Relax without Alcohol: Unwind, No Wine
Relax without Alcohol: You get home from a stressful day at work. Your boss is riding you hard
about several deadlines looming. At
home, your spouse tells you one of your kids is not doing well in school. You
also find out that your utility bills are costing more. You pour yourself a
nice glass of wine to try and forget about all these problems.
Relax without Alcohol:
The snowball effect
Having a glass of wine on occasion is nice. It can be a way for people to relax. Too often, however, it turns into more frequently than on occasion. The
habit starts to grow. You have one glass every night. That turns into three
glasses over time. Next thing you know, you are drinking a full bottle of wine
all by yourself.
For others, a glass of wine just doesn't do the trick. They feel that
hard alcohol gets the job done much quicker. Like wine, this too starts out
small, with one or two glasses per night. However, it’s too easy to fall into a
trap and increase your alcohol intake.
There is a positive feedback loop with alcohol as it relates to
relaxation or calmness. One glass of alcohol will relax you so why not take two
or three for more relaxation? There are several problems with this thinking.
The first is too much alcohol can damage your internal organs. You increase the
risk of kidney and liver disease. You may think you can simply find a donor for
these organs. However, people who have a problem with alcohol will be on the bottom of the list for organ
donations, so this should never be a solution to the problem. Alcohol tends to cause sleeplessness, which seems counter-intuitive. That
is until you realize that when you fall asleep in an alcohol-induced state, you
go into a deep sleep. You sleep harder than you would without the alcohol.
Then, you typically will start to wake up in the middle of the night and find
it difficult to go back to sleep.
Take notice of your patterns of alcohol consumption over the years. Do
you drink more now than you did five years ago? If so, try to scale back or
give it up completely. Some people may suggest that you give up drinking for a
month to prove that you can do it. However, many people with an alcohol problem will accept this
challenge only to show others they can do it. When they go back to drinking the
next day after the challenge, they can use the fact they accomplished the
challenge as an excuse to keep drinking.
Relax without Alcohol:
Are you consuming fun or creating fun?
There's a difference between “consuming fun” and “creating fun.” Drinking wine is similar to scrolling Facebook and watching Netflix for hours.
These activities take very little energy to accomplish, and so the brain keeps going back for more. The brain loves easy, effortless solutions. The more you mindlessly consume, the greater the negative results.
Creating fun requires more energy, but it rarely leaves you with negative results. We can create fun by playing interactive games, making art, making music, reading, writing, running, dancing, sewing and singing.
Think about what your ideal evenings and relaxation routines look like. How do you want to spend your time? How do you want to feel? Are there hobbies you’d like to start or return to? Would you like to have fun as a family? What refreshes you? What supports you?
Being Mindful to Relax without Alcohol
When you’re having a glass of wine, sincerely try to savor it. Use all of your senses. Actually taste what you are drinking and experience the effect of alcohol on your mind and body. This is important because most people rush through their drink so they can feel differently.
When you start practicing mindfulness, you might discover that you actually want to drink less than you originally thought...or maybe not at all.
Turning to wine is an easy solution to a problem that most people have no idea how to deal with:
How can I change the way I feel?
So, again, it’s understandable why you reach for a glass of wine.
But maybe that glass—or those glasses—are no longer cutting it. Maybe it’s leading to regrets and bad results and an inability to deal with stress without it. Reflect on your relationship with alcohol and your relationship with yourself. Reflect on how you’d like to spend your days and how you’d like to be.
Alcohol may be the easier, quicker option, but it’s not more nourishing. It’s not more restorative. Maybe it’s time to focus on what is. ~ parts adapted via PsychCentral.com
Please check out my Free Stuff page for some quick tools to get you feeling better right away.
Also, if you take a look in the Self-Help Shop, you'll see all the programs and tools I use myself and that I recommend. Many of these programs offer free samples - you know I love free! While learning to relax without alcohol, be gentle with yourself and care about yourself. Expect to feel better. It is absolutely possible, but you have to be willing to do something to change your brain's programming.
Hypnosis is a shortcut I use for changing thoughts, feelings, and behavior fast>>>
Relax without Alcohol and More Health Stuff