Nicotine withdrawal is an intense phase of smoking cessation. It can include everything from physical symptoms that mimic illness to feelings of sadness and seemingly nonstop thoughts of smoking.
Understanding what to expect when we quit smoking and having a plan to manage the discomforts that come with early smoking cessation keep us in control and headed for long-term success.
The Five D's of Smoking Cessation
The Five D's are a handy tool that will help you quickly respond to smoking urges in a healthy way.
Delay until the craving to smoke passes. Most urges come and go within a three- to five-minute span.
Distract yourself. Shift your attention away from thoughts of smoking -- go for a walk around the block or work on a crossword puzzle. Distraction effectively stops the unhealthy mindset that enables thoughts of smoking.
Drink water to beat cravings to smoke. It works surprisingly well, and good hydration has the added benefit of helping us feel better overall.
Deep breaths help you relax and let the stress of early smoking cessation go. Close your eyes and breathe in slowly for a count of three and exhale for a count of three. Repeat and you'll begin to feel your body release the tension it's holding.
Discuss your feelings with someone close to you or with other ex-smokers using the support forum here at About.com Smoking Cessation. There is nothing better for a person's resolve than connecting with those who are walking the path alongside us, or hearing from those who have navigated smoking cessation successfully.
Arm yourself with knowledge about what to expect when you quit smoking, use the Five D's to keep cravings to smoke at bay, and you'll be on your way to long-term success with smoking cessation.