Alcohol can have many adverse effects on a person’s life and ruin their relationships, both social and personal. Studies have shown that smoking, inactivity, poor diet quality, and heavy alcohol consumption contribute to up to 60% of premature deaths and 7.4-17.9 years’ loss in life expectancy. Alcohol in particular can also damage the physical and mental health of a person and if not treated in time, it can have permanent effects. Some of the effects alcohol has on a person include:
- Short attention span
- Lack of coordination
- Impaired judgment
- Memory loss
- Delayed motor actions
- Sensation impairement
- Cardiac issues
- Respiratory depression
If these symptoms are not treated in time, they can also lead to a person’s death.
Recently, a sober-curious lifestyle is being promoted in social settings and workplaces to promote an alcohol-free lifestyle. If you’re new to the concept of sober-curious, here is what it means:
What is sober curious?
Sober curious is when a person decides to decrease their alcohol consumption to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s a socially acceptable movement challenging the idea that specific social contexts require alcohol (Sober Curiosity: A Qualitative Study Exploring Women’s Preparedness to Reduce Alcohol by Social Class, Lunnay et al., 2022). Being sober and curious is not only limited to alcohol addiction, it is also for occasional drinkers that want to quit drinking or lessen it due to health or personal concerns. A sober-curious lifestyle has a holistic approach and can show some great benefits. Avoiding alcoholic beverages is known to be a trend set up by Millenials which has earned them the name of “generation sober”.
This trend encourages and normalizes sobriety and guides people toward many health benefits. It might give a hard time at first but it is definitely worth the potential benefits that it brings along with more clarity and improved social and personal relationships. In order to be sober, a person can reduce the number of drinks consumed. Through reduced drinking, you may experience significant benefits for your health. The term takes a holistic approach towards well-being by encouraging healthier habits. The sober-curious lifestyle takes an approach to well-being and encourages people to have an alcohol-free living mode rather than drinking more than once a day.
It’s becoming increasingly popular among influencers on social media and their social media followers. Some advantages of exploring a sober lifestyle include those with a history of addiction to drinking during college years or who fondly remember tailgate parties. Not only does it encourage a healthy and non-toxic way of living, but it also makes it easier for recovering alcoholics to adjust back into society!
Health Benefits of Alcohol-Free Life:
When one is not suffering at a high level from a hangover or feeling tired from drinking, it is possible to see life differently. The whole nature is incredibly well-appreciated by all, with the benefit of really enjoying a few walks out afterward. Playing and being present with pets is also a great advantage of living an alcohol-free lifestyle. By dropping out of drinking and living sober alcoholics can enjoy and get a feeling they are actually feeling alive again. To explain further, we’ve put together how living an alcohol-free lifestyle can benefit a person:
1. Improved Memory:
Regular alcohol consumption can cause short-term memory loss. It happens because alcohol can impair the communication network between the neurons in the brain which affects its normal functioning. It can also have more serious effects such as long-term memory loss and losing the ability to learn and comprehend things. Reducing alcohol consumption and living an alcohol-free lifestyle can keep the brain healthy which helps keep the memory sharp and active. Here are some of the benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle:
2. Improved Sleep:
Alcohol intake can cause irregular sleep cycles which can affect overall health. Even though people tend to fall asleep quickly after drinking alcohol due to decreased heart rate and blood pressure, once the liver metabolized the alcohol, it increases the heart rate and blood pressure which might stop a person from falling into a deep sleep. Reducing alcohol intake can help improve the sleep cycle due to more stable blood pressure and heart rate.
3. Improved Mental Health:
Alcohol consumption causes depression and stress which leads to disrupted mental health. Even though alcohol has temporary relaxing effects due to increased serotonin levels, once the levels are back to normal, it can increase stress. When a person limits their alcohol intake, it stabilizes their serotonin levels and results in a stabilized mood and mental health. When a person has a stabilized mood it helps them relieve stress and get off their negative emotions, which keeps the mind and body healthy and sound.
4. Healthy Appearance:
Alcohol consumption can cause both, unhealthy weight gain and weight loss. Depending on what a person is drinking and how often they drink, alcoholic beverages affect everyone differently. It can cause the body to stop burning fat and increase hunger, and consuming alcohol for an extended period of time can also lead to other health concerns like raised blood pressure, insulin resistance, etc. On the other hand, drinking alcohol can also trick the stomach into thinking it’s full and cause stomach acid to occur. It can cause dyspepsia which is accompanied by acute vomiting, causing a person to lose weight. Drinking alcohol in a daily routine can cause the liver to become inflamed and fail to secrete toxins from the body. This also results in weight loss and other health concerns. When a person quits or limits drinking, they adopt healthier ways to live life and feel more energy within themselves. This leads to a healthy weight.
5. Healthy Heart:
An unhealthy relationship with alcohol both directly and indirectly affects heart health. Due to an unhealthy weight from drinking alcohol, heart health can be easily compromised as compared to non-drinkers. According to a study done by the University of Colorado in 2017, improved heart health and lesser chances of cardiovascular diseases are one of the most potential benefits of limiting drinking.
6. Healthy Liver:
One of the most important health benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle is a healthy liver. Due to prolonged alcohol intake, the liver starts to lose its ability to regenerate and that can cause serious permanent damage to it, often resulting in complete failure. Quitting drinking proves to be a blessing for the liver because if a person stops drinking before any permanent damage to the liver, it starts to heal and gain better health. The well-being of a person’s vital organs can be largely affected by the choices they make regarding alcohol use.
7. Boosting Your Immune System:
Alcohol has a direct negative impact on your immune system. Over time alcohol also inhibits your health’s ability to restore. If alcohol consumption falls, the immune system will return and heal itself.
8. Improved Relationships:
Alcohol abuse often leaves a person isolated from their friends and family, and it takes a lot of effort and time to restore the relationships they have lost to their drinking habits. Besides the obvious health benefits, limiting alcohol consumption helps improve personal and social relationships. It might not come easy at first, but by being fully present in the lives of the people they care about, and joining support groups to get more tips, a person can slowly ease back into their normal social and personal life. Support groups not only help gain your confidence back, but you can also make new friends along the way.
An alcohol-free lifestyle is not only a way to bring about a healthy lifestyle, but also to improve other aspects of a person’s life.
9. Financial Stability:
When the occasional Friday night drinking becomes a toxic habit and goes out of hand, it also makes a person unstable financially because most of their money is spent on drinking. People often lose their jobs after starting alcohol abuse which causes them to face financial struggles and even go homeless if they don’t get help in time.
Once a person has decided to quit drinking and live an alcohol-free lifestyle, they can look for a way to support themselves financially and bring stability into their life.
You will find everything you ask is now kinder, more understanding, and more understanding. That won’t happen overnight and may take a great amount of patience and determination. Quitting drinking will help one understand one’s physical and emotional needs better and help indulge in self-care and improve self-esteem.
11. Beneficial for Women:
According to a new study, drinking decreases concentration. Lifetime alcohol abstainers maintain maximum levels of mental health. Women quitting drinking can help their psyche function more effectively say, researchers. Researchers suggest quitting consciously might be associated with a greater or more favorable level of well-being. Indeed, it could be comparable to levels attained by lifetime abstaining alleged abandoning lifetime alarmer. Women who stopped drinking have been reported to have improved health mental conditions. Another study found that alcohol-free activities such as watching movies, going to the theater or museums, going to bars or parties, hanging out with friends, eating at restaurants, and engaging in creative activity were generally as enjoyable as drinking.
Now that we have learned the potential benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle, we can explore how to stay alcohol-free in your daily life.
How to Stay Alcohol-Free In Daily Life:
1. Don’t Keep Alcohol At Home:
If you want to completely quit drinking, try to not keep alcohol at home, even if you’re the only sober person around the house. People are often driven to alcohol and booze when they are stressed or facing an upsetting situation, so in order to avoid any temptation from stress or being offered ‘just one glass’, you can steer clear of any alcohol in your house.
2. Exercise Regularly:
Keeping oneself distracted by the goal of staying fit is often a great help when trying to stay away from alcohol. With the goal to stay physically fit in mind, it is easier to resist alcohol and fight any urges. Moreover, exercise helps strengthen the mind and body which is extremely helpful in fighting off any urge to drink alcohol.
3. Join a Support Group:
As already mentioned, support groups are really helpful in living an alcohol-free lifestyle. They help keep you motivated and listening and sharing the struggles of others helps remember the reason you’re trying to be alcohol-free. Moreover, it is a great way of making friends and easing back into your social life.
4. Alcohol-Free Workplace:
Having a casual drink at the workplace is often a cause for people breaking their sobriety streak. Try to find a work environment that is alcohol-free and encourages sober curiosity. It might not seem really easy at first but many workplaces are now sober curious and offer an alcohol-free work environment.
5. Find a Substitute Drink:
It is totally understandable that sometimes it is just possible to avoid being around people who are drinking alcohol for various reasons. What you can do in such a situation is to find a substitute drink that you can access at that time or carry it with you just in case you have such an encounter. When you have your own drink, it will keep people from offering you alcohol and also keep you from having the urge to get something to drink.
6. Alcohol-Free Company:
The company you keep and whether other people drink alcohol around you will also affect your drinking habits. Being alcohol-free is a long journey and keeping the company of like-minded people will make it a success.
Since alcohol is so ingrained into the culture we can be expected to drink everywhere. But in fact, we don’t need it and you can have fun without alcohol. The truth is it’s better to be alive without alcohol. You can actually relax and go out and have fun. Try to set up a routine and go out to explore nature every once in a while. Reconnecting with nature is a great way to relax your mind and resist alcoholic urges. Developing healthy habits to cope with stress instead of turning to alcohol will help you live a long and healthy life with better social and personal relationships.
So if you or anyone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse or wants to explore a sober curious lifestyle, hopefully, this can help steer them in the right direction. But if someone needs rehabilitation, make sure to get the help from Lantana Recovery they need at the right time to save them from having long-term side effects.