Some people struggle with mood swings when they decide to quit smoking. 

The feelings of anger, anxiety or frustration can leave you wondering if quitting is even worth it at all, and before you know it you are back on the cigarettes.

If you want to quit smoking, but are struggling to deal with the unwanted emotional side effects of stopping, then read on to find out our top tips for dealing with them.

Recognise your triggers

Just like with smoking, feelings of anger and frustration can become a nasty habit that is sparked by certain triggers or associations. When you quit smoking you start to train your mind to no longer associate things such as work stress, your morning coffee, or socialising with smoking. You need to go through the same process with your emotions.

Does your boss always get ‘under your skin’? Wound up when your partner doesn’t wash their dishes? Learning to recognise potential triggers means that if you are irritable from the nicotine cravings you are better prepared to deal with any unwanted emotional reactions.

Be in tune with your body

Once you are aware what some of your anger triggers may be, take time to recognise the physical symptoms that may lead up to a ‘boiling point’. You may find your heart beats faster, you get clammy palms, and your breath quickens. When these physical symptoms occur you know that a mood swing is coming, and you can take pre-emptive action to stop an outburst.

You are in control

Both emotions and cigarette cravings can make you feel helpless and out of control. However, these reactions and behaviours are linked to your subconscious mind – meaning that the source of them is within you. As such, they aren’t something that is simply done ‘to you’, but something created within your mind. This means that you have the power to respond to these feelings in a way that is healthier and more positive for you. Take control of your mind and body, to overcome cigarette cravings and unwanted mood swings. Recognising that you are able to regulate your anger, as well as your cigarette cravings, you are one step closer to a more balanced mind.

Be mindful

Practising mindfulness will help you to both recognise your physical stress symptoms, as well as being more aware of the potential triggers that could set off a mood swing. Avoiding these situations will help you to manage your irritability.

Mindfulness can also have a calming, stress-reducing affect. There are many accessible guides to mindfulness now available, which can help you to manage any feelings of anger or tension you may be experiencing whilst quitting smoking.

The Harley Street Stop Smoking Clinic’s hypnotherapist, Mr MacLaren-Jackson, has a handy, easy to digest guide called 7-Day Mindfulness. The first 7 days of quitting smoking can be the hardest, as the nicotine leaves your body, so why not commit to the 7 days of mindfulness at the same time?

How do you cope with quit smoking side effects?

If you wish to quit smoking with minimal emotional side effects, you can also try a method such as hypnosis. Because with stop smoking hypnotherapy cigarette cravings are minimised you are far less likely to suffer from unwanted mood swings, which are often linked to the irritability of nicotine withdrawal when going cold turkey.