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Why Cutting Alcohol from Your Life May Be the Best Decision You Ever Make

Why Cutting Alcohol from Your Life May Be the Best Decision You Ever Make

Some of the fundamental problems with quitting or resisting the use of alcohol come from a skewed perception of its usage. With alcohol being promoted as widely normative, it’s easy to forget that many people don’t actually do it. More importantly, it’s easy to be ignorant to the reasons why many people don’t actually do it.

The most recent data from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention shows that there are about as many non-drinkers in the United States as there are drinkers (48.5% to 51.5%, respectively). You wouldn’t assume this to be the case, given how prevalent drinking references there are in popular culture. But if you decide to steer clear of alcohol, you won’t be only one at the party not clutching a cocktail.

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Here are some of the most compelling reasons for nixing alcohol from your diet and lifestyle.

1. Money

This one may appear obvious at first. The drain on your finances caused by drinking isn’t some sneaky side effect working its way undetected through your system. The evidence is right there on the tab.

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Have you ever actually sat down and thought about how much you spend on alcohol, and what you could do with that money were you to reallocate it? Say you buy just three drinks a night, three nights a week. That’s nine drinks at around $5 a drink (a conservative estimate). That means you’re spending $45 dollars every weekend and $180 a month on alcohol.

More expensive than a lot of your bills, no? Drop booze from your life and buy yourself a couple pairs of new shoes—every month.

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2. Health

There are a litany of potential health hazards related to alcohol abuse ranging from physiological traumas like nerve damage and cardiovascular disease, to psychological disorders such as dementia and depression. Then, of course, there’s the very real hazard of drunk driving and the 10,228 people killed in 2010 in the U.S. alone in drunk driving accidents.

The most nefarious health side effects, though, are liver disease and liver failure. In the same year (2010), there were 25,692 deaths from alcohol-related illnesses, 15,990 of which stemmed from liver disease.

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3. Lose Weight

Aside from the more serious physical consequences of extensive alcohol consumption, there are the immediate weight-related effects. The average 12-ounce beer has about 150 calories, the average shot about 100, and cocktails can run into the hundreds of calories. Not only that, alcohol is detrimental to other efforts to keep off weight and stay fit. Research shows that alcohol can inhibit muscle development and cancel out a lot of hard work put in at the gym.

4. Sleep Better

You may associate drinking with stumbling up the stairs to your house, collapsing into bed, and passing out. And while alcohol does act as a sedative for casual drinkers in the beginning stages of the night, studies show that for heavy drinkers it actually contributes to sleeping disorders. This is because after an initial sedated period, alcohol disrupts the crucial deeper stages of sleep and keeps sleep from being as restorative as it should be. Waking up tired after excessive drinking is clear evidence of this effect.

These are all good reason for letting go of alcohol, but quitting is definitely easier said than done. If you’re looking for help, you may want to talk with a doctor, a friend, or seek guidance from those who have been there before when developing a personal recovery plan. Remember that there are far more people living soberly than you might think.

With all of these facts in front of you, it might be time reconsider alcohol’s real impact on your life, and whether it’s giving you the health and happiness you need.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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