7 Things I Learnt About Myself When I Stopped Drinking.
Dec 06, 2018
I had one of those classic moments in my life where everything goes wrong and you find yourself exactly where you don’t want to be.
Even though it was the worst day of my life it also turned out to be one of the best; although I didn’t know it at the time.
Alcohol was a huge factor in what was going wrong for me. Well I am not saying it was alcohol’s fault, obviously it was 100% my responsibility, however when I stopped drinking it made a huge difference to my life.
A lot of people drink, a lot of people drink too much, and mostly people don’t seem to think this is an issue. However, I want to put it to you a different way. Try this: take a break from alcohol, 30 days or maybe 90 days. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time, then see what the difference is and what the benefits of not drinking alcohol are. I guarantee you, your life will improve.
The benefits of giving up alcohol
On a simple, logical level, think about these factors: alcohol impacts on our sleep, our emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, energy, body and brain function. So, if you don’t drink, by simple elimination: our sleep improves (so much!) our mental health improves and sometimes we lose weight. Because we are sleeping better and our emotional wellbeing is better, then we have improved self-esteem and I could go on. The benefits of not drinking alcohol are vast. Stopping drinking is like taking a magic pill in reverse.
Here's what I learnt when I put down the booze and discovered the benefits of not drinking -
- I can feel healthy: Because you are not drinking you feel good, I mean really good, you have so much more energy.
- I can sleep really well. Alcohol impacts on REM sleep, so when we stop drinking it improves our quality of sleep and we all know how important sleep is. The benefits of not drinking alcohol on your sleep have been well documented and you can read more here: Alcohol and sleep and Why lack of sleep is bad for your health
- Mentally I feel on top of the world: Ok I realise this is a bit much but seriously after some time of not drinking (maybe 3 months, maybe less) you start to feel really good about yourself. You have improved confidence, less anxiety and feel more optimistic.
- I am actually good at my job: Not only can you get the promotions and better jobs, the icing (on the alcohol-free cake) is that you can do work you love! When we feel good it impacts on all areas of our life. We might think we are doing well at work, but take alcohol out of the equation its amazing how much easier things are. One of the major benefits of quitting alcohol for me has been doing work I love, and helping people to change their behaviour around alcohol and drugs.
- I can be a good parent: When we don’t drink, we just have more time and more energy. Working, maintaining a relationship and raising children is hard work. Being able to be present and spend quality time with our kids, feels good for us, but is so good for our children as well. There is also the thing about role modelling behaviours. If you are someone that reaches for the booze after a hard day at work, what are you teaching your kids?
- You can get a buzz out of so many other things: One thing I hear a lot is that people drink alcohol for the buzz, they see this as one of the advantages of drinking alcohol. There are so many other ways to get a buzz without the disadvantages of booze, better ways and better buzzes! Exercise, dancing, listening to music, doing something you love, being with the people you love, being in amazing countryside, sex, etc. There are so many options. To be honest if alcohol is your only buzz then its time to shake it up.
- Clarity: Clarity of thought is amazing, knowing your own mind, being able to make good decisions for yourself. I am not saying I am perfect now, far from it, but one of the benefits of giving up alcohol is that life is a lot more pleasurable and easier.
Stephanie Chivers is a habit and addiction specialist, working as a coach and sharing with you what works so you can live a happy healthy life.
If you want to change your relationship with alcohol contact me today