10 Common Withdrawal Symptoms when you stop smoking

If you’ve been following our series on quitting smoking {insert link(s) here}. Given that the first few weeks are usually described by ex-smokers as the toughest, smokers ought to put away their pride and seek assistance in order to kick the habit for good. Withdrawal symptoms can often begin as early as a few hours after the last cigarette, peak for about one week and gradually fade away after 2 weeks. Here is an overview of the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms:

Physical Symptoms: If you’ve experienced one of more of the following symptoms, do try to take it easy and understand that your body is adjusting due to a lack of tobacco;

  • Intestinal disorders (cramps, nausea)
  • Symptoms of the cold (sore throats, coughing as your lungs clear out the nicotine)
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Headaches
  • Excess sweating
Headaches are very common during the withdrawal process. Hang in there

Mental & Emotional Symptoms: Most, if not all heavy smokers have experienced at least one of the following emotional and mental withdrawal symptoms listed below:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Significant craving for tobacco
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of anger & depression
stress ball
Follow our tips so that you stay in a good frame during the withdrawal process

It usually takes a few months for an individual to feel comfortable and be able to describe themselves as being ‘smoke free’. A recurring issue is that nicotine (a chemical found in tobacco products) is highly addictive, which is why those who are trying to quit need the urge to have ‘just one puff’ in order to satisfy their cravings. Now, if the body has developed a need for nicotine, and then stops entirely (because you’ve quit smoking) – your body undergoes these particular symptoms highlighted above.

I know the symptoms, now what?

Be mindful and take appropriate action. Arguably focus on eating healthy and exercise (link to how to start exercising), as well as taking time out to de-clutter your mind with activities such as yoga (link to yoga article). Most of all, do make it a point to build a good support network- stay with a trusted group of family and friends who help you stay grounded and inspired. If you prefer doing it online=try 7cups of tea (http://www.7cupsoftea.com/) or call Sumithrayo on 011 2692909. If you’re feeling brave, you can do a little volunteering and give back to the community, as there are a lot of opportunities available in Sri Lanka.

Activities such as yoga can help you to declutter your mind

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe for more and leave a comment if you can relate to this. We wish you the best on your road to recovery! HNBA logo new

Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

Tips to quit smoking: Part I

You have probably heard that smoking is bad for you. Quitting is widely recognized in being hugely beneficial for your health. If you are reading this, you are probably looking to get serious and stop smoking, but realize its easier said than done. We have written some ideas to help you quit smoking for good. Give them a try!

1. Write it down

As we wrote earlier, putting down your ideas on paper makes it an ‘official promise’ for you to keep. Ask yourself, why don’t you like smoking, and why do you want to quit. For example: do you get nervous about health risks? Do you dislike the constant smell of tobacco? Is your habit too much of a financial expense? Do you worry about whether you will be around for your loved ones? Write these down & keep it in a place where you see if often: your wallet/purse or bathroom mirror/fridge. The list will give you the motivation to curb your instincts the next time you feel like lighting up.

Answer this question: Why Do I want to stop smoking?

2. Get a support network

Now that you’ve taken the first step, seek support from people you: friends, family or coworkers and tell them that you’re trying to stop smoking and want their help. They can be a good influence on you by helping you to stay true to your promise the next time you feel the need for a puff. You can also join a support group such as Sumithrayo or 7cups of tea, with trained listeners (including Sri Lankans) who will patiently listen to a variety of problems such as smoking, depression, alcohol abuse etc. The main point? Having a good support network gives you a push in the right direction.

stop smoking, keep calm and stop smoking
Your friends will help you to stop smoking

3. Talk to your doctor

This is not a new problem, ask your local doctor about ways to stop smoking. Given that its a medical issue, doctors are likely to be connected towards fellow professionals who can help you out. Furthermore, this strengthens your desire to stop smoking since you’re reaching out to a health professional.

Celebrate when you avoid giving in to temptation

4. Manage your stress

Being under a lot of stress and anxiety is more likely to lead you to smoke, which is the last thing you want to do when you’re trying to quit. In order to stay in control, we urge you to look at our earlier articles about what stresses you out and learn how to manage your stress triggers and follow these ideas to get on the road to recovery.

5. Take it slow

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people who wish to quit smoking immediately rarely succeed- it requires you to change your behavior drastically. If this is you, set a date by which you wish to stop smoking- a year from today would be appropriate. Set little milestones along the way to mark progress- for example, the day you delayed your first cigarette of the day, the day you smoked just one pack, or weekend you switched 2 days of smoking with exercise.

When you do reach those milestones, reward yourself with something you like-such as an edible treat, or even let your friends/family/support group know. They will be delighted to celebrate in your success and not only will it make you happier, but they will help you attain your goals to live smoke-free.

Got any ideas we’ve missed? Tell us in the comments section, and subscribe so that you can catch Part II later!

HNBA logo new

Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.