Most alcoholism treatments involve support groups and rehab programs. While they are very helpful, it can be a boon to say, the anti-social, or those without the financial resources to participate in so. For these cases, recovery might be hard, but it is still possible.
Here are ten tips that may help you stop drinking alcohol on your own:
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1. Admit to yourself that you have a problem.
The problem with most alcoholics is that they don’t acknowledge the fact that they are indeed, addicted. This is one of the biggest barriers to recovery because these people think that they don’t have a drinking issue at all.
Ask yourself, how many drinks do you take per day? If it’s 4 and you’re a man – or 3 and you’re a woman – then you’re a heavy alcoholic drinker, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Once you admit to yourself that you have a problem, the tips below will be much easier to follow.
2. Identify your triggers.
What are your reasons for drinking? Is it to kill time during the long commute from work to your home? Or is it to help you sleep after you have successfully managed to tuck the kids in their beds? If you know your ‘triggers’ for drinking, then what you need to do is avoid them, if possible. If not, then at least try your hardest NOT to drink after these incidences take place.
3. Set goals.
One of the best ways to stop drinking is to set goals – and try to accomplish them. Your goal list should include what you plan to do to stop drinking. For example, if you’re starting small, you can write there “I will limit my weekend alcohol consumption to 1 glass per day.” Do not forget the most important aspect of your goals – and that is to write the official date of when you plan on quitting alcohol for good.
You can do this on the usual pen and paper, but it’s best if you write your goals on a board or a big sheet of cartolina. Seeing your goals every day when you go to work – and get home from it – will remind you of your desire to finally quit drinking.
4. Deal with stress.
Stress is one of the prime reasons why drinkers drink. Be it due to work or to relationships, the best way to stop stress-induced drinking is to learn how to manage stress.
Keeping a positive attitude and being accepting of things that you can’t change are just some of the things that can help lower your stress levels. Granted that these are easier said than done, trying stress-busting techniques such as meditation, tai-chi, and yoga can help you control stress – and the drinking spree that usually comes with it.
6. Get rid of all the alcohol in your house.
Sometimes it is hard to figure out how to know when to stop drinking. It’s best to take “out of sight, out of mind” approach.
The temptation is the usual problem amongst alcoholics. You won’t be able to stop your drinking habits if you know that you have alcohol around the house. Throw these away – including your emergency stash for surprise celebrations or whatnot. Without these sources, you will be better able to curb your alcoholic tendencies for good.
7. Stay away from your usual drinking buddies.
Say that you were able to identify your triggers and got rid of all the alcohol in your house. But if you’re not able to say no to their invitation to drink at the bar, then your other attempts to quit drinking are essentially futile.
Remember to let them down easily. Tell them that you are not hanging out with them (for the meantime) because you would like to stop drinking on your own. They will most likely understand and not take it against you. Heck, it might even help them to examine their own alcoholism issues as well.
8. Keep yourself busy.
Alcoholism, more often than not, occurs during downtime. When you’re all alone at home (or in life) with nothing else to do, drinking alcohol seems to be a good idea. To kill this free time, try to engage in entertaining hobbies or activities. For example, if you stopped painting before because of your busy schedule, maybe it’s time for you to pick up the brush and the easel once again.
One of the best ways to kill time – and the eventual drinking spree that comes with it – is to exercise. It can help you:
- Enhance your cognitive abilities
- Improve your mood and behavior
- Lose weight
- Reduce your risk of heart disease
- Control your blood sugar levels
- Strengthen your muscles and bones
- Improve your sleep
- Enhance your sexual health
- Enjoy a longer life!
If these many benefits still don’t convince you, then perhaps this will change your mind: exercise may help manage alcohol-related diseases. According to a UK study, exercise may reduce the liver damage brought about by chronic alcohol consumption. So apart from helping you quit drinking, exercise can remedy the alcohol-stricken parts of your body as well.
10. Make use of the internet.
The internet is a treasure trove of information, especially when it comes to alcoholism. Instead of surfing Facebook or other scrupulous websites, set your sights on factual websites instead. Visit the NIAAA website – or the other links to this website – to learn more about alcoholism, how it can affect your body, and what you can do to stop it.
Once you know the ugly stuff that it can do on your brain, liver, and skin, you won’t have to second-guess about quitting anymore. Indeed, being equipped with the right knowledge can help you achieve your goals of sobriety.
Alcohol brings about harmful effects to the body – and the mind – especially when they are taken in huge amounts. If you want to avoid the possibility of acquiring such conditions, then you need to try to quit drinking alcohol. It may be hard to do so at first, but as long as you follow these tips – you have a good chance of sobering up on your own.