Whether you’re trying to temporarily or permanently quit smoking or need a quick nicotine detox for work or health-related purposes, you’ll find yourself at the end of an unpleasant nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine withdrawals cause symptoms ranging from physical to psychological disturbances. As a result, those going through a withdrawal may experience intense nicotine cravings, restlessness, trouble concentrating, sleeping difficulties, anxiety and depression, irritability, and weight gain due to an increased appetite.
Most withdrawal symptoms only last around a few weeks. However, for those experiencing them, those weeks tend to feel like an eternity and can affect their day to day lives, interfering with work and home responsibilities as well as relationships.
If you or someone you know is currently experiencing withdrawal symptoms or you expect that to be the case in the near future, continue reading to learn about the different ways you can safely and effectively get through it.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms
You’ve likely heard the horror stories about detoxing from nicotine and the subsequent withdrawal symptoms. It can be daunting thinking about having to experience these symptoms, and challenging to go through them. Luckily, there are things you can do to help alleviate the discomfort and navigate this difficult period.
Below are five tips to help you keep your withdrawal symptoms in check.
Ask Your Primary Care Physician for Help
Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). NRT allows you to absorb low doses of nicotine through other means, rather than by using tobacco products. Doctors can prescribe various medications to help you through your withdrawal symptoms, including bupropion and varenicline, both FDA approved. Additionally, consider asking your doctor for help managing the psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and insomnia.
If you’re not comfortable approaching your doctor about prescription medication, there are over-the-counter (OCT) options for NRT available as well. Gum and patches are two of the most common OTC products, however, you can also try sprays, inhalers, and lozenges.
If you’re detoxing and need something that removes nicotine from your system quickly, NicoClean Detox might be your best bet. You’ll get a comprehensive 3-day regimen of all natural supplements and detailed instructions on how to best use the kit. Finally, try adding supplements and oils, such as Black Seed, to your diet to help promote immunity-boosting.
Seek Out Behavioral Therapy and Counseling
There is nothing wrong with asking for help — in fact, it’s a courageous step to take in your life. Seeking professional help from a counselor, therapist, or support group can give you valuable tools, encouragement, and empathy from those trained to help or have experience dealing with similar situations.
Your therapy or counseling provider can sit down with you and help you come up with personalized strategies and coping mechanisms to help you fight cravings. The safe space they provide will allow you to vent your frustrations without judgment.
Being able to talk it out can provide a sense of relief and allow you to feel less isolated.
Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques
Nicotine dependency is often influenced by stress as it can help lessen tension and anxiety. Using nicotine creates a temporary sense of relaxation, which is why it’s important to find alternative methods to manage stress.
There are a few things you can do to reduce stress, including:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Guided imagery
- Journaling or blogging
Keep Your Body and Mind Active
Another way to overcome withdrawal symptoms is to keep your body and mind active. Activities and hobbies help keep you distracted and redirect your thoughts away from nicotine until the cravings eventually pass.
Things like taking a walk, going for a hike, or playing a sport is a great way to keep physically active, while putting together a puzzle, playing a video game, reading, or taking part in a creative hobby is great for the mind.
Once you begin noticing your cravings kicking in, try engaging in something you enjoy doing. Building a routine around your healthy habits should help reduce the urge for nicotine over time.
Turn to Your Family and Friends
Lastly, talk to your family and friends about your struggles. Counseling and therapy can be good to get an outsider’s perspective, but discussing your challenges with your family and friends can provide you with a strong support system and an emotional connection.
Getting support from people who know you the best and care about your well-being is invaluable during your withdrawal period. Your loved ones can also hold you accountable, remind you of your goals, and celebrate your milestones with you.
If one of your loved ones has already experienced withdrawal from nicotine, reach out to them first and allow them to guide you and offer you their first-hand wisdom and support. Their personal experience will provide you with tips and coping strategies to help you navigate your withdrawal period more effectively.
Overcoming Nicotine Withdrawal
Nicotine withdrawal is no joke. It can be physically and psychologically challenging. Withdrawals will affect everyone differently and some may struggle more than others. It’s important that you recognize withdrawal symptoms and work on managing them through therapy, medications, and support from your loved ones.
Remember, nicotine withdrawal is only temporary. By staying committed to your goal and seeking the help you need, you can be successful in your journey to a nicotine-free life.