Drinking: Change The Habit - Change Your Life

Drinking: Change The Habit - Change Your Life

06-11-2021

Change The Habit - Change Your Life

How many of us haven't reached for a glass of something at the end of a stressful day thinking that this is the only way to unwind and relax. Be honest ... how many of us do this regularly and how man of us do this every evening?

That innocent glass or two of wine, that couple of pints may feel like the perfect way to relax but it can actually have the opposite effect in the long term.

It’s true that in small quantities alcohol can temporarily improve your mood and lift your spirits but the word to remember is temporarily!

Alcohol Is A Depressant

You see alcohol is actually classified as a Central Nervous System Depressant. Let me try and explain the effects it has in simple terms:

Drinking alcohol messes with the chemical balance in the brain which disrupts the natural processes which, in turn, affects your actions and emotions.

Initially the alcohol hit activates the reward system which triggers a release of dopamine. If you’re not familiar with dopamine it is a naturally found chemical within the human body. It is a natural neurotransmitter responsible for sending out signals from the body to the brain.

It has a major part to play in the way we control movements and emotional responses so the correct balance of dopamine is absolutely vital for physical as well as mental wellbeing.

That initial alcohol induced boost of dopamine therefore makes us feel good which is why we then always seem to want another drink! But this stimulating effect doesn’t last long.

With Every Up There's A Down

You see alcohol affects the central nervous system in other ways, too. Particularly it causes an imbalance in the release of those neurotransmitters responsible for regulating our moods. These specifically include serotonin and norepinephrine and this can temporarily affect speech, coordination and levels of energy.

As I said earlier – alcohol is a depressant and after this initial boost in spirits quickly wears off your problems tend to become magnified. If you were drinking to forget you suddenly start remembering again and the problems seem worse than before. If you were drinking to de-stress the stress returns greater than before. Negative mood states will worsen and those emotions you may have been trying to keep hidden will often come flooding up to the surface the more you drink.

Take it from me, I know how much this is a difficult cycle. The habit of automatically turning to and associating alcohol with unwinding and de-stressing each day is an easy one to get into. That initial boost in spirits can be a great feeling but it’s so short lived and is usually the pre-curser to a bit of a downer! Add to that the negative long-term effects on physical and mental health and you may feel it time to change your habits.

Time For Change

Think about why you’re drinking and what you’re looking to gain from it each day? Perhaps it’s meeting friends and talking about your day on the way home from the office. Perhaps you see it as the marker for the end of the working day and the beginning of the evening. Perhaps you just love that temporary lift it gives you. It could be for so many reasons.

Then think about – can I get this without needing to turn to alcohol? Do I really need to drink when I meet those friends on the way home? Is there some other healthy way to mark the beginning of the evening? How can I get that feel good boost without alcohol?

I also suggest you talk about it with your friends – you may be surprised at just how many of them are feeling the same as you – so do something together. Change that routine, build new habits and feel so much better in your self and so much more in control.

The New You

Here’s jus a few ideas of what you could replace alcohol with:

  • Non alcoholic drinks. These days there’s an amazing variety of alcohol-free alternatives – it’s not just coke or lemonade. Check out what your regular establishment has available and try something different. Even if it’s not everyday it’s a great start.
  • Try the coffee shop, tea room or juice bar. These are everywhere now so why not replace a trip to the pub and meet at non-licenced premises every once in a while. Try something new (bubble tea is the latest thing) and make it a regular routine.
  • Hit the gym. Unwind the healthy way – it can be a great social event as well as an amazing way to end the day.
  • Take a walk. Immerse yourself in nature and give yourself time to think rationally. This doesn’t have to be by yourself either.
  • Start a new hobby. Replace the “reward” of drinking with a new reward of “me-time”. Try a new hobby – there’s something for everyone. A yoga class, home baking, evening classes, photography, crafting, tennis, sports. There’s so many to choose from so just think about what you’ve always wanted to try and go and do it.
  • Charity. Give you new found time to supporting a charity that's close to your heart - a real feel good pick-me-up!

Make A Start

Do it! Start gradually if you prefer by just replacing alcohol once or twice a week with some for of new routine. Talk to your friends, see how many of them feel the same way as you and do something together. You can love the new alcohol-free routine just as much as the old one … perhaps even more!

At My Sober Support we can help you towards your aims with our unique Sober Wellbeing Calendar and support pack. The calendar is based on an advent style calendar which has 30 doors. Behind each door your find a daily incentive, what to do each day and how to look after yourself in the first month of your new alcohol-free life.

The optional suite of resources take the form of audio downloads – 6 individual guided hypnotherapy and meditation downloads produced by our in-house alcohol support practitioner.

Get the complete package delivered by post and instant download for just £24.95. It could be the start of an amazing journey.