If you are struggling with nicotine cravings, then you are not alone. All the people who are trying to quit smoking have to face this demon. But there are many tools and strategies that you can adopt to beat this demon and be victorious in your journey.
In this blog, we will talk about some helpful tips and tricks that will help you stay away from cigarettes and help you fight the cravings. But let’s first understand why does nicotine cause your body to crave for it?
Nicotine cravings – a quick explanantion
Cigarettes have tobacco and tobacco has nicotine. Nicotine is a potent and a highly addictive compound that is found in all tobacco products. When consumed it temporarily increases the level of dopamine and serotonin in the body by tricking the brain. These elevated levesl of chemicals makes one feel an instant feeling of relief. Dopamine, being a key part of our brain’s reward system – makes the person feel pleasure or gives the feeling of being rewarded. So that the breath of relief that you get after inhaling a few drags is actually nicotine!
Eventually, your body gets hooked to this feel good feeling and keeps on demanding for more and more nicotine. But as you continue to use tobacco cigarettes, you body start geting dependent on nicotine and develops a tolerance to it. End result – the same number of cigarettes will not give you the kick that you need. Hence – you keep on increasing them day by day. And when you stop smoking, meaning that you stop giving your body the nicotine – it experiences nicotine cravings.
Not fulfilling these cravings gives rise to nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms vary from person to person and are quite unpleasant. They include anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, difficulty in concentration and so on.
Nicotine cravings – what to do about them?
Now that you understand the reason behind getting these cravings, it is also important to understand that nicotine cravings are very much real but they do not last for long. You can control and manage them with the right tools. These cravings can happen due to two different types of reasons – physical and psychological. Your body experiencing nicotine withdrawal symptoms are a physical reason. Psychological cravings are rooted in your daily routine. For example – if you like to smoke while you are having your morning coffee, you will crave for it during that time.
So the point is you need to devise a strategy that covers both the aspects of these cravings so that you can manage them efficieintly.
- Plan it out – the first thing that you can do while getting started on a quitting journey is to plan it. Everything becomes better when you plan it. The same is true with quitting. Set up a quitting date and start preparing your mind for the change that is going to come. Trust us, you are going to need a lot of mental strength. So do have a conversation with yourself and make yourself understand the reasons behind your decision to quit. You can also write your reason and paste it at a place where you can read it easily. This will act as a motivator and help you stay on track.
- Identify and analyse your smoking pattern and triggers – when you are waiting to approach the quit date, you can spend the time in closely looking at your smoking habit. What situations or emotions make you want to smoke. Identify the triggers. You might be even surprised as to what you find out.
- Consider NRT products – You can invest this time in researching about NRT products. These are medically approved products that can be really effective in smoking cessation. They are designed to allow you to put a controlled amount of nicotine in the body without the harmful toxins of smoke. There are many types of nrt products available in the market. They range from nicotine gums, nicotine tablets, nicotine patches to nicotine inhalers and nasal sprays. But before you go ahead and Buy Nicotine Chewing Gums Online or offline, it is important to consult with your healthcare provide. Remember these are medical products and should be taken after consulting with a doctor. They will help you find the product that matches your needs and lifestyle.
- Keep yourself busy – when you are trying to quit smoking, it is important to keep yourself busy and distracted. The idea is to trick your mind into not remembering to smoke. You can do this in multiple ways. If you have a hobby, you can start getting more involved in it. If you do not have one, don’t worry. You can start with a new one. While you keep your mind busy, it is also important to keep your hands busy. This will help combat the feeling of holding a cigarette. You can start fidgeting with a pen or paper clip.
- Try relaxation techniques
Smoking might be the only stressbuster that you had. When you quit smoking, it is not like life is also going to get adjusted to your new routine and will start getting a little less stressful. Hence, it is important for you to find out new ways to manage your stress. You can consider some breathing exercises or guided yoga – this will help you manage your stress and keep you focused on your resolve to quit. It is also important to note here that stress is also one of the common triggers. So when you indulge in mindful activities, you will be able to mange nicotine cravings as well.
In addition to all this, it is also important that you keep your loved ones near. They are your pillars if strength and having them around will help you stay foused. They will become your motivation and support you through moments of weakness. You can even consider joining some help groups that will create a safe space for you to share your feelings and challenges. If possible, you can also quit with someone. Having a quit buddy will also help you have someone to share your struggles with and relate to them. Both of you can act as each others motivator and win this battle together.
On the top of all this, you can also start making some lifestyle changes that will help you manage nicotine cravings. For example – if you are someone who knows that you will crave a cigarette after having a few drinks, you should avoid going to places that serve alcohol. Similarly, if you are someone who loves the cigarette smell, then do not be surrounded by people who are smoking in front of you. Being aware of your triggers and taking corrective and active actions will take you a long way.
And even after doing all of this, you still feel like you are going to give in then tell yourself that just wait for 10 mins. As nicotine cravings are ephemeral and if you can buy yourself time during this period and distract yourself into doing something that makes you forget smoking then, it is a win for you!
Finally, remember that quitting is a long journey that is full of obstacles. While it is absolutely difficult, it is still achievable. For that you need to stay consistent and persistent. Stay committed to your cause and even if you fail, do not be hopeless. It is ok to fail as long as you bounce back and start trying again.