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Handling Irritability and Frustration After Quitting Smoking

Studies have shown that people who quit smoking report increased feelings of irritability, anger and frustration within a week of quitting. After quitting smoking you may find yourself less tolerant of others and feel edgy and short-tempered. You may also find yourself getting into more arguments and wanting to give up on tasks quicker than usual. If you develop these feelings, they most likely will occur on the first day of quitting smoking, they will typically peak in the first couple weeks, and will disappear within a month.

In order to deal with these feeling there are a few simple things you can do to help.

  • Drink less caffeine

  • Go for a walk

  • Get some exercise

  • Take a hot bath

  • Use a relaxation technique

  • Take one minute and, with your eyes closed, pay attention to your breathing pattern. Breathe in deeply through your nose and breathe out through you mouth.

When your body is no longer getting nicotine from smoking cigarettes, you may find yourself feeling more irritable, angry, and frustrated. This is because your brain chemistry has temporarily changed. These temporary changes may be what is causing the negative feelings. Don’t give up they will pass. Remember why you want to quit smoking.

The feelings of anger, frustration, and irritability may be reduced by using nicotine replacement products, which deliver small, steady doses of nicotine to the body. Nicotine replacement products such as, nicotine patches, nicotine gum, and nicotine lozenge, appear to be equally effective. Buproprion pills (which don’t contain nicotine) such as, Zyban or Wellbutrin also help relieve withdrawal symptoms.

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