Working on quitting that habit yet you find yourself going back to the same old pack?
I know quitting smoking is certainly a difficult resolution to stick by, but you can make the process a whole lot easier just by understanding exactly what you’re up against. Being aware of what your body goes through during the entire process helps you fight it better. Remember the warning? Smokers really are liable to die young. These steps acts as a guide.
Day 1 without Smoking
The good news is that the health benefits of quitting smoking start as quickly as 20 minutes after your last cigarette. The bad news is that your body also begins to go through nicotine withdrawal at around the same period of time.
Your body begins to experience early symptoms of nicotine withdrawal that can include but are not limited to things like intense cravings, an increased appetite, anxiety, frustration and more. It is important to keep in mind that withdrawal doesn’t “hurt,” per say, but it can be uncomfortable for other reasons besides physical pain.
Many people don’t realize that nicotine will completely leave the body just three days (72 hours) after your last cigarette. The bad news is that smoking withdrawal will also be at its most intense right around this time. One of the key things to keep in mind, though, is the fact that the physical sensation of nicotine withdrawal is virtually identical to being hungry. This is why so many people gain weight when they quit smoking – they eat to ward off nicotine cravings. If you just try to remember that the process you’re going through doesn’t hurt as much as your mind is telling you it does, things will be a lot easier.
Because nicotine is gone from your body, you are no longer fighting against symptoms like headache or nausea. All of the withdrawal symptoms that you are experiencing at this point are completely in your head. That doesn’t make them any less difficult to overcome, but it should give you a peace of mind that you can use to strengthen your reserve moving forward.
Right around two weeks of being smoke free, you should begin to notice that certain normal activities are getting easier. Maybe you’re no longer winded after climbing up that flight of stairs at work. Maybe you can play out in the yard with the kids longer without getting tired. The normal functions of your lungs start to dramatically improve around 14 days after quitting smoking, which is something you should definitely use to remain smoke free as long as possible.
The silver lining that you’ve been waiting for is finally here – most smoking withdrawal symptoms tend to disappear completely around two and a half weeks after your last cigarette. This means that while you may still have cravings that you’re fighting off, they’re starting to get less frequent. Certain triggers in your life may still make you think about cigarettes, but you aren’t necessarily rushing to find the nearest pack anymore. Rest assured, you’re almost out of the woods.
Even though your body has long rid itself of its addiction to cigarettes, your mind isn’t officially “free” until you hit three weeks without smoking. All of the mental withdrawal symptoms that you’re facing should be long gone by now. Additionally, it takes around three full weeks to form a new habit. This means that all of those old triggers that used to make you desperately crave a cigarette should have been replaced with something much more positive by now.