It doesn’t take long for alcohol to become a huge part of your life.
It starts with one drink after a long day at work. It progresses to two after a particularly hard day. It extends to full weekend benders, and culminates in a secret reliance on the sweet stuff.
We all know that alcohol has a devastating effect on our health. It slowly destroys our liver, and increases the likelihood of cancers. It also impacts our relationships, and degrades our mood. It takes its toll on our careers, and slowly shifts the focus of your life. The scary reality of alcohol is the gradual hold it takes on your life. If you’re looking to make a change, here’s where to start.
The first step is finding some motivation to give up the drink. For this, you’ll have to capitalize on one of your more lucid moments. Make a list of all the negative effects of your drinking. Have you harmed your relationships? Is your career suffering? Is it causing you to feel depressed or anxious. Most importantly, how is this effecting your children, if you have them. To truly give up alcohol, you need a reason to avoid it. Finding a powerful negative motivator is a proven tool. It’s a tough step to admit, but it’s essential.
While negative motivation has its place, I’ll argue that positive inspiration is equally important. In other words, what will you achieve by putting down the bottle? How much better will your life be without alcohol? Imagine the stronger relationship with your partner or children. Imagine a better career, more money, and a lifestyle you love. Imagine setting goals, and working towards them. Together, these two tricks work to push you away from alcohol, and pull you towards a better life.
#3 Cut down slowly
Look, no-one is telling you to quit right now. That’s too much pressure to put on anyone with an alcohol reliance. It significantly increases the likelihood of relapse, and brings on a host of awful health problems. Going cold-turkey is almost never the answer. Instead, cut out alcohol the same way it crept up: slowly. Make a plan to reduce your intake over the next few months. Slowly reduce it to a healthier one drink per day, and keep an active lifestyle to avert your mind. From there, remove a day each week, until you can function without it.
#4 Admit yourself to rehab
If you’re struggling with the process of cutting down, there’s no shame in admitting yourself to rehab. Alcohol and drug rehab provides a safe and supportive environment to quit for good. There are health professionals to help with any health trouble, and emotional experts to deal with the mental difficulty. It’s an all-around treatment that should set you up for a life without alcohol.
#5 Learn to deal with triggers
Now that you’re clean (or at least cut down), it’s crucial that you recognize your triggers. What people, environments, or situations cause you to instinctively reach for a drink? Naturally, social situations are the biggest culprits, so try to avoid social events in bars. Instead, meet in coffee shops or invite people to your house.
If you suffer from alcohol dependence, it’s something that rarely leaves you for good. But, you can deal with it, and take one day at a time.