Tips for Avoiding Alcohol
Do you find at the end of a stressful day the first thing that you want to do is reach for a cold beer or pop open that bottle of wine to unwind?
Do you find that the first thing that you get handed at every work function, family gathering, or festive celebration is an alcoholic drink?
What happens when we drink alcohol?
Alcohol interferes with the connection from the frontal lobe of the brain to the rear lobe of the brain, which in effect shuts down the activity of the pineal gland (our third eye), impairing our ability to think clearly and intuitively (one of the reasons we’re not allowed to drive a car after a few drinks!) It also erodes the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin and oxytocin, which is why the day after drinking alcohol we feel so miserable!
Reducing your alcohol consumption isn’t easy when everyone around you at every social event is drinking. There’s always a lot of pressure from our colleagues, family and friends to drink with them.
So, if you did want to cut back on drinking alcohol and not feel like a party pooper, here are some simple tips:
1. Fake it!
Yes, that’s right. People don’t mind if you’re not drinking as much as the fact you don’t have something in your hand. Sometimes it helps the situation if you accept a glass of wine and just walk around with it.
2. Arrive early, leave early.
After about two hours of drinking, most people have had 4 to 5 drinks, and their state of mind is starting to become impaired. From here on, they neither care that you are leaving nor will they remember.
3. Make your own drink.
You can always find water and lemon slices at any event. A tall glass with water and a slice of lemon generally is quite accepted at parties (it looks like gin and tonic!). When making your own drinks, avoid cold, fizzy or sweet drinks.
4. When you are organizing social events, steer clear of bars, where the only activity is drinking.
Some ideas to consider instead: restaurants, movies, plays, concerts, meditation nights, yoga raves, relaxing under a tree in a garden – be inventive!
5. Let’s get real about its “healthful” qualities.
Although some alcoholic drinks have antioxidants and bioflavonoids, it’s not actually the alcohol itself that has these properties. It’s the grape juice in the wine. So, if you’re looking healthy drinks, try green smoothies, fruit juice on ice and kombucha!
6. Find other ways to relax.
People tend to crave alcohol to help them unwind after a stressful day. Look for alternative tools for relaxation, ones that will produce more serotonin, oxytocin and help you to feel calmer. Meditation, yoga and visualization sessions are a very effective tool to help replace alcohol.
7. Find the fun.
Obviously drinking alcohol can be a lot of fun. However, after the good times come the hangovers, puffiness and brain impairment, so how fun is it? Sometimes a big night out just isn’t worth the trouble.
These simple guidelines are aimed at helping you move into a life where you drink less alcohol. It will cost you less, you’ll extend the life of your brain, and feel a whole lot better for it!