Tired of waking up sick, hungover, and depressed after a night out of boozing? If so, you’re not alone. Alcohol can be dangerous, yet millions of people drink socially without ever running into problems. If you’re one of the few who struggle with heavy alcohol consumption to the point where it’s impacting your life, you’re probably wondering how to break through the alcohol addiction cycle. In this guide, you’ll find tips that can help you take control of your drinking and finally put an end to the negative consequences.
1: Get professional help.
If you feel like your alcohol addiction is getting out of hand, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. A therapist or counselor can provide you with tools and resources to manage your addiction and help you stay on track, and a center like The Process Recovery Center Massachusetts can be the key to failure or success for many people – so there’s no shame in seeking external help to overcome this addiction.
2: Cut back gradually.
If you’re not ready to quit drinking cold turkey, there’s no shame in cutting back gradually. Start by eliminating one drink per day and then work your way down from there. This will help minimize the withdrawal symptoms that often come with quitting alcohol abruptly. It also gives you a manageable goal that you can work towards and eventually achieve.
3: Avoid triggers.
One of the best ways to break through the alcohol addiction cycle is to avoid the things that trigger your cravings. If you know that going to happy hour with your coworkers leads to drinking too much, try to find an alternative activity or use an excuse to skip out on those gatherings. You can practice saying, “No” to your friends when they encourage you to go out. Also, removing alcohol from your house is a must if you’re trying to resist temptation.
4: Cut back on social activities.
If going out makes it difficult for you to control your intake, consider cutting back on how often you socialize with others outside. You can still enjoy fun and stimulating activities with your friends, but invite them over to your house instead of going out on the town. This way, you’ll have a say as to what’s available to drink, making it easier for you to avoid excessive drinking altogether.
5: Get out of stressful situations.
In some cases, alcohol is used as a coping mechanism for stress. If you’re spending excessive time worrying about your job, relationship, family, or other things that are causing an emotional toll on you, try to find productive ways to manage the stress instead of drinking. You can take up hobbies like painting or writing, exercise regularly, practice yoga or meditation daily, or even try therapy to work through your problems instead.
6: Exercise regularly.
In addition to practicing healthy ways to manage stress, also consider adding regular exercise to the mix as well. Research has found that people who engage in exercises like running, biking, and other fitness activities are less likely to drink as a way to cope with their worries. Why? Because exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects and can help reduce stress levels.
7: Replace drinking with another activity.
If you’re struggling to quit drinking directly, try to find another activity that you can replace drinking with. This could be anything from reading, listening to music, or spending time outdoors in nature. When you have something else to focus on and enjoy, drinking will become far less appealing over time.