Things to know before you quit smoking

Putting an end to the habit of smoking has endless benefits, be it mental or physical. Of course, it’s even better when it is grouped with reducing other unhealthy habits like frequent or excessive alcohol consumption, and following an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. But you’re not always prepared for what lies ahead when you decide to leave this habit behind. The most important thing to keep in mind about quitting is that the journey is more important than the result. It is the journey you need to master to achieve the goal and enjoy the benefits of not smoking.

Most people only look at the end results before they quit smoking; this often leads to disappointment because they don’t consider all the temporary side-effects of quitting this habit. So, it is advisable to learn about all the benefits and side effects of kicking the butt. Note that the side-effects are temporary and only last for a limited amount of time.

Here are some things you can expect when you quit smoking:

Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
This can be scary, but it’s important to know the truth beforehand than let it take you by surprise. Nicotine is addictive, which is why it is so difficult to quit smoking. It may lead to many problems like the urge to smoke, the urge to snack or binge eat, difficulty in sleeping, consistent coughing, constipation or diarrhea, stress, and dizziness. Along with these side effects, some people also develop a thought process where they convince themselves that smoking one cigarette won’t harm them or their agenda of quitting. But such a thought process may lead to a relapse, which can lead a person to believe that it is not possible for them to leave this habit. But this is completely untrue.

Here’s one tip that can help — Think of these withdrawals symptoms as that of any other disease, where all you have to do is follow the process, take some medication, and wait till the symptoms pass.

Lack of motivation
It’s a common misconception that motivation is necessary to quit smoking, but the truth is that motivation is a by-product of taking action and not the cause for it. Once you successfully quit smoking for a month, you may feel more motivated than before. On the other hand, if you keep looking for motivation to leave this habit, especially after experiencing a couple of side-effects or withdrawal symptoms, you may never find it which could lead to further demotivation. This will change once you realize that only the act of not smoking will provide motivation.

To help with lack of motivation, you need to keep your eyes on the final outcome. There are many ways to do this; you can remind yourself of the final goal and its benefits, look at relevant posters and motivational quotes, and changing your phone’s screensaver to something that reminds you of leaving this habit for good.

The effect of nicotine on the mind
When nicotine reaches the brain, it docks at receptor sites, which leads to a dopamine rush. Dopamine is a hormone that creates a rush of good feelings. Due to smoking regularly, the brain may get habituated to the dopamine rush, which makes it hard to leave this habit behind. But once you’re aware that the cravings stem from this, you can take action to not fall prey to it.

Every time you feel the desperate urge to smoke, remind yourself that this feeling is just in the mind. Direct your mind to other productive activities by eating something healthy, working out, or watching a film or motivational video online.

Healing does not come as expected
Healing is a gradual process that will occur once you quit smoking for good. Getting rid of nicotine addiction is a process that will occur in stages. You may feel the urge to light a cigarette from time to time, even months after quitting for good. But remember that the process of healing takes time, and will not occur at once.

Benefits unfold gradually
There are countless benefits of quitting smoking. The main one is that you will feel more energetic and productive throughout the day. Your skin will become healthier, and your vision will improve. More importantly, you will have enhanced stamina. Other than this, the risk of all kinds of diseases, including that of heart- and lung-related ailments, will go down.

Although these reasons are quite compelling, you must understand that just like healing, these benefits, too, unfold gradually. Additionally, it is not enough to just quit smoking, you will also need to adopt healthier habits to lead a healthy life.

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