When quitting smoking what day is hardest is a question that each and every smoker dreads to get answered. I used to be a chain smoker (till about three months ago).
When I started to smoke cigarettes, the overall impact that it had on my mind was mind-blowing indeed. It was just a trial – I would smoke a single cigarette and quit right after it burnt itself off.
About 20 minutes (after I had finished smoking my first cigarette), I had the urge to smoke another. “Well, what the heck!” I thought. “Just one more – and then, that’s it!”
That did it!
By the time, the day finished, I had smoked 10 cigarettes – this was my very first day. “This was a cheat day.” I said to myself. “Not another cigarette going forward.”
Well, this did not happen – unfortunately!
Days passed to week, weeks turned into months and months flew into years – and I kept smoking. Ironically, the number of cigarettes simply kept on increasing.
There came a time when I was smoking 3 to 4 packs of cigarettes daily. Coughing, wheezing and ‘difficulty to breathe normally’ became a part and parcel of my life.
One fine day, I realized all this has to stop, else I would drop dead any day.
Here is what happened to my body when I tried to quit smoking:
When Quitting Smoking What Day is Hardest Write-Up Contents:
1) How did I Feel when I Quit Smoking?
2) How did I Mentally Prepare Myself for Quitting Smoking?
3) How I Kept My Mind from Swaying Back to Cigarettes?
4) What Happened to My Mind & Body when I Quit Smoking?
5) Which Day Quitting Smoking is the Hardest?
6) Frequently Asked Questions on When Quitting Smoking What Day is Hardest?
7) My Conclusive Thoughts
How did I Feel when I Quit Smoking?
It was a ‘Friday’ when I decided to quit smoking cigarettes indefinitely. I chose this particular day (Friday) as it is the beginning of a long weekend. It is a perfect day to initiate something new – much similar to a ‘New Year’ resolution.
As I was habitual of smoking a cigarette every half hour, it was indeed a tough decision. I only stopped smoking when I slept at night. So, the 7 to 8 hour long sleep period was when my body was ‘deprived’ of the cigarette smoke.
Here is how I felt on the first day of quitting smoking permanently:
>>> After about 45 minutes of smoking my last cigarette, I started to get anxious.
>>> After about 4 hours, all hell was breaking lose and my body was going literally out of control.
>>> After about 6 hours, anxiety had not turned into irritability. I felt as though everything in my life was being turned upside down.
>>> 12 hours later, I had lost all my appetite. I was hungry but I could not eat food. So, I drank some juice instead.
>>> When 16 hours had passed since my last cigarette, it was midnight. I simply could not sleep. I was hungry and tired yet, I failed to fall asleep.
>>> As I could not sleep like a baby, my head started to ache. It was a splitting headache session that bothered me almost the entire night.
>>> I finally fell asleep at around 6:00 AM the next morning. I kept sleeping till about 5:00 PM.
The Take Away from My Quit Smoking Ordeal:
>>> Nicotine and tobacco present in cigarettes are addictive. They were literally dictating my daily routine.
>>> After just 45 minutes of NOT smoking a cigarette, the withdrawal symptoms kicked in.
>>> The extent of anxiety on the very first day is indescribable. Irritability too is extreme (without any logical reason attached).
>>> I had trouble focusing on even the easiest of tasks (such as preparing a cup of coffee) just 4 hours after my last cigarette.
>>> Feeling of immense gloom started to sink in just 5 hours after my last cigarette. It was a depressive feeling that is hard to describe.
>>> Mood swings and ‘insatiable hunger’ is also evident on the first day. Alas! It is tough to eat as the craving for a cigarette stops you from satisfying your ever-growing appetite.
>>> The fourth day of quitting cigarettes was perhaps the hardest in my life.
>>> The negative and depressive feelings continued well over a fortnight of quitting cigarettes completely.
>>> After about 21 days after smoking my last cigarette did I begin to feel better again. My focus returned and my mood swings finally stopped troubling me.
How did I Mentally Prepare Myself for Quitting Smoking?
When I decided to quit smoking, I had to make a conscious choice. It was a ‘do or die’ situation because my health was deteriorating fast. Unless and until I mustered the courage to end the smoking habit, my life was never going to get better.
So, I decided to end the root cause itself – cigarettes. Nonetheless, getting a firm grip to let-go of my smoking habit was a daunting task indeed. I had to make special efforts to get things right. After all, I did not want to start smoking again.
Here is what all I did to make this a success:
>>> There was nothing much that I could do on the first day of quitting. My mind and body was in rage.
>>> On the second day, my body and mind decided to accept the fact that I had indeed quit smoking cigarettes. I started to listen to some music.
>>> As time passed, I started to work in the kitchen. I cooked a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs.
>>> Another method that I used to steer clear from cigarette cravings for the first 7 days of quitting was drinking luke-warm water. A glass of warm water after every 2 hours worked wonders for me.
>>> Drinking warm water not only reduced my cravings for smoking a cigarette but it also helped me digest my food properly.
>>> I started to spend an hour daily in the morning walking at the local park. The sound of birds chirping and the fragrance of flowers helped me fight the urge to smoke a cigarette.
>>> In the evening, I spent half an hour performing light weight training exercises. This helped me lose weight and it diverted my mind away from cigarettes.
>>> Apps meant for quitting smoking also helped me achieve my aim. I downloaded Quit Tracker and liked it a lot. It helped me review my quit smoking progress on a daily basis.
>>> For the first 21 days after quitting smoking, I spoke to a few friends of mine. This was similar to a daily ‘one hour therapy’ session. It worked wonders for me.
>>> A pen and paper worked wonders for me. Writing down the main reasons why I decided to quit smoking worked wonders for me.
>>> I read aloud a prayer each and every day. Through the means of this prayer, I told myself that I shall never smoke again. I call it the ‘prayer’ as it helped me focus on my quit-smoking campaign (much like a meditation prayer does).
Basically, I did all these activities for an entire month. The results were tremendously favorable. After the 7th day, my body started to accept the fact that I was happier without smoking any cigarettes.
By the time I reached the end of the month, I never even bothered to look at a pack of cigarettes again – let alone think of smoking one.
How I Kept My Mind from Swaying Back to Cigarettes?
Mind plays a major role in helping you steer clear of the cravings that a chain smoker like me suffers from. Unless you have a firm grip on your mind, you cannot hope to quit smoking.
So, here is what I did to play the much needed ‘mind-games’ with my pack of cigarettes:
I Smoked a Cigarette without the Smoke:
I would not lie to you but each and every day (in my ‘21 day quit smoking’ ordeal), all I wanted was to smoke a cigarette. This craving was felt the most in the first week itself.
So, what I did in order to avoid getting trapped in the ‘start smoking while quitting’ campaign was to try it again. Well, not literally. I added a twist to it. I picked a cigarette and placed it to my lips ‘BUT’ I did not light it.
So, this did allow me to taste the tobacco (via my tongue touching the tip of the cigarette) but it did not harm me in any which ways. It is an ideal way to ‘sabotage’ your mind into thinking that you are indeed smoking a real cigarette.
Cleaning the House and Washing the Dishes:
In order to ensure that I managed to keep my mind free from the craving, I decided to indulge in deep cleaning. So for that, I cleaned my house – I did so daily. I also did the dirty dishes all on my own.
When I indulged in this so called ‘cleanliness drive’ I managed to understand the value of being healthy. Smoking is definitely unhealthy. Nonetheless, you come to realize it only when you understand what ‘being healthy’ really is.
Meditation to Reduce Stress:
When I stopped smoking, I was under severe stress for the first 6 days. It was only when I started to listen to binaural beats (a form of meditation) that I began to feel better.
Stress was causing stomach upsets, lack of appetite and even migraine. I was basically feeling as though I had been reduced to a vegetable. This form of meditation helped calm my nerves.
In just 2 days (practicing meditation) my stress levels normalized. On the third day, my headaches stopped and by the 5th day, my digestive issues improved considerably.
You Need to be Tough:
No matter how many councilors/therapists are sitting beside you 24/7, when you are craving for a cigarette, no one is capable of stopping you (except ‘YOU’). This is my personal experience.
Your mind and body is fine-tuned to the cigarette smoke that no worlds or therapies are going to change its course of action (craving for a cigarette).
So, I needed to teach myself that I have to face this tough situation on my own. So, becoming mentally strong is the only way out of this mess. I was basically prepared for the worst.
Watch Positive Read Positive Talk Positive:
I realized on the 1st day of quitting smoking that if I had to survive the coming days then, I had to quit negativity completely. So, I started to watch documentaries that talked of ‘positive ways’ of leading your life.
I avoided soaps and serials that showcased action or suspense or betrayal. As far as books are concerned then, I read only those that inspired positive change in an individual (non-fiction only).
Last but not the least I spoke to only those people who could instill a positive change in me. So, I decided to steer clear of all negative and pessimist people and stuck with only a handful (those that were vibrant, positive and full of life).
What Happened to My Mind & Body when I Quit Smoking?
I had been smoking cigarettes for the past 20 years. At my peak, I used to smoke 3 packs of cigarettes every day. Owing to this very reason, quitting smoking was an almost impossible thought (it never came in my wildest dreams).
I often wondered whether quitting smoking was actually going to benefit my body. Let’s face it – I had been smoking for the past 20 years. So, the damage had already been done.
Can the damage be reversed – at this stage in my life?
When I started to research, I realized that my health could return to normal if I stopped smoking. Yes, even at this stage!!!
To double check, I consulted a few doctors that were in my FB friend’s list. Well, they all said, “Within 1 hour of you quitting cigarettes, your health is going to improve.”
I thought to myself, “If the experts are so confident then, why should I not try and quit.”
I hired the services of my ‘doctor’ friend for 21 days and had him conduct a few tests on me (during the quit smoking period).
Well, here is what all I found:
The First 45 Minutes:
In the first forty five minutes (of quitting smoking), I started to feel relaxed. My hands became warmer. Soon the numbness and cold sensation that had been troubling my feet too diminished. When I checked my blood pressure levels, I found these to be normal again.
The First 10 Hours:
In the first 10 hours, I noticed a distinct stability in my blood pressure levels. When I used to smoke, my blood pressure used to always be on the higher side.
Another factor that I found interesting was that the level of carbon dioxide in my blood had reduced by 48%. This was just 9 hours after I quit smoking.
While this drop did help in cleaning my organs by pushing oxygen and blood optimally, it did cause a series of adverse side effects as well.
Some of these included mood swings, negative thoughts and irritability (lots and lots of it). These used to grip me for over 15 minutes at a time (till I found a distraction for the same).
What I did to keep my mood swings at bay was drink a glass of warm water. I also soaked myself in a bathtub filled with aromatic oils and warm water. These helped in keeping my mood swings under check.
The 12 to 24 Hour Period Post Quitting Smoking:
After the 10 hour period, my carbon dioxide levels returned to normal. My organs (especially my heart and lungs) started to get optimal supply of oxygen. I started to suffer from mild constipation.
There was no other significant change with regards to my mindset. I was tense, irritable and was suffering from mood swings. It was also evident that I was unable to maintain a good night’s sleep- it was as though I had suddenly become insomniac.
Day 3 to Day 6:
On the 3rd day, I felt my lips getting softer. My sense of smell also increased considerably. At the same time, I started to crave for food that I otherwise detested. Apparently, smoking cigarettes had reduced my appetite.
I also started to cough a lot. I was constantly emitting phlegm, which apparently had been built up within my body (owing to the years of smoking).
Basically, my body was flushing out all the dirt and muck that had been stored within its confines. The overall experience was terrible indeed. Headaches were common and sleeping at night was tough indeed.
I also felt hungry but I found it rather tough to consume food easily. Nonetheless, my laborious breathing had finally returned to normal. I also felt cleaner from within.
Day 7 to Day 15:
I was finally free from headaches. My breathing was near normal and my sense of smell had improved considerably. I was also able to climb up a flight of stairs at one go.
Earlier when I was smoking cigarettes, I could not climb up a single floor without gasping for breath. On the 10th day, I even started to jog every day in the nearby park.
Basically, my health was improving and I was not getting struck by mood swings any longer. I also did not crave for cigarettes (like I did on the first or second day).
Day 16 to Day 21:
My health improved four folds. I was finally able to take a deep breath without feeling breathless. My headaches had vanished (as though they never existed). I also felt more energetic and positive.
A noticeable change was my improved stamina. Apparently, the chemicals stored inside my body had been finally flushed clean. I managed to jog for 15 minutes without panting.
Finally, I also managed to get free of all the stress and tension that had earlier surrounded me. I was also freed from mood swings. My appetite returned and I was able to eat more and relish the food I ate.
Most importantly, I was able to sleep peacefully.
Which Day Quitting Smoking is the Hardest?
When I quit smoking, I found the 4th day to be the hardest. As I have been smoke free for over a year now, I can elaborate more on this statement. What is the hardest week of quitting smoking is a question that is tough to answer.
I also felt a major shift in my health on the 21st day. Finally, the 121’st day was the final shift that my body underwent.
So, I have actually gone ahead and divided my quit-smoking ordeal in 3 different stages. I am also mentioning how I overcame these issues in a periodical manner:
The First 4 Days of Quitting Smoking:
During the first four days of quitting cigarettes, I felt the urge to start smoking again. My mind was at complete unrest and I was unable to focus on almost anything. Basically, both my mind and body were revolting against my decision to quit smoking cigarettes.
These were the hardest and the most painful days of my life. So, I had to be doubly careful in order to maintain my sanity. These 4 days were when I had to be the most careful.
Here is what I did in these 4 days to maintain my commitment to quit smoking permanently:
>>> The first thing I did to ease my mental trauma was to drink lots of water. The water was not ice cold but warm. I had done so over the gas stove. I also drank the water ‘sip-by-sip’ (no gulping it down).
>>> I reduced my coffee consumption by 50%. This helped me get over my digestive issues that I was facing after quitting smoking.
>>> I took deep breaths. This was advised to me by my doctor friends. Five to ten deep breaths each and every day helped me get rid of the fog that was building up in my brain.
>>> Indulging in cat-naps was not my thing until I quit smoking. Thereafter, I was sleeping for 20 minutes at a stretch for most part of the day and night. It helped me get relieved from the stress caused by insomnia.
>>> Last but not the least I also indulged in a short walk in my backyard. I did so every couple of hours for the first 4 days. The fragrance of flowers and the sound of birds helped me feel better.
The Next 17 Days:
The next 17 days were no less tough but they were easier than the first 4. With that being said, I must admit that as days went past, my physical and mental condition only improved.
The only issue was lack of stamina and a fuzzy brain. Lack of focus was there and I felt the urge to sleep every few hours. At night, I failed to sleep at a stretch. My doctor friends stated it was a resultant of nicotine withdrawal.
Here is a quick look at what I did to make my life better during this testing phase:
>>> I started off with trying to pick a hobby that kept my mind away from smoking. I started to play chess. It helped me divert my mind.
>>> The next step was identifying the symptoms that forced me to smoke again. Mine were agitation followed by depression. These were the identifiers that my mind and body was beginning to force me to smoke again.
>>> After identifying these triggers, I consulted my doctor buddies to offer solutions. Listening to music, a glass of warm water and watching a positive documentary were the ideal solutions to ward off these triggers.
>>> I realized that getting rid of nicotine addiction was a lengthy process. So, I was prepared for the worst – both physically as well as mentally.
>>> To hasten my healing process, I started to exercise 20 minutes daily. This included jogging, stretching, indulging in body-weight exercises etc.
The 4th Month of Quitting Smoking:
Believe it or not but when I had reached the 4th month without smoking a single cigarette, I felt like ‘having a go at it’ again. There was a strong urge in me to smoke cigarettes again.
It was as though the beginning of the 4th month had kick-started a new surge of nicotine craving. I felt as though ‘enough is enough’. It is time to light a cigarette and take a few puffs.
Nonetheless, I realized this had to stop. Here is what all I did to achieve this aim:
>>> I read a lot of research papers that were compiled on quitting smoking. The researched literature really helped me determine how to cope with the horrendous withdrawal symptoms.
>>> Re-programing the brain was my next task to counter the sudden craving for cigarettes. I consulted medical representatives that majored in this field.
>>> I used the same distraction methods to stop the craving from getting the better of me. For me, the best option was to drink a glass of warm water over a period of 15 minutes (sip by sip).
>>> Apart from the daily dose of 30 minutes cardio, I focused a lot on fine tuning my mind. I feel meditation and listening to motivated talks helped me the most (to achieve this aim).
Frequently Asked Questions on When Quitting Smoking What Day is Hardest?
Q-1: When You Quit Smoking what is the Hardest Day?
A-1: In my opinion, there is no single day that can be considered hardest to quit smoking. The first 4 days are undoubtedly the toughest.
Q-2: Are the First 7 days the Hardest for Nicotine Craving when You Quit Smoking?
A-2: The first 4 days are undoubtedly the hardest. Nonetheless, the first 15 days (since you quit smoking) can be quite tough indeed.
Q-3: What happens on the 4th Day of Quitting Smoking?
A-3: On the fourth day, I feel the symptoms hit my mind and body the hardest. As the nicotine is completely flushed clean on the 3rd day, the craving for nicotine adversely affect the body on the 4th day.
Q-4: What happens to Your Body and Mind between Days 7 and 14 after you Quit Smoking?
A-4: After the 7th day, the body starts to experience dramatic changes. Improvement is with special regards to your overall oxygen supply. The blood pressure also improves considerably. The overall functioning of a smoker’s lung also improves in a fortnight.
Q-5: How long does a Chain Smoker take to Quit Smoking Permanently?
A-5: Well, it takes anything in between 2 to 3 months for the overall effect to take place. So, you need to be without cigarettes for a period of (at least) two and a half months to reduce nicotine cravings.
Q-6: How do I Speed Up my Quit Smoking Process?
A-6: To speed up your quit smoking process, always have an action plan ready. You need to consult a trained medical representative and follow a medically approved ‘quit-smoking protocol’.
At the same time, keep your mind distracted by indulging in positive hobbies (such as playing golf, chess, regular exercises etc.). Read literature on smoking and ensure that you take medicines to quit smoking (if you have to).
Q-7: What is the Best Day to Quit Smoking?
A-7: There is no specific day that can be considered the best for quitting smoking. The day when you are mentally prepared to quit smoking can be considered the ‘best day’ for initiating this process.
Q-8: When does the Brain Fog finally Disappear after I Quit Smoking?
A-8: The chemicals that smoking cigarettes has ingested into your system takes time to clear. These toxic chemicals are what cause brain fog in the very first place.
Nonetheless, when these chemicals are removed from the system your brain fog automatically disappears. The time taken for the same is approximately 15 days (from the day you quit smoking cigarettes).
Q-9: Can I Drink Coffee to Reduce Nicotine Cravings for Smoking Cigarettes?
A-9: Yes, it does help in reducing your nicotine cravings. n-MP is a compound that is present in caffeine that helps inhibit nicotine receptors from gaining control of your internal mechanism. This reduces your nicotine cravings considerably.
Q-10: Why do I find it Difficult to Sleep at Night whenever I Quit Smoking?
A-10: The main reason why you cannot sleep well at night whenever you quit smoking is owing to the current chemical composition in your body.
This is owing to the cigarettes that you had smoked in the past. They have captured the overall internal functionality of your body. When you stop smoking cigarettes, the chemicals that your body is habitual to function are shut-down completely.
So, sleeping is definitely going to be an issue. Only when the body has cleansed itself (2 to 4 weeks duration) shall your normal sleep be restored.
What is the Hardest Day when Giving Up Smoking – My Conclusive Thoughts
Smoking is a harmful activity. Almost each and every one of us is aware of the adverse health complications affixed to smoking cigarettes. So, quitting this addictive habit is perhaps the only way you can prolong your existing lifespan (by as much as 15 to 20 years).
Not to forget the lack of illnesses affixed to ‘not smoking’ cigarettes. If you continue smoking cigarettes then, your organs can be infected. Ailments of the heart, lungs, respiratory track and kidneys are normal for those who smoke cigarettes.
While I had trouble quitting, the end result is super fantastic. If you can withstand the first 21 days (post you quit smoking) you shall not smoke again. This is my personal experience.
So make up your mind and be strong. The final result shall be no less than a ‘super-fantastic & super-healthy’ life going forward.