Alcohol is a tool we humans use to pause our surroundings temporarily. We might turn to alcohol when stressed, anxious, upset, or seeking enjoyment. When this tool becomes abused, there are several things we can use to help us cut back on alcohol (-and our consumption).
Understanding why we’re turning to alcohol is the first on the list. Followed by intense realization techniques, actively distracting ourselves, focusing on the health aspects, and envisioning life without it. If you’re finding it hard to cut back on alcohol, seeking alternative help might be necessary.
No matter the circumstances, it’s no coincidence that you’ve found your way to this article. Learn these 7 things to help you cut back on alcohol below, so you can begin to live life more freely again.
1. Understand WHY You’re Drinking Alcohol
When cutting back on alcohol, the first step is understanding why you’re choosing to drink it in the first place.
Maybe you’re influenced by your environment, you might be struggling emotionally, or you’re simply unaware. Whatever the reason, you must understand why you’re turning to alcohol- for you to begin to cut back.
2. Realize if it’s Doing More Harm than Good
By realizing if drinking is doing you more harm than good, the quicker you’ll begin to implement these 7 things to help you cut back on alcohol.
Do this by comparing the feelings, situations, and overall outcome. For example, if you’re:
- Always feeling upset, angry, or numb- you should cut back on your alcohol consumption
- Continuously feeling down about yourself- it’s most likely doing you more harm
- Never able to remember the night before, take a break
- Getting into unnecessary drama or fights, you should limit yourself
- Recognizing a negative change in your health, then you’re probably doing more harm than good
There’s no shame in becoming aware of your habits, including your alcohol consumption. If you’re serious about cutting back on your drinking- start implementing these practices now.
3. If You Cut Back on Alcohol, Will it Make You Feel Happier?
Ask yourself the question of “If I cut back on alcohol, will it make me feel happier?”. Pay close attention to the overall picture of that question. Temporary happiness is much different to long-term happiness. If you believe cutting back on alcohol will not make you feel happier, you’re likely battling deeper issues.
As an addict, your initial reaction might be to say “no.” Usually, this is because you’re used to associating the happy mood which alcohol gives you. However, analyze this question from a different perspective.
Imagine yourself verbalizing the word “yes.”
Yes, if you cut back on alcohol- it will make you feel happier.
When struggling with deeper issues, you might not necessarily perceive the reasons why cutting back on alcohol can benefit you. At least not immediately. But by continually affirming yourself, you’re subconsciously allowing yourself to find reasons why being sober can also present to you such feelings.
4. Distract Yourself (Keep Yourself Busy)
Distracting yourself and keeping yourself busy is another one of the 7 best ways to help you cut back on alcohol. This is the time for you to do things you’ve been procrastinating over. Start new hobbies, throw yourself out there.
When limiting your alcohol consumption, you want to keep your mind busy. The busier you keep your mind, the less inclined you’ll feel to drink alcohol.
Find below a list of ways you can keep yourself busy when cutting back on alcohol:
- Start exercising more
- Take up a new hobby
- Practice old skills (Painting, music, dancing, etc.)
- Clean or organize more
- Look for a side-job
- Invite your friends to help you along your journey of sobriety
- Work on a 1-year-goal
- Think about how much money you’ll save
5. Focus On Your Health
When it comes to alcohol, cutting back can be made simple once you begin to focus on your health. Regular alcohol consumption can majorly affect our health and body, affecting multiple areas over-time.
Once you draw attention to your health, the quicker it’ll be for you to cut back on the alcohol. Do this by asking yourself if you’ve noticed pain or aches.
In particular, analyze any changes you feel within your body/mind when you take a sip of alcohol. Remove the positive beliefs aside, and keep a watchful eye out for cramping, aches, spasms, or pains you might feel throughout the night.
Ensuring your liver, bowels, and blood are healthy is another way for you to focus on your health. By doing all of this, you’ll begin to understand yourself better and ensure that cutting back on alcohol truly is the best decision for you.
6. Envision a Life Without Alcohol
This might be hard for some, by another way to help you cut back on alcohol is to envision a life without it. Imagine feeling the same happiness drinking brings you, but naturally (-instead of through alcohol consumption.)
Close your eyes; feel that warmth, easy-going nature, and happiness appear to you with ease. Envision yourself feeling that way without the need for alcohol. This mindfulness technique is commonly used in guided meditations.
Remember, alcohol is a tool that you use to feel a certain way. But the reality is, you can naturally feel this way- if you try.
7. Seek Alternative Help
When things are too hard, emotions are becoming unbearable, or life is taking a rocky turn- seek alternative help to help you cut back on alcohol.
Speak to someone you love and trust about your drinking issues. Don’t be afraid to seek alternative guidance. There’s no shame in trying to better yourself. But remember, only you can do this- others can’t do this for you.
Find the strength somewhere deep inside to help you along your journey of cutting back on alcohol. Reach out to friends, family, or a specialized counselor if necessary.
Whatever the case, don’t be afraid.
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