About month ago, I published a blog post about 2 Lessons I Learned From Spending Fifteen Months Without Alcohol to celebrate my fifteen-month anniversary of the day I decided to put alcohol in my past forever. It’s been over a month since I published that post and already I feel like I’ve got more lessons to share.
In a world full of drinkers, jumping into a life of sobriety and abstinence from alcohol isn’t easy. But it’s NOT impossible either. And the health, happiness, wellbeing, confidence, and feeling of accomplishment that sobriety can offer you really are worth the struggle.
If you’ve been thinking about making that jump into sobriety but haven’t moved forward yet, this blog post is dedicated to you.
The following is a blog post about How To Quit Drinking: 4 Ways To Put Alcohol In Your Past.
#1: Unplug Yourself From Popular Beliefs About Alcohol
We live in a society of drinkers–a world where over seventy-percent of our population consumes alcohol. This means that even if you can manage to successfully embrace a sober lifestyle, you can never totally escape from alcohol.
Because it’s everywhere.
Liquor shops, bars, and clubs that serve alcohol line the streets of every town or city. Advertisements promoting different types of alcohol stare at you from buses, trains, billboards, internet ads, and television commercials. Popular songs about alcohol–songs like “Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake and Lil Jon –dominate the radio airwaves. Television shows and movies paint a fun picture of alcohol as a necessary lubricant for social interaction. And let’s not forget all of the millions of people on social media flooding timelines everywhere with pictures of themselves taking shots, toasting with friends, or enjoying their drinks at bars, clubs, and concerts.
Alcohol is one of the unhealthiest substances you can put into your body. But we live in a society and a culture that is constantly promoting it–constantly encouraging us to drink, drink, drink and party, party, party.
And because of that brainwashing, the grand majority of us have accepted a set of common beliefs about alcohol that we rarely ever question. We accept that alcohol is a necessary social lubricant for personal and professional social occasions–birthday parties, work-related events, typical get-togethers, and so on. We accept that alcohol gives us more confidence in social interactions. And we accept that putting alcohol in the past is an impossibly difficult task that may destroy our social lives.
We accept these popular beliefs about drinking alcohol without questioning them. But in reality, each of those beliefs is WRONG.
Alcohol does NOT have to be present to make social occasions fun, wild, or enjoyable. The confidence we feel on alcohol is inauthentic and unhealthy. In comparison, the confidence you can gain by being yourself–without the aid of substances–is much more powerful and life-changing than any mental boost that drinking can offer you. And coming from someone who has been sober for over sixteen months now, quitting alcohol does NOT have to be impossibly hard. Transitioning to sobriety can be a really enjoyable ride if you’re prepared for it.
To embrace sobriety, you have to Unplug Yourself From Popular Beliefs About Drinking. And don’t get discouraged if anyone tries to contradict your new outlook on alcohol. Because the facts are the facts.
To help Unplug Yourself From Popular Beliefs About Drinking, make sure to read books like The Easy Way To Stop Drinking by Allen Carr that explain the facts, the statistics, and the TRUTH about alcohol.
#2: Create Healthy Alternatives To Replace Alcohol’s Role In Your Life
Quitting alcohol does NOT have to be an impossibly difficult task to accomplish. But I would be lying if I said it was easy.
To be successful in your journey to sobriety, you have to be prepared to put alcohol in your past forever. And the only way to leave drinking in your past forever is by Creating Healthy Alternatives To Replace Alcohol’s Role In Your Life.
Have you ever asked yourself why you drink? Each of us has our own reasons why we gravitate to alcohol. For some of us it’s the inhibition-killing-confidence, for some it’s that euphoria or buzz that we feel when we drink, for some it’s the camaraderie we feel when we’re out drinking with our closest friends until 3 a.m.
So though you may not think much of it, alcohol plays a important role in your life. Drinking plays a role in your life that HAS to be replaced with healthier alternatives if you’re looking to put alcohol in your past forever.
If you’ve read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, then you know that once a habit is formed in your brain, it never truly leaves you. The cues, temptations, and urges that inspired you to drink may fade in time. But they’ll never one hundred percent disappear from your thinking. And there will always be a chance that you could slip back into your old ways.
So the only foolproof way to put drinking in your past cold turkey, is by creating healthy alternatives for yourself that fulfill all of those cues, temptations, and urges that alcohol used to satisfy.
Your healthy alternatives to alcohol can be absolutely any habits in the world–as long as they contribute to your health, happiness, or wellbeing in some way. You can replace that confidence, euphoria, satisfaction, or camaraderie that alcohol used to offer you with the euphoria you feel during your workout sessions, the happiness that comes over you during meditation, the enjoyment you feel from eating healthy foods, or that positive feeling you get from connecting with people WITHOUT the use of alcohol.
Your healthy alternatives can be absolutely any habits in the world –as long as they satisfy those cues, temptations, and urges that used to inspire you to drink with something healthy.
#3: Practice Daily Meditation
When it comes to alcohol, there’s a certain numbness, anxiety-relief, depression-release, and stress-relief that a lot of us are looking for when we crack open a beer or pour ourselves a glass of liquor.
Maybe you’ve just come home from a long stressful day at work. Maybe you just stepped out of a heated fight with your significant other. Or maybe you suffer from chronic anxiety or depression. Whatever the reason may be, you pour yourself a glass of your go-to solution for agitation: alcohol.
Though it isn’t the healthiest way to deal with agitation, it gets you that release that you’re looking for to sooth that irritation. Over time it becomes your preferred solution for dealing with stress.
If drinking is your go-to fix for dealing with agitation, quitting alcohol can really be an uphill battle for you. But no need to worry. I have good news for you: alcohol isn’t the only way to get that anxiety-relief, depression-release, and stress-relief that you’re looking for. And it isn’t the best or most powerful way either.
Meditation is a far better solution for attaining the peace, tranquility, serenity, and creativity you need to ease off your agitation and solve the problems that frustrated you in the first place.
Out of all the healthy alternatives that I’ve used to replace alcohol over the past sixteen months, meditation is by far the most important–without which I would never have made it this far. If you’re like me, meditating on a daily basis may be the only replacement you need to put alcohol in your past forever.
#4: Exercise Religiously
Though I haven’t tasted a sip of alcohol since April 2014, I still show up at “happy hour” on an almost daily basis.
Almost everyday I show up to my local gym for an hour or two of intense exercise. During and after my workouts, a powerful feeling of euphoria, confidence, masculinity, and happiness comes over me that stays with me for the rest of the day or night. Ever since I embraced sobriety last year, working out has been my new and improved “happy hour.”
Regular exercise is one of the most powerful healthy alternatives for alcohol there is–a much healthier way to get “buzzed” than pounding back drinks. So as you jump into sobriety and you start to work that daily run, jog, or pump session at the gym into your schedule you’re going to fall in love with an all natural feeling of euphoria, confidence, positive energy, and happiness that stays with you throughout your days and nights–a healthier “buzz” than alcohol could ever offer you.
And you’ll never need alcohol to get drunk ever again. Because you’ll be drunk on all-natural endorphins.