How to Slow Down Drinking Alcohol & Stay in Control
Are you drinking too much and would like to take back control of your alcohol habit? Are you drinking too much and too quickly when you do drink? If so then we have fifteen tips to help you to learn how to slow down your drinking.
Drinking alcohol too quickly means that you are much more likely to exceed healthy alcohol consumption figures as well as getting drink more easily. If this is done regularly it can have a detrimental impact on both your physical and your mental health.
Taking back control for most people is simply a matter of breaking bad habits.
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How Can I Train Myself to Drink Less Alcohol?
For most drinkers, the most important thing to do is to learn how to drink more slowly by breaking bad habits. When we do something habitually night after night it can become very easy to automatically repeat the same patterns again and again. It is possible to break your conditioned response you just need to do things differently to create a better pattern or behaviour.
Yes like anything it can take a little effort but some of our suggestions are psychologically going to give you the upper hand. These tips and tricks can statistically help to give you the edge and make it easier for you to learn how to slow down drinking without it feeling impossible.
So what can you do? Well, we have fifteen suggestions for you. You can try one at a time or you can combine some of them to improve your chances and result.
Mindful Drinking To Slow Your Drinking Pace
Mindfulness is one of the latest psychological methods that people are using to learn how to slow down drinking. Mindfulness traditionally has been used to help reduce anxiety or depression however more and more people are using its strategies to drink less alcohol.
Put simply mindfulness is a way of paying attention in the here and now rather than switching off and allowing your mind to go into a drinking trance. When we are present and noting exactly what we are drinking we are much less likely to drink too fast or too much.
How to Be a Mindful Drinker is a great book to help you learn simple strategies to help you reduce your drinking.
Eat When You Are Drinking to Slow Down Alcohol Consumption
We tend to drink a little slower when we are eating so make it a habit to have a meal when you are drinking rather than just having a glass with nothing else. For many people eating has an impact on their cravings for alcohol and reduces them. This means that once you have eaten your meal you are likely to drink significantly less.
This habit change should however be combined with our other suggestions as you still need to be mindful about your alcohol consumption and the reasons for your drinking to create more success.
Become a Slow Drinker by Using Smaller Wine Glasses
If you are a wine drinker have you noticed the continual increase in wine glass sizes over the past ten to twenty years? In fact, since wine glasses were first used in the 1700’s they have increased steadily over time but the size really started to increase massively since the 1950s. An average wine glass size now is around 450ml when in 1950 it used to be 180ml. This means that the size has more than doubled. If it carries on at this pace we’ll soon be drinking wine out of buckets!
All joking aside the size of wine glasses is one of the main reasons why we are drinking more than ever but this is easily remedied. Either you start to buy much smaller wine glasses to help you to learn how to slow down your drinking or you use a glass that reminds you of how much you are drinking.
Caloric Cuvee has designed a glass that marks exactly how much you are drinking and also reminds you of the calories in each glass. Use this so that you keep an eye on exactly how much you are consuming each night.
Curb Your Alcohol Intake by Drinking Water or Juice
It can be very easy to start drinking in the evening and just pour yourself glass after glass of wine or beer without stopping. If you want to learn how to slow down drinking then a simple way to do this is to intersperse every alcoholic drink with a reasonably large quantity of water or juice.
If you practice this regularly you will find that you are only able to have a few glasses of alcohol because you will be full of all the other liquid. There are similar measuring glasses on the market to the calorie counting glass we spoke about earlier to help you keep track.
Become a Slow Drinker by Changing Your Habits
If you want to be a slow drinker then you need to start to think about changing your habits to break old patterns of behaviour. If you were not aware if we do the same thing at the same time of day again and again week after week the pattern becomes ingrained. This means if you have always come in from work and grabbed a wine from the fridge and sat down in the same chair and turned on the TV 365 days of the year your mind is primed to do exactly the same on day 366.
If however, you walk in the door and instead of heading directly for the fridge you walk upstairs and go and have a shower you have started to break the pattern. You are no longer following the automatic pattern. So think about how you can sit somewhere different, change your location and take different actions to get better results.
Atomic Habits by James Clear is the number one book on teaching you how to change your old habits into something more productive for you.
Pace your Drinking and Start Later
The earlier you start to drink the more likely it is that you are going to consume more throughout the day or evening. It, therefore, makes much more sense to start drinking later so that you don’t give yourself the opportunity to drink too much.
Most of our clients used to drink almost as soon as they got in from work but when they made a rule that they wouldn’t touch a drop until after for example, 8 pm their consumption dropped dramatically. You can do the same you just need to decide on a time and stick to it.
Time Yourself To Drink Less
It can be really easy to have a glass of wine or beer and drink it fast without ever thinking how long it took you. You then reach for the next glass and on and on you go until either you fall into bed or you run out of booze. Learning how to slow down drinking is much simpler when you start to time yourself and only drink at set times.
The simplest way to do this is to use your watch or even a countdown timer to help you pay attention to how much you are consuming and in what time period. Many people can drink a glass of wine easily in twenty minutes or less but if you set your timer for 45 minutes and slow your pace it forces you to drink less.
Drink Slower by Starting With a Plan
How many of you actually plan how much you are going to drink in an evening? My guess is not that many of you. Most people just start drinking and see where the evening takes them. This could in many cases mean excessive drinking because you get carried away and before you know it you have drunk way too much.
Starting the evening with a plan and sticking to it can change this. If you resolve that you are going out with only a certain amount of money in your pocket and you will stop drinking when that is spent that can help. Alternatively, you could decide that you will only allow yourself three or four drinks and then you will stop. Set some rules before you start and make sure you stick to them to help you drink less.
Use Self-Hypnosis for Drinking Less
The use of self-hypnosis to change habits has been a popular choice for many people to train their mind to do things differently. We all have a part of our mind the subconscious that does things for us automatically based on what we have learned in the past. This means no matter how much you consciously want to stop your subconscious can keep on tempting you to drink.
Self-hypnosis allows you to switch off your conscious mind and direct positive suggestions for change to the subconscious. When you practice it regularly it can help you to think a little differently. Plus it is deeply relaxing meaning that it can also help to reduce your stress which is often behind drinking anyway.
Use our Self-Hypnosis Download for Drinking Less to help you change your habits.
Take a Break
Learn how to slow down drinking by taking a break at points in your day or evening. As an example, if you are at a wedding you might have a drink to toast the bride and groom and then resolve to wait until the dancing starts later before having anything else.
Alternatively, you might have a glass of wine or beer at a bar and then stop to play pool for an hour before having another one. Build-in breaks and the alcohol reduction and slowing strategy won’t seem so difficult.
Alcohol Reduction Worksheets
One of the ways in which we help our clients slow their drinking and reduce their alcohol consumption is with our alcohol reduction worksheets. We designed these to help our clients start to understand not only what they are drinking and how much but also the triggers behind their habit.
The worksheets have a whole host of ways they can help you to slow your drinking or certainly reduce what you drink. Inside the worksheet pack, there are sheets to help you understand your triggers, habit-changing tips, affirmations, a change plan worksheet and much more. Get your copy in our online shop.
Manage Your Emotions
If you really want to learn how to slow down drinking then you may need to think about the emotions that might be causing you to drink. Most of our clients are completely oblivious to what their mind might be doing for them when they first start our drink less program but soon realise that much of their drinking is a coping strategy for another problem.
Drinking too fast and shutting off a busy brain is a way people cope with anxiety, guilt, anger, bad relationships, money problems and work. It is never a great long term solution because you are never tackling the real reasons behind what you are doing. Work with a therapist to discover what is really bothering you or use our drink less worksheets to help to figure it out yourself. When you resolve the underlying problems it can often stop your speed drinking automatically.
How to Drink Slower – Cut Down Stress
Stress is the number one reason why our clients drink too much and too quickly. Too much stress has a significant detrimental impact on your health and well-being. When we are stressed we find it difficult to switch our brains off or sleep. We become pre-occupied with negative thoughts and we try and find ways to switch them off. Alcohol is one of the biggest ways that people do this although others may gamble, take drugs or shop too much.
Take steps to work out where the stress is in your life and resolve to find ways to reduce it. That may mean working fewer hours at work and coming home on time rather than continually working overtime. It might mean cutting back on activities that mean that you are on the go all the time. It also means saying no to things and people who cause you more stress.
Whilst we cannot cut out all the stress in our life we can find ways to manage it. You can also practice guided meditation to help switch your mind off and relax. We have the perfect relaxation and stress reduction audio to help our clients become calmer and feel more in control in our online store.
How to Slow Down Drinking Habits – Know Your Triggers
While some people might regularly drink too fast others have triggers that can create a problem. The key to drinking less is to work out what yours are.
One of our clients realised that every time her mother was critical she went home and drank a bottle of wine really quickly to calm herself down. Your alcohol triggers can be based around a person, place or simply a feeling. So you may never drink very fast at home alone but when you are at a party with your best friend you follow their pace and drink to excess.
When you learn what your triggers you become more mindful of what you are doing and are able to put into place strategies for change.
Drink Alcohol Slowly by Changing Your Couples Habit
If you are single and live alone this final tip may not apply to you but it certainly does have relevance for all our clients who drink at home with their partners.
You might not have realised but you may have got into a trap of drinking too fast because your partner is as well. Many of our clients have a fear of missing out or feel that they need to match their partners drinking pace and that means that they end up drinking far more than they intended.
If you can try and get your partner involved in your slow drinking program. It is going to be just as good for their health as it will be for yours.
How to Slow Down Drinking with Therapy
Learning how to slow down drinking can be easy for some people and they are able to take on board our suggestions and implement them without a problem however others may need a little extra helping hand. Our drink less online program has been designed to help you change old habits and look after your health and well-being. Contact us for more details on the form below.
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