This is quite a common side-effect of quitting smoking. The very fact that you are taking on a new way of life is bound to cause some concern, whether it be due to positive energy or cautious anticipation of what’s to come. There may be a million thoughts running around your head as you think about all the scenarios of what has been and what might be. You may be anxious about what your smoking friends and non-smoking friends, family or colleagues will think, and whether they’ll support or perhaps disbelieve you, especially if you’ve tried before and failed. You may be wondering how you’re going to cope with the restaurant invitation later in the week, when John and Mary go outside for a smoke between courses. Are you going to go with them and stand there without a cigarette, or stay inside with the other non-smokers, or even on your own? The more you think about it, the more you realize just how much time and effort you really invest in smoking. There’s practically not a moment in the day when you’re not smoking or planning your next cigarette.
All of this sudden brain activity is to be expected. Quitting smoking is more than simply not smoking the next one. For most people, quitting is a lifestyle project which requires a lot of precision planning and careful execution over a period of weeks and months, perhaps years. Comparing it to voluntarily changing jobs or vocation may seem a little strange to some, but in fact many of the thought processes are the same. First you need to decide whether it’s something you really want, then you need to plan how you’re going to approach the change, decide at what point it makes sense to make the switch, how you and others around you will cope with the change, and how to manage the situation on the longer term, whether your plan becomes a success or you decide you made the wrong choice.
Hopefully, your anxiety and nervousness will be based on the excitement of quitting, because after all you’re trying to making a positive change in your life. Rest assured that all of that extra brain activity is quite natural as long as it is not hampering your ability to function normally. As with any condition that seems out of control, if you are in doubt, I highly recommend referring to a medical professional.