10 Things About The Psychology of Quitting Tobacco: Plus Overcome Cravings
Quitting tobacco in any form can be extremely challenging. And the cravings that arise due to withdrawal, whether physical or psychological, are hard to deal with. Understanding why we experience cravings will help us formulate a plan to overcome them when they strike. We share 10 interesting psychological facts about quitting tobacco that will help you. Check out.
1. Quitting Tobacco Is Hard: Here's Why
Quitting tobacco is a long, arduous process. However, staying tobacco-free and dealing with a craving when it strikes is another tough ballgame. Want to avoid cigarettes or gutka? You will need to dig into your deepest reserves of willpower, determination, and perseverance. But why does a seemingly simple act of stopping these take so much out of you? Well, the answer is multifaceted.
Your need to reach out for that packet of gutka or sirf ek aur sutta is rooted in reasons that are both physical and psychological. The primary active ingredient in tobacco products is nicotine, the perpetrator behind all those cravings you experience.
Nicotine consumption stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine works as a neurotransmitter, responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. And every time you consume tobacco, it triggers those pleasure points in your brain. And who doesn't love feeling on top of the world?
When you quit tobacco, your body starts missing its regular dose of nicotine. And that's when the cravings hit. With time, nicotine alters the brain's function and structure, increasing the intensity of your cravings and making it tougher for you to quit tobacco.
Next in line is the psychological aspect of consuming tobacco. Maybe you crave a puff when you are under stress- nicotine often works as a temporary stress reliever or a coping mechanism. Or chewing helps you focus on the task at hand. When you start associating tobacco with feeling good, unwinding, or a ritual you follow daily, these cravings become harder to stave off.
2. If You Quit Tobacco, You Might Feel:
- Concentration Issues
- Sleep Disturbances
3. There Are Positive Effects To Quitting Smoking
It may seem unsurmountable when you are struggling with quitting tobacco, fighting withdrawal symptoms, and trying to manage cravings successfully but remind yourself about the positive effects of quitting. Here are a few:
- You will experience lower levels of stress and anxiety
- You reduce your chances of suffering from depression
- You will experience more positive emotions and more frequently
- You will experience a better quality of life
- You will feel healthier and happier
4. Quitting Tobacco Will Initiate A Positive Change In Your Personality: Good Will Get Better
In the early days of quitting tobacco, you must be prepared to experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms but once things settle down after a while, you, your friends and family will experience a positive change in your personality. With reduced dependency on smoking or chewing, you'll open up about time and space for deeper connections in relationships. Those who quit tobacco experience better moods and feel more positive.
5. You Can Overcome Cravings With Support & Determination
Cravings are the real dealbreaker in any tobacco-quitting journey. But the good news is, and one you are aware of, cravings are mostly short-lived. That's why distraction mechanisms are so effective in overcoming them. Whether you belong to the 'pehle try kiya tha" or "yeh meri pehli koshish hai" league, arming yourself with effective coping mechanisms will help you strengthen your quitting game.
Once you quit tobacco, you may experience intense bouts of cravings for the next few weeks, with the first few days being the worst. It's all part of the game. Taking it one day at a time helps. As does starting every new day with a fresh resolve and determination to overcome cravings.
|Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.
6. Plan and Prepare To Ace At Quitting Tobacco
Consider preparing yourself to deal with cravings beforehand. Stock up on substitutes like carrot sticks, hard candy, gum, or celery. If you plan to use Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), stock up on NRT essentials like nicotine gums, patches, or lozenges.
7. Avoiding Triggers/ Temptations Also Helps
Think of all the places or situations that made you want to smoke or chew tobacco. If you light up a cigarette at a chai ki tapri, hang out another one for a bit. Move in different social circles if your current one encourages smoking or chewing. You can always return to your friends later when your quit-tobacco game is up and running successfully.
8. Delay and Distract: The Oldest Psychological Trick To Quitting Tobacco
A craving usually lasts for a few minutes. If you feel like you might give in, tell yourself to wait for some time; 10 minutes usually works wonders. Find something to distract yourself. It could be something as simple as moving to a tobacco-free zone, chewing on a snack, drinking water or juice, holding a stress ball, or climbing a flight of stairs. Keep yourself busy till you cross the threshold of temptation.
9. Get Moving To Trick Your Quitting Tobacco Brain
Even in short bursts, physical activity can help you manage your cravings. You can try a brisk walk or a jog to overcome a craving. Try squats or push-ups, or even get in a good cleaning session at home to distract yourself from a craving.
10. Try Relaxation: The Best Psychological Strategy When Giving Up Tobacco
We understand that overcoming cravings can drain you out, particularly in the early days of quitting tobacco. When cravings get intense, you can try techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, listening to your favourite music, or massages to relax your mind and relieve stress.
Managing and overcoming cravings can take a lot out of you. However, patience, willpower, and resolve are your buddies during your quitting journey. Though the initial days may seem endless, keep reminding yourself of the benefits you will reap once you quit tobacco. Remember, each time you overcome a craving, you are one step closer to being tobacco-free!