not be sleeping as well as night so you may be more tired during the day. While no one would advocate sleeping your way through withdrawal, if you are able to rest when you are tired, do so. Being overly tired will also increase your anxiety so you will want to rest when you need it. Sometimes you will just need a mental break either when the cravings get really strong or when you are under stress that you used to handle with a cigarette. Take a mental rest break by walking away from the situation or doing some deep breathing to get yourself settled and able to handle what is going on around you. Sometimes a quick cat nap is all you need to relieve the craving and the stress so that you can deal with the situation without the help of some nicotine.

Ask for help. Quitting smoking is hard. Sometimes you just can't do it alone. It's okay to ask for and receive help in quitting. Your doctor is a great place to start. Doctors are extremely supportive of their patients quitting smoking and have access to many different aids to assist you in your efforts. The important part of this whole process is that you are quitting, not that you were able to do it on your own with just willpower and determination. You should seek the support of family and friends to help your efforts. We all need a pep talk at times and hearing that we are doing something good from those we care about will go a long way in bolstering our efforts to keep it up. Now is not the time to become a recluse and try to get through your withdrawal alone. Your family and friends will understand why you just aren't yourself if you tell them what is going on. While it won't make the withdrawal any easier or less uncomfortable, it will give you the mental support you need to push through it.

Quitting smoking is difficult as you are trying to get over a physical and psychological addiction to a strong drug. Every former smoker will have a horror story for you about their bout with nicotine withdrawal just as you will have your own story to share once you have quit for good. Though the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can be troubling and uncomfortable, the health benefits of quitting smoking are worth the discomfort. Taking care of yourself and your needs, both physical and psychological, during this time both will help you to work through the withdrawal and on to a smoke-free life.

Samantha West is a professional blogger that provides information on the latest electronic cigarette developments. He writes for LeraBlog and, which sells high quality vaporizer pens, vapor cigarette starter kits, e-liquid and more.

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