While drinking is still widely accepted as a social activity, more people than ever before are deciding to cut out alcohol completely. In fact, the sober lifestyle has recently become pretty popular. More alcohol-free bars are opening up throughout the country, which give people who don’t drink the opportunity to socialize with others while avoiding any potential triggers. There are even trending hashtags (#sobriety, #soberliving, #alcoholfree) on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media networks that can help connect people who live alcohol-free lifestyles.
There are many reasons why people may decide to drink less or quit drinking alcohol altogether. Maybe drinking too much alcohol makes them anxious, or perhaps they want to avoid the potential health effects of heavy drinking. Either way, cutting out alcohol can help people feel better in a lot of different ways. But like all habits, drinking can be hard to give up on – especially when alcohol is available at almost every restaurant and social event. To successfully cut back or quit drinking, it takes a lot of commitment and planning. If you’re thinking of taking a break from alcohol or living a completely sober lifestyle, you could benefit from the following tips.
The Benefits of Cutting Out Alcohol
It’s no secret that drinking heavily or frequently can cause a variety of health concerns. By quitting drinking, you could reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular issues, certain types of cancer, and other conditions. Additionally, cutting out alcohol could also decrease the symptoms of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Making this lifestyle change could even improve your immune system, boost your mood, help you sleep better, make your skin clearer, improve your memory, and increase the amount of vital nutrients you consume.
5 Ways to Reduce Or Stop Drinking
When you decide to quit drinking, the key is to take baby steps. Change will not happen overnight, and it’s okay to move slowly. If you take your time, you are more likely to see success. Here are some strategies you can use to help you drink less or stop drinking:
Explore your relationship with alcohol.
Think about how heavily you drink, how frequently you consume alcohol, and why you drink. It is important to understand why you are compelled to drink so that you can address those issues in other ways.
Cut down on drinks.
You should never quit drinking cold-turkey. Instead, limit yourself to a certain number of drinks a week. Ask a friend to help if you have trouble.
Lean on your support system.
Talk to your friends and family about your decision and involve them in your new, alcohol-free lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to confide in them or reach out to members of the sober community when you are struggling or need help.
Change your routine.
Staying busy with things you enjoy can help you keep your mind off drinking. Instead of going to a restaurant or bar on a night off, explore new hobbies that you can come back to whenever you’re feeling bored or stressed. These hobbies could include cooking, baking, doing DIY projects, crafting, painting, playing board or video games, volunteering in your community, reading, and more.
Always take care of yourself both mentally and physically, whether that entails practicing an exercise routine or journaling to get your thoughts on paper. Be sure to drink lots of water, eat a balanced diet, and get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
Maintaining Sobriety & Preventing Addiction
Quitting drinking completely can take some time, so go easy on yourself if you’re not successful after the first try. Remember that you are not expected to do this alone and there is nothing wrong with seeking out some extra help along the way. If you think that you might be dependent on alcohol, you are encouraged to enroll in an alcohol abuse treatment program. By participating in a rehabilitation program, you will better be able to identify and understand your triggers when it comes to alcohol. Treatment may include a combination of methods like medication, talk therapy, AA meetings, group support, career training, education, and more.
If you’re thinking about cutting out alcohol by going into an alcohol detox program or have any questions about alcohol abuse , contact our team of addiction treatment professionals by calling 866-345-2147.