Nicotine withdrawal is one of the most feared problems with quitting smoking. It’s part of the reason why everybody says quitting smoking is so hard: nicotine withdrawal is supposed to be absolutely horrible. Luckily, that is a giant misconception.
The actual physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are barely noticeable unless you know what you’re looking for. Far worse than the physical symptoms, however, is your mind’s reluctance to let go of smoking as a habit.
At the end of the day, though, smoking is just another bad habit like nail biting. If you stop biting your nails, you won’t be doubled over in pain. The same goes for smoking, although you won’t be as irritable if you stop biting your nails.
As you quit, you may feel irritability or cold symptoms. They don’t sound that terrible, especially when you compare them to something like, say, emphysema. Just keep reminding yourself that while you may be experiencing minor withdrawal symptoms, they will pass and in the end you’ll end up feeling a lot better about yourself.
On the other hand, far more difficult are the mental symptoms of withdrawal. While they’re generally chalked up as nicotine withdrawal, your mind is really dealing with its connection between smoking and various activities that occur throughout the day.
You may notice that cravings tend to increase around certain events, such as being out with friends or being stressed. Your body isn’t craving cigarettes, your mind is. Just as you may feel the urge to bite your nails when stressed, your mind wants you to smoke when you’re stressed because it believes that smoking eases your stress.