How to Relax Without Alcohol
A study by Drinkaware discovered that nearly one in five men and one in six women drink daily. The main causes behind the drinking were work stress, financial worries and family life stress. Just about every one of the people questioned used alcohol to relax and unwind. Learning how to relax without alcohol is clearly something that needs to be discussed more to prevent the physical and mental health implications of the excessive drinking culture that has permeated our culture.
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How to Deal with Stress Without Alcohol
The first step on the journey of learning how to relax without alcohol is actually noticing and becoming aware that you have a problem. Most of the daily stress drinkers aren’t paying that much attention to what they are doing because it has become a habit.
If you always have a stash of alcohol stacked in your wine or beer fridge then it becomes so easy to just reach in and grab a glass or bottle when you are feeling frazzled. When you have an automatic order for cases of wine or beer boxes in your supermarket order you no longer think of alcohol as an occasional treat. If you have a glass ready and waiting for you to use as soon as you get in the door then you are going to use it.
Our drinking culture has made it far too easy for us to drink daily. Many new kitchens are now installed with a bar area or special fridge for alcohol. Have you noticed the trend for bar carts and trolleys over the past few years? Does your kitchen island have a special space to chill champagne or prosecco?
Step one in learning to relax without alcohol is actually to stop and pay attention. Notice how alcohol has crept into your everyday life and become mindful about what you have been doing instead of being mindless.
How to Relax After Work Without Alcohol – Use Mindfulness
We know what habit is very rarely the only reason why our clients drink too much. Alcohol is frequently used to distract from uncomfortable feelings whether that be anxiety, depression, stress or a fear of not being good enough. Instead of the mind racing away on a spiral of negative thinking alcohol becomes a way of numbing those feelings. Practising mindfulness helps you to note the feelings but keeps you grounded in the present.
A recent study showed that using mindfulness with simple breath counting had a positive impact on reducing stress from drinking. Participants were asked to listen to a simple 6-minute audio file which involved instructions on counting their breath. At the end of the study with regular usage people using the audio had experienced a significant reduction in drinking-related to stress.
Breath counting is only one example of mindfulness exercise but there are plenty of others that you can find across the internet to help you stop and focus on the present.
We love our drink less tracker worksheets that help you to increase awareness of what you are consuming and what your alcohol triggers are. Simply print out the PDF worksheets and begin to note down the locations, people or situations that make you want to use alcohol. Read the tips included to help you beat your cravings and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Say no to Wine Relaxation – Exercise Instead of Drinking
If you want to reduce stress then exercise is the perfect thing to do to let go of any pent up feelings leftover from the day. Choose an exercise routine that suits your particular style and interests rather than trying to force yourself to do something you hate.
Going for a walk is a perfect way to finish a day and will have an impact on your physical well-being as well. Alternatively head to a dance class, go for a swim, workout in the gym or play a round of golf. Exercise helps to burn off excess adrenaline, keeps your fit and helps to keep you healthy.
Even if the weather is awful there are now plenty of online fitness games to get you moving. Plus they are fun which means their impact on your stress levels will be even greater.
If you want to reduce the pace slightly then start to practice yoga. Getting started costs very little and most people have enough room in their homes to be able to use a yoga mat.
How to Unwind Without Wine – Self-Hypnosis Drinking
When our drink less alcohol clients are looking to find ways to reduce their stress levels we always recommend self-hypnosis for drinking. Self-hypnosis or a guided meditation is the perfect way to switch off the mind and help you relax.
To make it easy for our clients we give them our drink less audio download and ask them to put it on around the time when they would be normally reaching for a drink. We ask them to do absolutely nothing else at the same time as listening. It doesn’t take long for their minds to go completely calm and still as they switch off from a stressful day.
You can use our relaxation and stress reduction audio if you are just looking for a way to reduce your stress or alternatively you can try our drink less alcohol download. This has suggestions to help increase your willpower and motivation to drink less. These help to change your subconscious thoughts and cravings so that you can drink less.
Say No to Wine Relaxation – Reading or Journaling
There is something incredibly relaxing about coming up curling up on the sofa and reading a good book. The problem is that many people have forgotten how great this can be because they are too busy watching the TV, playing with their phones or chatting on social media.
Too many of us are now winding up after work instead of winding down. Gone are the days where we would relax in the evening to let go of stress. Now people are answering emails, doing their food shopping, paying the bills and juggling commitments.
Start to take time out of your busy day and learn to relax in the evening. Put down the tablets and phones and start to immerse yourself in a great book with a brilliant story.
Alternatively, why not think about journaling so that you can utilise the creative part of your mind. Stress is often created because we are doing things that we don’t enjoy and which are not making us happy. Find a solution that causes you to engage the part of your brain that loves to be expressive and imaginative.
How to De-Stress Without Alcohol – Take a Bath
Showers may be faster and more convenient but nothing can replace how relaxing a hot bath can be after a long day. Baths have been shown to calm the mind and the nervous system. They help to relax your muscles and help with joint pain. They can help with your breathing and if you take one before bed they can help you to get a better nights sleep.
If you want to combine the bath with aromatherapy for relaxation as well you are going to get a double benefit. We love Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath and Shower Oil. The De-Stress collection was created to help calm a restless mind and soothe exhausted muscles. Plus it is supposed to help take you away from the daily chaos to refocus and restore.
Alternatives to Drinking Alcohol to Relax – Listen to Music or the Radio
Music has the power to transport you to somewhere else just through the use of sound. Yet many people only listen to music when they are in their cars or on the radio in the morning as they get ready for work. We are losing the art of sitting and playing music just to chill out to.
Find some music that you love and just take the time to sit and listen to an entire album with your feet up and let your mind be transported to somewhere else.
Everyone thinks that they should automatically pick some relaxing, unwinding sounds to listen to but in fact, you can choose anything you like. Some people who love heavy metal are going to reduce their stress by rocking out. Don’t think you have to stick with only one genre.
The radio is another great way of relaxing as you are stimulating the sense of sound but are not caught up in the visuals. This stops a sensory overload that we sometimes get with our huge screen TV’s that dominate a room. Bigger isn’t always best when it comes to switching off stress.
What To Drink Instead of Alcohol to Relax
Finally, you have found some ways to relax and reduce your stress and stop your need for alcohol but what can you drink instead. Well, obviously water is incredibly good for you and has huge health benefits. Did you know that there are even water sommeliers who are experts in water and which you should drink? You could start to become a water connoisseur and really taste the different waters that are out there and notice the difference.
If water doesn’t hit the spot for you what about searching out some of the premium soft drinks that are out there on the market and trialling the different tastes. They still would help to feel like a treat but should be significantly healthier for you.
If you still like the taste of alcohol there are plenty of people making drinks that mimic wine and beer but without the alcohol. Because of the placebo effect, you may still feel the relaxation without a drop of alcohol touching your lips.
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