So, you’re thinking of quitting smoking? Congratulations on such a life-changing decision. Your body, your mind, your wallet, and your loved ones will all rejoice to hear it. Quitting smoking is probably one of the best and most important decisions you’ll ever make, but it won’t be easy—especially if you’re quitting “cold turkey”. This means putting down cigarettes and quitting with no help.
This isn’t the best way to go about quitting, in honesty. In this guide, we’ll provide you with some valuable tips for quitting cold turkey. You may need some help during your cessation process, and that’s ok. Quitting is a challenge, as nicotine addiction is a powerful enemy.
Don’t Quit All At Once
The truth is, quitting cold turkey may result in failure, because nicotine addiction is so powerfully influential. The brain becomes addicted to nicotine and can’t function without it, and once you remove it from your system, you start to go through nicotine withdrawal.
The symptoms of this condition can be incredibly uncomfortable and even affect your daily routine in a negative way. You’ll likely get migraines, have trouble focusing, and will experience mood swings or unexplained irritability. Your body is recoiling from the lack of nicotine, and the brain will spend the entire time trying to convince you to pick up another cigarette.
CBD products have been advertised as a great pain management solution, especially for addicts in recovery. You could try gummies or oils to manage your symptoms.
Most cold turkey quitters will stop all at once, but weaning yourself off of nicotine is actually the better way to go. Products like tobaccoless dip can help you slowly remove the need for nicotine without the awful withdrawal symptoms.
Keep Yourself Busy
A good way to fall back into your smoking habit is to be idle during the quitting process. Quitting is never easy, but if you don’t keep yourself busy during the cessation period, you’ll be reaching for a cigarette in no time. You must keep your mind distracted and your hands busy, so it might be time to adopt a new hobby.
Hobbies offer an excellent opportunity to keep yourself busy and increase your skills. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do that you’ve been putting off? Perhaps learn an instrument? Learn to draw? Take up woodworking? The number of hobbies that are available is staggering, and there are courses and guides all over the internet for just about any activity you can think of.
Music is especially helpful in combating addiction. Music therapy has become a popular means of addressing trauma, addiction, and other psychological issues in a healthy and constructive way.
Know Your Symptoms
In order to navigate your withdrawal symptoms with some measure of grace still intact, you’ll need to understand what your symptoms are and remember that they’re simply a side-effect of your withdrawal. There’s a good chance you’ll subconsciously lash out at those around you, but don’t worry—it’s only the withdrawal symptoms.
It’s equally important for the people around you to understand these things as well. They might be confused when you lash out, so be sure to explain to them that you’re quitting smoking and some of the side-effects might be unpleasant. When you feel irritation or bitterness coming on, distance yourself from others so no one is in your warpath.
Everyone who quits has varying degrees of irritability and other symptoms. Since everyone’s body is different, they’ll react differently to a lack of nicotine. You probably will be irritable at some point, though. This is a pretty common symptom.
There will be many times during your cessation journey where you just want to give in and go back to smoking. Whatever consequences smoking might offer are surely better than suffering through withdrawal, right? During these moments, it’s crucial to remember the reasons you started this journey to begin with and push through your fear and doubt.
Remember that smoking claims the lives of nearly 480,000 Americans every year, causes billions of dollars in healthcare costs, and is behind some of the world’s most impactful pollution. When you’re smoking, you’re supporting a billion-dollar powerhouse known as the tobacco industry, which is responsible for toxic waste dumping, deforestation, corruption, and more.
Not to mention, you’ll be actively destroying your health, and, quite possibly, your relationships. It’s very difficult to watch someone destroy their health and know that eventually, their actions will catch up to them in the worst way. You don’t need cigarettes. The tobacco companies need you, however, to keep their profits up.
It’s time to get rid of this idea that asking for help somehow makes you less of a person. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, especially in matters concerning mental health. If you’re struggling to quit, you can join a support group, go to personal therapy, or seek the advice of your doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask—it might just mean the difference between quitting and remaining a slave to tobacco.