Mindful Monday - Why do I miss the nicotine? Did my brain change?

Did my brain change?


Yes, but the change began when you started smoking and became addicted to nicotine. That’s why it’s so hard to quit.

The nicotine is what keeps you smoking. When you smoke the nicotine affects receptors in the brain. These receptors release dopamine, which makes you feel good. That’s the same chemical your brain releases when you have an orgasm.  So it’s completely understandable that once the nicotine is out of your system, it’s the dopamine that you really miss and why this addiction is so fucking powerful.

The more you smoke the more of these nicotine receptors make themselves at home in your brain.

When you cut off the nicotine, the anxiety kicks in and you begin to get strong cravings. As time goes on, you get more and more irritable, feel angry, and eventually depressed. 

 

A million things trigger your brain into thinking, “Hey, it’s time to have a smoke.” But the reality is, those triggers are just thoughts, no different from any other thought. And if you wait… Go for a walk, take some deep breaths, chew a kicstick, the craving will pass.

My problem is, at what point does the brain stop wanting the dopamine release? 

Apparently, that’s different for everyone.  All I can say is... Be patient and kind to yourself. Know that you are not your addiction, that is only a thought in mind.