Nicotine in any form is a highly addictive substance found in tobacco. According to World Health Organisation, ASH and Office of National Statistics, more people are addicted and die from nicotine than any other drug, this includes addictions and deaths due to alcohol, cocaine, and even heroin.
Tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. - World Health Organisation (WHO) (2017)
3,744 people – 2,572 men and 1,172 women – were fatally poisoned by both legal and illegal drugs in England and Wales in 2016, 70 more than the previous year and the highest number since comparable statistics began in 1993. - The Office for National Statistics (ONS) (2017)
Nicotine is highly addictive and quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. Within 10 seconds of entering your body, the nicotine reaches your brain. It causes the brain to release adrenaline, creating a buzz of pleasure and energy.
That buzz fades as quickly as it comes, leaves you feeling tired, a little down, increases stress/anxiety (not decrease stress), and you want the buzz again. This feeling is what makes you light up the next cigarette. Since your body is able to build up a high tolerance to nicotine, you’ll need to 'spark up' more and more cigarettes in order to get the nicotine’s pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal symptoms.
This up and down cycle repeats over and over, leading to addiction. Addiction keeps people smoking even when they want to quit. Breaking addiction is harder for some people than others. Many people need more than one try in order to quit, and that's ok.
The withdrawal symptoms and misconceptions stop a lot of people from even attempting to quit smoking. A common smoking misconception is that it keeps weight off, its true that smoking reduces your appetite and when you stop your body starts to work naturally again craving full to keep you going, but it's what we swap those craving for cigs for that causes the weight gain, most people go for the chocolate and biscuits.
Some people that smoke tobacco finds it easier to quit than others, but anyone can stop using nicotine given the fitting advice and guidance that suits them. Nobody should be disillusioned: abstaining from nicotine is a pain in the ass, and often requires numerous attempts. But it can be done.
Contrary to popular belief, it is entirely possible to quit nicotine naturally. It is also entirely feasible to detoxify the substance naturally, which is the focus of this article.
Below are Ways to detox from Nicotine naturally and reduce cravings:
1. Drink Water and Lots of it
Ice Cold Water is, without a doubt, the greatest and naturalist way to flush any and all toxins from the body. Water also helps with reducing nicotine cravings and keeps the weight off. Unlike alcohol or nicotine alternatives, which stimulates increased nicotine cravings.
Consuming at least two and a half litres of water every day is not only effective at flushing toxins, but it also provides the essential energy to enable one to quit. A good idea is to purchase a large water bottle and keep it filled. Bring the bottle with you wherever you go, and you’ll naturally find yourself reaching for some H2O instead of the packet of cigs or the chocolate.
2. Change Your Diet
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help the body naturally rid itself of nicotine’s toxins. Also, consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables will ward off the weight gain that often occurs after quitting, as people normally go for the chocolate and biscuits which have the undesired weight gain.
Broccoli and spinach are both “superfoods” high in folic acid, and vitamins C and B5. The former is depleted by nicotine use, and replenishment of this vital nutrient can keep cravings at bay. The latter strengthens the immune system, aiding in the detoxification process.
Get moving, Do something, anything for at least 30 minutes a day that requires you to physically exert yourself. Exercise, of course, causes the body to sweat which expeditiously detoxifies the body. Physical activity helps people deal with the stress and agitation that often accompanies someone quitting nicotine. Finally, exercise serves as a great alternative when experiencing cravings.
On a chemical base, exercise releases endorphins, and other feel-good chemicals in the brain. This effect often leads to being “addicted” to exercise, which we can all admit is a much healthier alternative that nicotine.
4. Keep you Mind Busy
By not smoking and, following the above advice your body will naturally detoxify and heal itself from past nicotine use.
But any smoker or ex-smoker knows the truth is that you’ll still experience cravings, and some of these episodes can be rather intense. Keeping your mind busy via work or play, preferably play as it releases more feel-good chemicals, will help suppress some inevitable pulses to drink or smoke.
When a craving is present, delve into the task at hand. During your free time, open up an app you enjoy on your phone, play game, or challenge your brain with some fun activity. Distraction works wonders on cravings, and your body will continue to naturally detoxify.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation. A typical meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, little by little, to let go of struggling with them. You come to realise that thoughts come and go of their own accord; that you are not your thoughts. You can watch as they appear in your mind, seemingly from thin air, and watch again as they disappear, like a bubble bursting. You come to the profound understanding that thoughts and feelings (including negative ones) are transient. They come and they go, and ultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them or not.
6. Practice Meditation
Various types of meditation exist – transcendental meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, focused attention meditation, Zen meditation, etc., Now you may be thinking, “Isn’t meditating a thing for like Zen masters and yogis who live in a rock garden?” Well sure, you have people like that, but really anyone can do it, regardless of religion or beliefs. All you need is a quiet space and a few minutes.
Meditation is powerful mind and body practices. 15-20 minutes a day (minimum) is all you need to reap the benefits of meditation; which, in this case, will optimize your body and mind to detox from nicotine, reduce stress and improve self-control.
7. Self Hypnosis
Hypnosis is a level of focus that allows you to become almost completely unaware of the multiple other things that might otherwise flit in and out of mind. It allows you to commit to the changes in your life that you want and clears the mind of negative self-talk.
Just like the mind of a weightlifter who enters a state of hypnosis with the single focus of lifting the weight, not the thoughts 'what if I can't lift' or 'Did I leave the oven on?' they only focus on there desired result, and it becomes reality.
5-7 will work for some and fit others better, pick the one or all that you feel comfortable with. They all help reduce stress, anxiety and cravings. They also help to get your body and mindset for that healthier happier you.
Everyone is different and some people will find it easier to stop than others, if you require a helping hand in returning to being a non-smoker I would highly recommend using these tips and seeing a hypnotherapist like I did (yes, therapist get therapy we all need a helping hand sometimes, we're only human), they will not only help you stop but also help you on an unconscious level anchor the things you want in life to make them more powerful and easier to do.
No limitations apart from the ones we give ourselves
Contact me if you wish to free yourself from the limitations of smoking.
Steven Smith Dip.Hyp. GHR GQHP
Clinical Hypnotherapist, SCS Hypnosis
Innervision School of Clinical Hypnosis Tutor