Deciding to quit smoking cigarettes is one of the best things you can do for your health, but when you’ve only just made the decision to quit the weeks ahead seem daunting.
Your body has become accustomed to having its internal processes regulated by nicotine and when you take that substance away your brain struggles to cope with the change in your brain chemistry. This is when withdrawal symptoms start to take root, and while they may seem insurmountable at first once you’re able to create processes to move past and manage your cravings you’ll be able to live a far happier and healthier life.
You feel stress acutely
If you’re the type of person who reaches for cigarettes during moments of stress then when you’re first trying to quit you’re going to feel every slight stressful moment acutely with the false belief that if you were to just have a cigarette everything would be better. This isn’t true. When you have a cigarette your brain releases dopamine which is one of the feel-good chemicals in the reward centre of your brain. With every cigarette you have your brain’s ability to regulate these chemicals is impaired which actually leads to heightened feelings of stress and anxiety.
While you’re going through this period of withdrawals it is beneficial to take up meditation to help you to manage any stressful situations without feeling the need to light up. Meditation is a proven method of reducing stress and can you to regain focus and problem solve effectively.
You may experience anxiety and irritability
When you’re experiencing withdrawals from cigarettes it is very common for your moods to be affected. You might experience wild mood swings, irritability, anxiety or even mild depression, which may make it seem like a good idea to pick up the habit again. This happens because your brain is trying desperately to recalibrate its levels of hormones in the brain and until it becomes accustomed to the chemicals being released and absorbed naturally it can have a big affect on how you feel.
St John’s Wort is a supplement that you can take to help regulate your mood and keep you on the path to quitting. It contains chemicals that work to block and inhibit your brain’s ability to release and absorb chemicals in the brain like dopamine and serotonin, which will help your brain to regulate itself over time. St John’s Wort is commonly given to help people suffering from mild depression as well as treating inflammation, anxiety and headaches.
Your sleep cycles are disturbed
You’d think that going to sleep would be the most simple thing in the world, after all you’ve been doing it regularly since you were born. In theory you should be able to climb into bed at your designated bed time and fall straight asleep when your head hits the pillow, but the reality is that our sleep cycles are governed by those same hormones and chemicals that affect our mood and general health. Once you’re able to get them regulated your body clock and your metabolism will return to normal and will actually improve – you’ll be able to sleep better and have a healthy appetite.
Exercise, meditation and supplements like St John’s Wort can help you to get through the worst of your withdrawal symptoms and to stop you from sliding back into your old bad habits, so establishing a new routine away from cigarettes is essential in making your quitting goals a reality.