Consuming alcohol is a regular activity for many people. It’s enjoyed socially and is often used as a way to relieve stress. However, it’s well-documented how excessive drinking can lead to serious health problems and increased risk for injury.
Learning how to cut down on drinks or stay sober is an essential step towards a healthier lifestyle. If you are looking to reduce your alcohol intake, various strategies might help. Here are some practical tips to help you drink less alcohol without sacrificing all the fun of socializing with friends.
The Negative Effects of Alcohol
Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume may reduce your risk of a heart attack and type 2 diabetes. Indeed, even when consumed at modest levels, alcohol can disrupt sleep, impair judgment, lead to weight gain, and negatively interact with some medicines.
Studies have shown that even one daily drink raises a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Furthermore, the chances of poor health conditions rise proportionately to the alcohol you consume. Put simply, the more you drink, the higher your chances of experiencing poor health.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, people who drink extensively are more likely to be injured and have children with congenital disabilities, as well as suffer from health problems such as liver disease, heart disease, depression, stroke, and several types of cancer.
How To Determine If You’re Drinking Too Much
When determining if they are drinking too much, people often ask themselves if they behave like an alcoholic. Indeed there are some typical behavioral traits which indicate you are drinking too much, including, forgetfulness, engaging in humiliating behavior at social functions, lacking judgement, slurred speech, impaired physical coordination, and using alcohol as a therapeutic aid.
How To Drink Less Alcohol
Whatever your motive, there are drinking tips you can follow to reduce your alcohol intake. Here are some suggestions on how to drink less alcohol, or maybe even quit drinking and start a new, healthier lifestyle:
1. Begin with a plan.
There are steps you can follow to quit or reduce drinking. Begin by getting to know yourself – why and how much you drink. Get organized and develop a plan to stop drinking. Your plan should include the following:
- Written reasons why you should cut back or stop drinking.
- Define and set yourself drinking goals.
- Keep a drinkers’ diary.
- Avoid keeping alcohol in your house.
- Watch for and recognize peer pressure and never be afraid to say no.
- Stay busy – it’s always a good idea to keep your mind and body busy to avoid temptation.
- Seek support. When trying to limit your alcohol consumption, you may need some help or encouragement. Never be afraid to seek help from family members or a professional support group.
2. Create or join a support group.
Quitting or lessening drinking is not easy. Rather than attempting to do this alone, you should develop and rely on a support group. Sharing your quitting strategy with family and close friends is one of the most effective ways to quit drinking.
You can also join an organized support group. These organized support groups will be composed of people struggling with their own addictions and, as such, are in a position to offer guidance, advice, empathy, and overall support.
3. Reduce your consumption gradually.
Reduce your alcohol consumption gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Abruptly cutting off your regular consumption might be harmful and have severe consequences, including alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Slowly reducing alcohol consumption decreases the chance of withdrawal and can increase your chances of achieving long term sobriety.
4. Defend yourself against temptations.
One of the most significant challenges you will face when trying to cut back or eliminate your alcohol consumption is temptation. Therefore, it makes sense to limit temptation wherever possible.
Another step you can take is to surround yourself with individuals who inspire and motivate you to live a better life. These can be people who have never experienced alcohol addiction or people who have and have overcome it.
5. Change your habits.
If you’re still wondering, “How can I start drinking less alcohol?” part of the answer is to recognize and avoid trigger factors. Or, put another way, change your habits. For example, you can:
- Change your route home, especially if you always pass by an alcohol shop or favorite bar on your way home after work.
- Get a new alternative after-work pastime like taking up a new sport or hobby.
- Fill your days with activities so you don’t have much time to think about booze.
- Try meditation as it can also be helpful.
- Go for regular walks and spend time with non-alcoholic friends.
6. Be persistent and never give in.
Because quitting alcohol is an ongoing process, you must be persistent and never give up. Very few people manage to quit alcohol on their first attempt; it usually takes at least two to three attempts. If you fail on your first attempt, be determined and persistent, and eventually, you will achieve your sobriety goals.
You can drink less alcohol while still having fun with friends if you follow the recommendations and guidelines in this article. Admit to your addiction and develop a quitting alcohol plan. Avoid temptation, be persistent and never give up when striving for your sobriety goals. If you’re having trouble ,drinking less alcohol don’t be afraid to seek support actively.
For professional support, Haven House Recovery Center is here for you.
Most people can effectively reduce their alcohol consumption. However, it is not a simple task for someone deep in the rabbit hole— and most of the time, this calls for the support of a professional. If you’re looking for a nearby center for alcohol rehab in Clarksville, TN, then look no further than Haven House Recovery Center.
Based in Nashville, we assist those seeking alcoholism treatment. We offer Christ-centered programs that touch the whole person. Our method focuses on your entire being – mind, emotions, and body. We are concerned with your healing; thus, we create a supportive environment where you may rediscover yourself without the use of alcohol and enjoy alcohol-free days.
Contact us now for further information.