Coping with Nicotine Withdrawal

by on September 13th, 2011 at 7:00 am

According to the CDC around 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking each year. That’s more than illegal drug use, alcohol use, HIV/AIDS, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. So why do we continue to smoke?  When you smoke nicotine it releases dopamine into your brain causing you to feel good, this is one of the main reasons people enjoy smoking.

Nicotine addiction can be an extremely difficult to overcome, and there are many reasons people continue to smoke. There are triggers which cause people to smoke, such as stress, driving, or relaxing with friends who smoke. It is important to understand your personal influences so you can successfully quit!

Here are some helpful tips to overcome your nicotine addiction.

  1. Be aware of your triggers.  If you understand your triggers they can be avoided much easier. For example, if you smoke when your friends smoke, walk away. If you see them smoking, just avoid the situation and come back later.
  2. Keep yourself occupied during cravings. For example, if your craving a cigarette while driving,  try and do something else, like bring a dental pick and clean your teeth. While this may seem gross, it will keep your hands occupied and can help you forget your cravings.
  3. Prepare for anxiety and depression. You will undoubtedly have feelings of anxiety or depression.  Talk with your friends and family about just talking. Create distractions as well, do a crossword puzzle, or play a game on your phone. This will help
  4. Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated can help you overcome your craving. Many of us are mildly dehydrated and don’t even realize it. Drinking water will help keep your metabolism up making you feel better overall.
  5. Write down reasons for quitting. If you start to feel a craving just refer to your reasons.
  6. Exercise. Many people experience weight gain when attempting to quit. To avoid this all together, start exercising. This will not only help you keep the pounds off, it will also make you feel better.

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One Response to “Coping with Nicotine Withdrawal”

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