How Do I Motivate Myself to Stop Drinking?
Finding the motivation to make any change in your life, including the decision to stop drinking, requires careful thought and dedication. If you are questioning how to find the motivation to stop drinking, you’re already on the right track. Whether you feel you’ve hit rock bottom with your alcohol intake and need professional support, or simply feel like alcohol is taking more from you than it’s giving, it is important to begin by establishing your reason for quitting drinking. Quitting is not an easy task and ensuring you have a powerful, personal reason for quitting is vital for enduring through the withdrawal process.
Once you decide to quit consuming alcohol, there are a multitude of ways to stay accountable, motivated, and successful in your lifestyle change. From educating yourself on how quitting drinking will change your mind and body by reading, listening, and watching informational content, to creating a plan tailored to your individual body and needs, to surrounding yourself with a secure support system, keeping yourself accountable and on top of your progress will also keep you motivated throughout the journey.
How Can I Start Drinking Less Alcohol?
While for some, quitting drinking means setting a specific date and eliminating all alcohol consumption from that point forward, for others, successfully quitting will require a careful decrease and ultimate elimination of alcohol. If you feel you fall under the second category, there are various ways to start drinking less alcohol and establish the road to sobriety for yourself.
According to the NHS, creating a game plan for yourself is the first step. By taking into account your current habits, what your ultimate goals are, and how you can get from the first to the second, you will enable yourself to succeed in ultimately quitting drinking. Start experimenting with non-alcohol drinks and alcohol replacements, shake up your social plans and opt for activities that aren’t centred around drinking (ex: watching a film, meeting for breakfast, going bowling or signing up for a class together). Establish a budget for yourself and stick to it. Most importantly, create new healthier habits for yourself – ones you can turn to when you feel the urge to drink or are under stress. Be it exercise, a new hobby, or accomplishing simple tasks throughout the house, making sure you are able to push yourself through these moments of boredom or pressure will keep you on track.
What’s The Best Way to Stop Drinking? / What is the Most Successful Way to Stop Drinking?
When it comes to quitting, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to slowly withdraw from and decrease your alcoholic consumption. The other is to go “cold-turkey” and completely stop all drinking from a specific point forward. When deciding which option is best for you, it is vital to take into account your level of alcohol dependency, as well as which path is most feasible for your body and lifestyle. Very Well Mind outlines this, stating that the severity of one’s withdrawal symptoms is typically dependent on how “chemically dependent” you are. “Those who drink heavily on a daily basis, of course, have developed a high level of dependency, but even those who drink daily, but not heavily and those who drink heavily but not daily, can also be chemically dependent upon alcohol.”
If you are severely dependent on alcohol, it is important to decrease your intake slowly as going “cold-turkey” can result in hallucinations which can last for a few hours up to weeks at a time. Additionally, if done without the help of a professional, stopping drinking cold-turkey can lead to convulsions or seizures and may progress to delirium tremens (DTs) which include profound confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, hyperactivity, and extreme cardiovascular disturbances.
If, however, you do not fall into the above category and are instead looking to cut alcohol out to improve your overall health or because you may feel it doesn’t positively contribute to your daily life, quitting cold-turkey instead of doing so gradually is the right step for you. According to Medical News Today, some of the benefits of quitting cold-turkey include a higher success rate, granted you receive adequate support throughout, overcoming withdrawal symptoms faster, and being free of the harmful substance sooner. Overall, it is important to consult your support system before you take any step towards quitting drinking. Ensuring you create a plan that works for you, tailored around your specific alcohol dependency and habits, as well as creating a stable community to support you throughout, is important to being successful.
How Can I Change My Alcohol Mindset?
As articulated by Drinkware, there exist a variety of reasons for why you might want to stop drinking alcohol. From a desire “to say goodbye to hangovers, sleep better, lose excess weight and have more energy” to medical reasons such as alcohol-related medical conditions like liver disease or the prescription of medication that reacts badly with alcohol, quitting is possible.
One of the first steps you can take in quitting is changing the way you perceive alcohol. There are two mindset changes that occur as you decide to quit drinking. The first is a shift in your perception of alcohol and the role it plays in your day to day life, looking at the influence it has on your relationships and the way it affects your physical and mental health. The second mindset change comes once you’ve decided to shift your alcohol consumption habits. Alcohol Change UK describes this as the change from “I’m not drinking at the moment” to “I don’t drink.” This change is harder because it involves a proper commitment to changing your ways. With that being said, however, sobriety gets easier as you go along. Once you have mentally placed yourself on the right track, the results will follow.
What Can I Drink Instead of Alcohol?
From non-alcoholic beers, wines, and champagnes, to kombuchas, lemonades, and alcohol-free ciders, to juices and healthy fizzy drinks, the options are endless. At RewardDays, we have partnered with, and continue to branch out to, different companies providing those in sobriety with delicious, healthy, and fulfilling options.
Brands such as Nirvana Brewery, Drop Bear Beer, and UNLTD. Beer offer great-tasting beers, with all the flavour of full-strength beer but none of the alcohol itself. Similarly, ANON, Crossip, and XACHOH present delicious non-alcoholic libations and spirits, infused with premium, exotic herbs and spices. Free from alcohol, sugar, sweeteners, calories and extracts.
If you are looking for drinks that do not resemble alcohol, perhaps because you find them too similar to the beverages you’re steering free from, then Genie, Hip Pop, and MOMO are the brands for you with their range of all-natural, kombuchas and lemonades with no added sugars and packed with different probiotics and vitamins. Regardless of the route you opt for, the options are truly much wider than you may think.
How Do I Stop Drinking in the Evening? / Why Do I Want to Drink Alcohol Every Night?
One of the challenges often faced by those looking to quit drinking is the nighttime cravings. Research conducted at the University of Adelaide looked into the connection between evening time and alcoholic cravings, finding a link between our brain’s immune system and the desire to drink alcohol in the evening. Jon Jacobsen, a PhD student in the University of Adelaide Discipline of Pharmacology, explains that “our body’s circadian rhythms affect the ‘reward’ signals we receive in the brain from drug-related behaviour, and the peak time for this reward typically occurs during the evening.”
Overcoming these urges is difficult, especially given how natural it can feel to pour yourself a drink after a long day or week of work. By removing yourself from situations where you may be more incline to cave, surrounding yourself with people who will keep you accountable and on track, and scheduling activities for yourself to distract you, you can ensure that you make it past these moments and are able to achieve long-term sobriety.