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Minimising the Discomforts of Nicotine withdrawal
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Minimising the Discomforts of Nicotine withdrawal

There are a number of steps you can take to make nicotine withdrawal more tolerable.

Eat a well-balanced diet.

As mentioned above, good fuel in equals good energy out. New ex-smokers often crave all of the wrong foods. We want sweets and salty snacks, hoping to dampen the desire to smoke. In truth, we probably gravitate to food as a replacement for smoking because, like cigarettes, it triggers the release of dopamine in our brains. If you fill up on too much junk, though, it will negatively affect how you feel physically and psychologically. You may start to gain weight as well, so do your best to eat right.

Exercise, exercise, exercise.

As with food and nicotine, exercise also causes our brains to release dopamine. Get out for a walk, or head to the gym to sweat out some of the angst of nicotine withdrawal. It will improve your mindset and your physical well-being.

Drink water.

Good hydration is always important, but even more so while you're going through nicotine withdrawal. Your body is releasing toxins, and water will help flush them out. Drink a tall glass of water when you're craving a smoke to break the thought, too. It works.

Get More Rest.

Fatigue is common during nicotine withdrawal. If you're tired and can manage it during the day, take a nap. At the end of the day, go to bed a little earlier than usual if you need to. It will do you good.

On the other hand, if you're at the opposite end of the spectrum and find yourself suddenly suffering from quit-related insomnia (also common), try taking a long walk several hours before bed to get your body ready for sleep.


In those first days of smoking cessation, it can feel as though your day is one long craving to smoke. The truth is that most urges to smoke last three to five minutes. Rather than tensing up when a smoking urge hits, try some deep breathing. It will help you ride the craving through in a more relaxed way.

Distract yourself.

Create a short list of ways to pull yourself out of a smoking urge or negative thought pattern that you can employ at a moment's notice (water and breathing are good entries). Change what you're doing abruptly and your mind will also shift and move away from the downward spiral it's on.

Connect with online support.

Whether you join in or just read, visit a smoking cessation support forum for a shot of courage to continue when you're feeling down.

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