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5 Signs You’re Drinking A Little Too Much

5 Signs You’re Drinking A Little Too Much

A glass of wine with dinner, just one more beer for the road, a misty memory of the evening before. How do you know if the amount you are drinking is starting to get out of control?

Here are the five key signs that you are drinking to excess.

1. I need a drink…

You can’t say no to a drink, you crave alcohol and cannot wait for that 6 o’clock glass of wine or bottle of beer.

There is a point when having a social drink is not enough, you just need to have a drink. What started as a way to relax and put a stressful day behind you is now something you must do to relax.

2. I need to drink more to feel the same buzz…

Just that one drink is no longer enough, you need at least two or three beers to get the same effect or you find you are no longer putting the bottle of wine back in the fridge. As with any addiction you body will build up a tolerance and there is a risk you can slip into alcohol dependency.

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There are different levels of dependence and it may not necessarily involve drinking excessively, you can start with a psychological dependence, the ‘I need a drink’ feeling  or believing ‘I cannot relax without a drink’. Sadly this can all too quickly become a physical dependence where your body will show physical symptoms including shaking, sweating or nausea if you do not have alcohol in your system.

3. I have a drink most days…

Social drinking is perfectly acceptable, but when you find you are drinking most days, you need to consider if you have a problem. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states ‘”men should not exceed 4 drinks per day or a total of 14 per week and women should not exceed 3 drinks a day or a total of 7 per week”. The American Heart Association suggest even lower levels stating that “men should not exceed 2 units/day and women should not to exceed 1 unit/day to stay healthy.”

You need to be particularly careful when you drink at home, a single unit of alcohol is classed as a measure of spirits, half a pint of average strength lager or two-thirds of a 125 ml glass of wine. Outside of the controlled measures of a bar, it is easy to find yourself serving much more than a unit and slip into drinking more than you think you are.

4. I drink alone…

Finding yourself reaching for a drink when you are by yourself could be a sign of a problem. Research has shown that drinking alone can be linked to heavier drinking and a greater risk of addiction.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a drink at home, but be aware when you find you are regularly drinking when you are alone.

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5. I don’t have a problem with drink… Honestly…

Denial can be a big sign, if you find you cannot admit you are drinking too much. When you hear yourself saying ‘I’m not that bad…’ or ‘I just have a drink or two,’ consider if this really is the truth.

This is where friends or partners can be vital to help you. Admitting you have an issue is a massive step but can be helped by those around you helping you see your drinking is becoming an issue. If your partner or friend is in denial your role in helping them recognise and acknowledge the issue is vital. You can be pivotal in getting them on the road to recovery.

What are the risks of alcohol?

There are many health risks associated with long-term alcohol abuse. These include high blood pressure, risk of stroke, liver disease, fertility problems, impotence and an increased risk of cancer.

To understand the risks of drinking, the following is what will happen to your body as you drink more alcohol:

  • Moderate drinking – 1 – 2 units

You may notice an increase in your heart rate and your blood vessels expand. You will become more sociable and talkative.

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  • 4 – 6 units

The alcohol starts to cause a reaction within your brain, with your judgement and decision making gets affected. You may start to feel more reckless and uninhibited. Your coordination and reaction time are reduced.

  • Heavy Drinking –  8 – 9 units

Your speech begins to slur and you may suffer from blurred vision. The alcohol is unlikely to be out of your body overnight so you will most likely wake with a hangover.

  • Excessive Drinking – 10 – 12 units

Your coordination will be seriously impaired and you are at a serious risk of having an accident. You may feel drowsy and depressed due to large amounts of alcohol in your bloodstream.

Of course, in addition, you need to consider the cost of alcohol and the large numbers of empty calories contained.

How to get back in control…

If you realise you are drinking too much you can take steps to recover, the first stage is to acknowledge you are drinking too much and to be willing to make a change. If you are at an early stage, you can look to reduce your alcohol intake and give your body time to recover.

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Having a break from alcohol can help you greatly. Research by University College London has seen individuals who gave up alcohol for four weeks notice improvements to their liver function, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and were also at lower risk of developing diabetes and liver disease. A break from alcohol can be useful to ‘reset’ your drinking levels and detox. Your body and your wallet will thank you!

However, if you are alcohol dependent, you may find that a sudden reduction may cause withdrawal symptoms including nausea, sweating, a craving for alcohol and shaking. Here it is best to seek professional advice before attempting to cut down on your intake. In this way, you can be advised of a sensible programme to reduce and then eliminate your dependency safely.

Enjoy life, in control

Nobody is denying that a drink with friends or family is a great way to enjoy an evening, or that a glass of wine with a meal is anything but positive. However, it is all about recognising how much is too much and to enjoy yourselves without needing alcohol.

Learn more about drinking in popular culture with the sober drinking game, where you can learn what famous people from William Shakespeare to Dudley Moore said about drinking!

Cheers!

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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