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Understanding common withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking

February 1, 2024
5 min 15 sec
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The journey to quitting smoking

The day you decide to quit smoking, you take the first step towards a healthier life.

The moment you quit smoking, changes begin within your body. You may experience irritability, mood swings, lack of concentration, or increased appetite. This is due to the lack of nicotine. These symptoms may be harsh, but they mean that your body is adapting to the absence of this addictive substance.

These symptoms are temporary. With the right support, you can make this journey smoother, improving your health and well-being.

Common symptoms and timelines

When you decide to quit smoking, your body starts to transform. It’s a long, hard road until recovery, but it’s well worth it. Being aware of the common withdrawal symptoms and their timelines can help you in your success. Here's a closer look at what you might experience during the first few weeks of quitting smoking:

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms

  • Day 1-3: In the first few days after quitting, you're likely to feel intense cravings for nicotine. Nicotine, a highly addictive substance in cigarettes, has left its mark on your brain's receptors. When you stop consuming it, your brain begs for a little more.
  • Day 2-7: From the second day onwards, irritability and mood swings can become more common. Nicotine affects the mood, and your body is adjusting to its absence.
  • Day 3-5: Some people report difficulty concentrating during this period. The brain fog you experience is a temporary side effect of your nicotine-free journey.
  • Day 3-14: It's not uncommon to experience an increase in appetite. Nicotine reduces appetite, and when you quit, your body's natural hunger signals start to kick in.

Respiratory changes

  • Week 1-2: Just one week into your smoke-free journey, you'll begin to notice improvements in your lung function. Your breathing will become easier, as your airways start to clear out the mucus and toxins deposited by smoking.
  • Week 2-12: Over the next couple of months, coughing and shortness of breath tend to decrease. As your body heals, your respiratory system gradually improves.

Cognitive symptoms

  • Week 2-4: Around the second to fourth week of quitting, your sense of smell and taste might improve. Your body's senses resurface as they're no longer masked by the chemicals in cigarettes.
  • Week 4-12: Improved memory and mental clarity are common benefits of quitting smoking. Your brain functions better as oxygen levels in your body increase.

Psychological symptoms

  • Week 1-4: Anxiety and restlessness may be part of the initial weeks of quitting. Your body is adjusting to life without nicotine, but these symptoms usually improve over time.
  • Week 6-8: By the second month, most people see their depression symptoms fade. Quitting smoking can have a positive impact on your mental health.

Physical wellness

  • Week 2-12: As the weeks go by, your energy levels tend to increase. You'll feel more vital and active, enjoying the benefits of better oxygenation.
  • Month 3-9: From the third month onwards, your circulation and cardiovascular health start to improve. Your heart and blood vessels become healthier, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Recognizing these symptoms and the timing of their arrival will make it easier to overcome the challenges of quitting smoking. Remember that, although the first days and weeks may be tough, the long-term health benefits are worth it

How self-hypnosis can help to quit smoking

Self-hypnosis is a scientifically proven  approach grounded in the science of the mind. It involves guiding your own subconscious mind to overcome cravings and break free from the smoking habit. 

During a self-hypnosis session, you enter a relaxed state of focus, similar to meditation. In this state, you are more receptive to positive suggestions that overpower the need to smoke. The mind can be "reprogrammed" to view smoking as undesirable and unnecessary.

Studies have shown that self-hypnosis can significantly increase the success rates of quitting smoking when compared to other methods. The mind's power to reshape habits, combined with the desire to quit, makes self-hypnosis the most effective, natural method to quit smoking.

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How to use self-hypnosis for smoking cessation

The practice of self-hypnosis to quit smoking is accessible and can be done with some simple steps:

  • Set the stage: Find a quiet, comfortable place where you won't be disturbed. Sit or lie down, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths to relax.
  • Positive affirmations: Begin by repeating positive affirmations to yourself. These affirmations should focus on your commitment to quit smoking and your determination to lead a healthier life.
  • Visualization: Visualize a smoke-free future. Imagine yourself in situations where you'd typically smoke but without the desire to do so. Create a vivid mental image of yourself as a non-smoker.
  • Countdown: During your self-hypnosis session, you can use a countdown technique. Count slowly from 10 to 1, with each number bringing you deeper into a state of relaxation.
  • Repetition: Continue to repeat your positive affirmations and maintain the mental image of a smoke-free you.
  • Self-suggestion: At this point, suggest to yourself that you no longer have a desire to smoke. Your subconscious mind is more open to suggestions during this relaxed state.
  • End gracefully: When you're ready, slowly count from 1 to 5, bringing yourself back to full alertness. Open your eyes and embrace the feeling of being in control of your smoking habit.

Oneleaf's self-hypnosis app

We created a one-of-a-kind self-hypnosis app to help you enter the state of hypnosis and change your mindset naturally. 

The Oneleaf app is meticulously crafted to support you on your path to quitting smoking, offering expertly designed self-hypnosis sessions aimed at molding your dedication to a life without smoking, while reducing the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

What self-hypnosis does:

Healthy mindset: change how your subconscious associates smoking, replacing old thoughts with new, healthy ones.

Craving control: reduce nicotine cravings, helping you resist smoking and stay smoke-free.

More willpower: self-hypnosis strengthens your determination to quit, making it harder for excuses to derail your progress.

Stress relief: use relaxation techniques to manage the stress that often comes with quitting smoking.

👉 For a more in-depth look at how hypnosis helps you quit smoking, check out our article "How does hypnosis work to quit smoking?"

Quitting smoking is a journey. Make the choice for your health and use Oneleaf's self-hypnosis app to support your success. Don't let excuses stand in your way. Start your smoke-free journey today.

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