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How to Effectively Deal with Alcohol Cravings

How to Effectively Deal with Alcohol Cravings

Almost 31% of all deaths in the United States can be attributed to alcohol use. It’s actually the leading cause of death within North America which is why millions of dollars are spent each year battling alcohol use. There has been progress over the years because an organization like MADD (mothers against drunk driving) have lobbied to get rules changed making consequences stricter on those who get caught impaired behind the wheel.

However, even with so much effort is put towards controlling drinking and driving, we’ll still fail to make a huge difference in our society. I believe if you can control the cravings, then you might be able to reduce the overall fatalities greatly.

After doing some extensive research, I was able to put together a list of effective strategies to help people control alcoholic cravings. Let’s explore some of the top strategies:

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Remove Yourself from Risky Situations

One of the best ways to avoid alcoholic cravings is to remove yourself from any situation where you can drink. This is why people who are looking to stop drinking will avoid going to bars, or even ordering alcohol. However, remember this is only for the time being, and once you’re effectively able to control your cravings, you can slowly pull yourself back into alcoholic environments.

Friend on Speed Dial

When you first join AA (alcohol anonymous), the first thing they’ll recommend is to have a friend you can call when you have cravings. This friend should be someone who doesn’t drink or is someone who has been through the program. This way when you have cravings, you’ll be able to call someone for immediate support who will guide you in the right direction. Make sure this is a person you trust and one who has your best interests in mind.

Transition Slowly

It’s hard to control cravings from day one so space out your progress extending time slowly. For example, I would start by focusing on getting through a day, then two, a week, a month, etc. However, don’t let no one push you too quick and go at a pace which you’re happy with. If you transition too quickly then you’ll increase the likelihood of a major binge later.

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Meditate

We are now living in an era where spirituality is at an all time high…right? When you watch TV, you have people talking about meditation and relaxation. Amazon.com has stated that spiritual books are selling more now than before because people have taken a keen interest in meditating. So, the next time you are facing a serious craving, it’s important to meditate because this will help you focus on your well-being and take your mind off alcohol.

Eat Sugar

Alcohol contains a lot of sugar which is why you put on weight when you drink excessively. The next time you have a craving, I would recommend eating something sweet. Keep chocolate in your house or something which will control your cravings quickly. Here’s a great list of items which can satisfy a craving:

  • Chocolate
  • Energy drinks
  • Cookies
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Coke or Sprite

Think Consequences

Many of us are trying to steer off alcohol because of a very bad experience. Some are even trying to avoid alcohol because of something bad which happened to a close friend. The next time you have a craving, it’s important to think about the bad experience or consequence. Make sure you choose a “harsh” consequence so all you need to do is think about it and it’ll deter you from the craving your having.

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Detox Program

If you recently quit drinking, then you’ll be having withdrawals which might be very hard to control. If you find yourself having an extra hard time, then consider a detox program. You can visit a center or download a complete program online. The goal of a detox program is the following.

First, it’s to diagnose and treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Secondly, it’s to prevent serious events like a relapse, and seizures which do happen when quitting abruptly. If you find yourself battling with alcohol withdrawal then visit a center to find out more about how they can help. Here’s some more information on a complete alcohol detox program.

Substitute

One way to control cravings is to find a substitute for alcohol. This can be in the form of a sweet drink or even a hobby to keep you from going to alcoholic settings. A great way to explore some options would be to do a quick search online and see what’s available for recreation around you. Try out different things like sports, arts, or even traveling because I’ve found these are all great substitutes going forward.

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Featured photo credit: newyorker.com via newyorker.com

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Rizvan Ullah

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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