Stop Drinking and Start Living: How Taking a Break From Alcohol Can Improve Your Life


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You might like to have a drink nightly after work to unwind. It's just one beer, right?
Maybe you like to share a bottle of wine with your girlfriends along with some laughs.
It's a daily or weekly habit and it's harmless. Or is it?
The frightening thing about alcohol is how quickly one can build up a tolerance to it. Suddenly, a nightly beer no longer relaxes you - it now takes three or four. Maybe you find yourself ordering another bottle of wine because the first just went too quickly.
Problems with alcohol don't always have to do with the frequency or amount you drink but more so in what happens when you drink.
Are you an attentive parent or spouse when you've had a few drinks? Are you driving home while intoxicated? Have you been late to work because you had trouble waking up in the morning after a few beers? If any of these ring true it may be time to consider taking a break from alcohol.
So how can stopping drinking improve your life?
Tolerance
Drinking regularly causes your liver to increase the amount of enzymes it produces to metabolize alcohol. As your tolerance builds up, you find yourself needing to consume more alcohol to get the same effects. This can cause you to drink to levels that are harmful to your short and long-term health, putting you at risk for a problems from heart disease to cancer. Taking a break from alcohol can reset your tolerance. We all react differently to alcohol, the amount of time it takes to develop tolerance, or to lower it, varies from person to person.
However when you do reset your tolerance it becomes easier to practice moderation should you choose to begin drinking again. Your body will no longer be craving more in order to feel its effects.
Self Medication
Many times dependence on alcohol is actually covering up or treating a larger issue. You might be suffering from depression, an anxiety disorder or chronic pain. A drink might be what "picks you up," allows you to socialize or calms you down or it might soothe the pain. How can taking a break from alcohol fix that?
Professionals can better help you if they aren't trying to decipher which issues are related to your alcohol use and which are a true symptom of the problem. It's dangerous to prescribe medication for depression or pain to someone who is going to mix it with alcohol. A therapist won't know if the cognitive techniques they are working on with you are truly working or if it's the alcohol that is allowing you to give a presentation at work. By removing alcohol from the equation, you can get a true evaluation of your health needs and assistance in solving them.
Relationships
Alcohol can tear a relationship apart. It can create problems with trust, communication, finances, fidelity and more. If you've noticed personal and professional relationships deteriorating due to your alcohol usage then it may be time to consider a sabbatical.
When you stop drinking you'll find that you are in a better mood - alcohol is a depressant, you have more money, less stress and you are easier to approach and talk to. Conversations are improved within the home. You remember how to relax and have fun without a drink.
Choosing to take a break from alcohol doesn't mean you are an alcoholic. It just means that you're improving your health and your life. Moderation is the key to all things tempting - be it the fast food drive through or a bottle of chardonnay. Challenge yourself to take a break from alcohol and let me know how it improved your life!
Annie Grace is the author and founder of This Naked Mind, http://www.thisnakedmind.com.
At 35, she found herself in a marketing role where she was responsible for 28 countries and drinking almost two bottles of wine a night. Knowing she needed a change but unwilling to submit to a life of deprivation and stigma Annie set out to find a way to regain control. Annie no longer drinks and has never been happier.
Contact her at hello@thisnakedmind.com or join the community and interact with her there - http://www.thisnakedmindcommunity.com
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