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4 Keys to Drinking Less Alcohol: A Guide for Everyone

bar with variety of bottles of alcohol and a glass of beer
Alchol is everywhere - so you need a plan to drink less or stop

If you’ve found yourself wanting to cut back on alcohol, you’re not alone. Whether you’re looking to drink less for health reasons, mental clarity, or if you're afraid that you're becoming addicted- this article will share tips on reducing your alcohol intake. Here are four practical keys to help you drink less, and for those concered about addiction, we have some additional tips to support your goals as well. Below are 4 Keys to Drinking Less Alcohol.

For Those Looking to Cut Back:

1. Set Clear Goals and Intentions

First things first: Get clear on why you want to drink less. Is it for your health, better sleep, weight loss, more energy, or perhaps to save some money? Whatever your reason, having a clear goal will keep you motivated. Write it down and keep it somewhere you can see it daily.

But don't just write it down. ENVISION the positve outcome and be sure to add in the joy.

Set specific, realistic goals. For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to drink less,” try “I’ll limit myself to two drinks on weekends” or “I’ll have alcohol-free days during the week.” Specific goals are easier to stick to and track.

2. Find Fun Alternatives

people hiking
Find activities that are unrelated to drinking, such as hiking

Let’s face it: part of the reason we drink is that it’s a social thing. Think about how and where you can have fun without alcohol. Can you enjoy places where alcohol is not usual, like taking a bike ride or walking a trail or playing tennis? Brainstorm about it alone or with a friend.

And explore non-alcoholic drinks that you genuinely enjoy. There are new and delicious mocktails, sparkling waters, and even non-alcoholic beers and wines out there.

Experiment with different recipes and make it an adventure. Have fun creating and tasting new drinks. You might find that you don’t miss alcohol as much as you thought you would.

3. Plan and Prepare

We’ve all been there: you’re out with friends, and before you know it, you’re on your third drink. Planning and preparation can make a huge difference. If you know you’re going to a social event, decide in advance how many drinks you’ll have and stick to it.

Also, eat before you go out. A full stomach can help you drink less because you won’t be as tempted to keep sipping just to fill the hunger void. Also, bring your own non-alcoholic beverages to gatherings. It’s easier to stick to your goals when you have tasty alternatives on hand.

4. Find Support and Accountability

Ask a friend to join you in the goal of drinking less. Often, other people have the same goal but have trouble staying on track alone. Ask around and build a buddy support system. Shared goals with a friend or family member can provide much-needed mutual support. But even if no one steps up to join you on this goal, they can still offer encouragement. Having someone in your corner makes the process a lot less lonely and a lot more fun.

Consider joining a group or community that’s focused on reducing alcohol intake. Whether it’s an online forum, a local support group, or a social media community, connecting with others who share your goals can be incredibly motivating and helpful.

For Those Facing Addiction:

A mature, professional woman smiling
What fuels your desire to drink? It's good to think about it.

1. Explore What Drives the Desire to Drink

Addiction happens over time. It's not a character flaw. It's the result of repetition. That's all. Drinking can be the result of using alcohol to cope with stress, anxiety, or other emotional issues. It can be a way to forget about the past or current events that you feel you have no control over. Or it can just be a habit that you developed over time that has become a physiological addiction. Look for and isolate the main reason you began to drink and the current reasons you continue to drink. Once you have those insights you will have some ideas of what you can do to combat the addiction.

2. Get Professional Help

If you've become dependent on alcohol, please don't quit cold turkey because there are health risks such as a heart attack. There are ways to cut back with medications while under a doctors care so that you can avoid danger. Seeking professional help is crucial for most people who are dependent on alcohol.

Try Hypnosis- Reduce Cravings and Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Man in a recliner in hypnosis
Hypnotherapy helps reduce cravings and supports your goals

Hypnotherapy is the use of therapeutic suggestion when you are in the state of hypnosis. And hypnosis is a natural state that people move in and out of every day, multiple times a day. Hypnosis can help you strengthen your desire to say no to the places and people and substances that create addiction. It's a respectful and pleasant experience where the hypnotherapist helps you use your imagination to reach your goals.

Therapists, counselors, and addiction specialists can also provide the tools and emotional support you need to overcome addiction. Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) offer structured support and a community of individuals who understand what you’re going through. But there are many programs that are overseen by physicians so you can ease off the alcohol without withdrawal and also get the emotional support and education you need to stop drinking and stay stopped.

3. Build a Strong Support Network

Surround yourself with people who support your decision to quit drinking and stay abstinant. This includes family, friends, and support groups. Let them know what you’re going through and how they can help. Having a strong support network can make a significant difference in your recovery journey.

4. Create a Structured Routine

A structured routine can help reduce the temptation to drink. Plan your days with activities that keep you engaged and focused. This might include work, exercise, hobbies, and social activities that don’t involve alcohol. Keeping busy and having a sense of purpose can significantly aid in your recovery.

Bonus Tips:

  • Track Your Progress: Keep a journal or use an app to log your drinks. Seeing your progress can be incredibly motivating.

  • Reward Yourself: Celebrate your milestones with non-alcoholic treats or activities you love.

  • Be Kind to Yourself: Remember, it’s okay to have slip-ups. What matters is getting back on track and continuing to move forward.

Whether you’re looking to cut back or facing addiction, reducing your alcohol intake can lead to a healthier, happier you. With clear goals, fun alternatives, a bit of planning, and supportive friends, you’ll find that drinking less can be easier and more enjoyable than you ever imagined.

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