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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How to Quit Drinking for a Healthier Body and Mind

How to Quit Drinking for a Healthier Body and Mind

Drinking alcohol is a big part of the social fabric of many cultures. Drinking is a way to celebrate, to relax, to socialize, and to fill time. However, if an occasional drink goes to being a daily drinking habit or alcohol addiction, you may want to learn how to quit drinking in order to improve your body and mind.

If you’ve made the decision to stop drinking, you’re already on the right path. Once the decision is made, it’s time to take action.

Here we will look at the consequences of drinking too much and some steps you can take to quit drinking.

How Much Is Too Much?

This is a great question to ask in our discussion of how to quit drinking for a healthy body and mind. Let’s look how much drinking is too much and when it can become a problem.

A recent 2018 study of nearly 600,000 alcohol drinkers found that those who drank less than 100 grams of alcohol per week (about 6 glasses of wine) had the lowest levels of mortality[1].

The study suggested that those who drink more than 100 grams of alcohol per week had increased risk of stroke, heart disease, heart failure, fatal hypertensive disease, and fatal aortic aneurysm.

Occasionally going over 100 grams of alcohol a week likely won’t do lasting harm, but if you find that you’re consistently passing this threshold, or that you can’t go more than a couple of days without a drink, it may be time to learn how to quit drinking.

How to Quit Drinking Alcohol

When you want to quit drinking, it’s all about changing habits. Here are some steps to help you get started.

1. Admit You Have a Problem

Awareness is the first step in wanting to change any situation, and it’s just as true here. This is often the most difficult step as your brain wants to continue on the familiar path it’s on. If you can overcome this and admit that you want to change, you’ve done a great thing.

When you find yourself thinking more and more often that drinking is creating problems in your life, it’s probably time to admit you have an issue with drinking too much.

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There is no shame in admitting it. Many people have issues doing too much of lots of things.

2. Think About Why You Should Quit

When we think about the long-term effects of drinking too much alcohol, such as cirrhosis of the liver, it’s not usually enough to make us quit. The reason is because it’s not real yet.

Think about the very real, short-term effects drinking has. If you drink four drinks at a time, three days a week, and each time it takes two hours, you’ve “lost” six hours a week to drinking. Add in the cost of the alcohol, say $30 a week (and that’s being generous), times 52 weeks a year, and you realize you’re spending over $1500 a year on alcohol.

When you toss in the things you miss out on by drinking, it becomes much more real.

It may help to make a list of your motivations to quit drinking. That way, you can go back to it when you start finding it difficult to quit drinking.

If you’re not sure how to find your “why,” check out this article.

3. Change Your Environment

This is a tough step. You have to change multiple things that have been central to the way you live your life.

You’ll need to shift your social life by not going to happy hours or other similar get togethers. You’ll most likely have to cut certain people out of your life, as well as alter the places you go.

If you know that you will inevitably drink when you go see a specific friend, it’s time to have a talk with that friend. If they’re not willing to support your decision, it’s time to spend more time with other friends who will.

If you know you won’t be able to resist a drink if you go to your coworker’s birthday party, you may need to excuse yourself until next time, when you’re more prepared to being around other people who are drinking.

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4. Adjust Your Attitude

When drinking is a big part of your life, it’s difficult, under the best of circumstances, to quit.

You will get mad at people who think they are “helping” you. You will most likely get down on yourself and beat yourself up internally. You might have trouble falling asleep, and your mind will think about drinking a lot.

Keep pumping yourself up and know that you are working towards a goal that you know is right for you.

Try participating in positive activities, such as a group sport, meditation, or an online class. These things will help you refocus your attention and feel good about the things you’re doing.

5. Get Help From Rehab or Support Groups

Many people are not able to quit drinking on their own. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are serious illnesses, and if the addiction has been in charge of your life for quite a while, your brain will have a particularly hard time giving it up.

If you find yourself unable to quit drinking on your own, it may be time to check into a rehab treatment facility. Another option is joining a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The support of a group of people with a similar problem will help you feel like you’re not alone.

There are a variety of support groups and rehab facilities that can help you if you want to learn how to quit drinking.

6. Keep Going

If you decide to remove alcohol from your life for good, it will be an ongoing process. Once you get through the initial stage and become a non-drinker, you will have to work on it as long as you want to stay away from alcohol.

This isn’t as bad as it sounds though. This is really true of any situation you want bad enough.

If you want to be in great shape, that takes ongoing commitment to exercise. If you want to make a million dollars, that takes consistent and ongoing hard work and hustle.

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Any major life improvement is constant, hard work. Keep reminding yourself why you’ve made this change and how it’s benefiting you. Find friends and family members who will continually support your struggle in case you have days where it feels particularly difficult.

If you need more motivation to keep going, you can check out the benefits you’ll receive when you learn how to quit drinking alcohol.

What Happens When You Quit Drinking

Here are numerous negative effects of alcohol, and many  ways your body and mind benefit when you decide to quit drinking. Here are just some of them.

How to quit drinking: What a month off drinking does for your body

    You Will Sleep Better

    This benefits both your body and your mind. Many people believe that alcohol helps you sleep because it makes you feel tired, but one scientific review found that alcohol consumption “increases the quality and quantity of NREM sleep during the first half of the night,” but that it disrupts sleep during the second half, which is when your deepest sleep occurs[2].

    When you quit drinking, your body will rest better, which will improve your energy levels, concentration, mood, and mental performance.

    You’ll Lose Weight

    Alcohol is full of empty calories. An average beer contains approximately 150 calories. If you are a weekend drinker and typically have five beers on Friday and 5 beers on Saturday, that’s 1500 calories saved in a week. That’s pushing a full days worth of calories right there.

    Your Skin Will Look Better

    Since alcohol is a diuretic, you urinate more when drinking on a regular basis. This causes you to be less hydrated than you should be. When you quit drinking, you’ll be more hydrated, and this shows up on your skin in a positive way.

    You Will Be Able to Concentrate More

    Several studies have suggested that your concentration levels can improve up to 18% and your work performance can go up by 17% after a month of not drinking any alcohol[3].

    That’s a substantial boost to your mental health!

    Your Immune System Will Improve

    Heavy drinking makes you more

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    susceptible to serious infections like tuberculosis and pneumonia because alcohol suppresses both the innate and the adaptive immune systems.

    One study specified that “alcohol’s combined effects on both innate and adaptive immunity significantly weaken host defenses, predisposing chronic drinkers to a wide range of health problems, including infections and systemic inflammation”[4].

    When you quit drinking, your body is much better at fighting off infections because the immune system is no longer suppressed.

    You Will Feel More Alert

    Alcohol can disrupt the way neurotransmitters work in your brain. You chalk up the foggy brain to a hangover, but there’s more happening than that.

    Your neurotransmitters aren’t working as well, especially if you’ve been a heavy drinker for a long time.

    After you’ve put alcohol in the rear view mirror for several months, your head will feel more clear than it has in a long time.

    Your Muscles Will Thank You

    If you are someone who works out and enjoys staying in shape, your muscles could benefit if you quit drinking. For one thing, you put a lot of hard work into building up muscle and staying in shape.

    Drowning your muscles in beer and wine only helps add empty calories. There has also been recent studies that suggests that alcohol my decrease the production of human growth hormone, which is a key part of muscle building and repair[5].

    The Bottom Line

    We’ve taken a look at how to quit drinking for a healthier body and mind. It’s readily apparent how much alcohol is woven into the fabric of our society. Like most things in life, you can control whether you pick up a drink or not. It’s not impossible to stop!

    If you decide that drinking isn’t for you, you are on your way to a healthier body and mind.

    More on How to Quit Drinking

    Featured photo credit: Zach Kadolph via unsplash.com

    Reference

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    Mat Apodaca

    On a mission to share about how communication in the workplace and personal relationships plays a large role in your happiness

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    Last Updated on November 27, 2020

    7 Reasons Why Quitting Facebook Now Is Good For Your Future

    7 Reasons Why Quitting Facebook Now Is Good For Your Future

    For the past 100 years or so, there had been huge improvements in communication. From letters to telephone calls, from telephone calls to text messages, from texts to video calls and from to videos to social network and on and on. Following all these improvements, one of the biggest inventions of the 21st century was founded in 2004 and since then it started to spread like an epidemic virus, first in the US and then around the world.

    Now Facebook has more 1.23 billion monthly active users. Although initially it aimed to bring all people together for the sake of connecting, the effects of Facebook on masses became a huge discourse after it gained so much popularity. Until now, lots of disadvantages had already been listed. It is now time to list the ones that definitely affect your productivity.

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    1. Facebook is a time waster.

    While being on Facebook and scrolling down through the news feed, many are not aware of the time they actually spend on viewing others’ life events or sharing. It became such a disease that many even feel obliged to like or comment on anything that was shared. You might think of the time spend on Facebook as your free time, though you are not aware that you can spend the same time taking care of yourself, learning something new or doing your daily tasks.

    2. Facebook can demotivate you.

    By seeing someone else’s continuous posts about the parties they went to or friends they see frequently, you might feel insecure about yourself and even feel as a loser if your own posts are not as cool as the ones in your news feed. However, there is rarely such a thing as going out every day or having lots of acquaintances to meet everyday. Moreover, sharing every moment of your life is also not obligation, since being private is quite a norm.

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    3. Facebook makes you deal with useless people.

    Look at the number of friends you have on Facebook. How many of them are really good friends? Or how many of the friend requests you get are real people or your actual acquaintances? You have to admit that you have people on Facebook who are not related to you, but who would write to you once in a while and more than likely, you will answer to them. Thus, you waste not only your time, but also your energy.

    4. Facebook makes you deal with useless information.

    It is one thing to read newspapers or magazines in order to get information, but it is an entirely other thing to be faced with the same information, trends and innovations through continuous sharings of people. I bet one of the things that you will not miss about Facebook after quitting it, are the selfies of girls with the infamous duckface.

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    5. Facebook damages your communication skills.

    When is the last time you actually hung out in real life with your friends, relatives or colleagues? Because of the social media that is supposed to help us communicate, we forget about real communication, and therefore, have difficulties communicating effectively which negatively affects our relationship at home, at work or anywhere else really.

    6. Facebook manipulates you to work on your posts.

    One of the biggest problems of Facebook is its influence on people’s creativity. Although it is assumed to be a free social media site, which let’s you to share almost anything you want, you have this tendency to want to get more likes. In order to get more likes, you must work very hard on your shared posts, trying to make it funny, creative or smart while you could spend the same time doing something much more useful.

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    7. Facebook becomes your life.

    The marketing strategy of Facebook is quite clear – to make you spend as much time as possible on the Web site. While working on their posts to be cool and wasting time on Facebook, many people actually try to be someone else, but end up being isolated from real world and real themselves. It is possible to spend the same time and energy into simply being yourself, or a better version of you. Which begs the question, why not try it?

    The reasons above are presented to you in order to help you consider your feelings regarding Facebook and imagine how it can badly affecting your life and productivity. Therefore these points will guide you in seeing what your life will be like without Facebook. So really, quitting the popular social media site doesn’t sound so bad after all, now does it?

    Featured photo credit: Brett Jordan via unsplash.com

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