Did you know that as soon as you stop smoking, it only takes 20 minutes for your health to improve? The human body is amazing.
When you quit smoking, your quality of life and general levels of happiness increase. Here is what happens to your body at each stage of the quitting process:
20 minutes later
Smoking increases blood pressure due to the carbon monoxide in a cigarette. 20 minutes after you quit smoking, your body’s blood pressure and heart rate return to its normal, stable rate.
48 hours later
A lot happens after 2 days. For starters, your coughing will be intense. However, this is something to appreciate. It’s a sign that your body is attempting to clear out your airways to allow a cleaner supply of oxygen to the body.
This is also the point where withdrawals are at their strongest. The last bit of nicotine will have gone from the body and the cravings have really kicked in. It’s important to stay away from places that encourages smoking at this part of the quitting cycle. If it helps, stay with a non-smoking friend for the day to keep you from any triggers.
It’s after two days where you really start to notice your health to improve and quality of life gets better. For starters, even though you’re in the middle of suffering from withdrawals, you’re sense of taste and smell start to return.
Foods will be a lot tastier becomes the nerves on tongue and in your nose are repairing themselves. Treat yourself to something really sweet to make the most of the newly found sensation.
1 week later
The withdrawals are now over.
You will notice that your breathing is a lot easier and stronger. If you decide to do some light exercise, you will notice a huge difference in shortness of breath. You’ll find you can go on for much longer than only 7 days ago.
When you get this far, you will be so much happier and wonder why you didn’t quit sooner.
1 month later
Your breathing has drastically improved. You will not suffer any shortness of breath associated from smoking.
Everyday tasks will not tire you out any more, leaving you free to use your time to be productive again. After a month, you will be able to see a big difference in quality of your life.
The next few months will be building on improving on the health of your lungs. If you feel the urge to smoke, there are plenty of methods to keep you from smoking. It may be worth investing in an e-cigarette with 0% nicotine just to mimic the smoking action.
This way you gradually reduce the need to do the smoking action while keeping nicotine free.
9 months later
After 9 months, your body will have its blood circulation back to normal. This leads to better health because you are less prone to illness. Those annoying smoker coughs you had before are no longer a thing. Instead, your coughs are actually clearing your throat and airways.
Your mood in general will also have drastically improved. You will no longer feel moody or become easily irritable. It’s important to note how quitting smoking improves metal health as well as physical.
You’ll feel less stressed about things in your life and are a lot less likely to develop depression. In fact, stopping smoking can be just as effective on symptoms of anxiety and depression as taking antidepressants.
1 year later
Here is something that will put a smile on your face and is worth celebrating: comparing this day to the day you smoked your last cigarette 12 months ago, you are now half as likely to develop heart disease.
Congratulations on reaching this point in your recovery! To show you how far you’ve come, try an activity that you will have found incredibly difficult a year ago. This will spur you on to continue the recovery and prove how much better your life is now you’ve ditched the habit.
5+ years later
The arteries and veins in your body have fully recovered and are able to grow and expand to increase blood flow. It’s after 5 years of quitting that you become just as likely to suffer a stroke as a non-smoker.
After 10 years you are half as likely to develop cancer compared to the first day of quitting.
After 15 years, the chances of suffering heart disease are the same as someone who has never smoked a cigarette.
At each stage in the recovery process, the quality of your health and life gets better and better. As you have seen, it can take as little as 20 minutes to feel the benefits.
You will be able to accomplish so much more as soon as you put those cigarettes out for good.