Start rationing and then, cut back over time. Determine what your habit or ritual is and then break it - engage in another activity, find a replacement non-alcoholic beverage. To reduce anxiety and stress, cut down on your caffeine intake, up your intake of vegetables and Vit B, and take some anti-stress supplements. Be prepared, stop making excuses and motivate yourself to stay on track.
We All Have Our Struggles
I grew up in a family with various avoidance, and escape-oholic tendencies. Who didn’t? I saw various family members struggle with demons of drugs and alcohol, while others fought the armies of sugar and cravings. I, myself, have toyed with various extremes of light and darkness to see which colors I look best in.
So many of us using tapping and NLP therapies to help us manage our lives want to show up and change our lives in an instant. One session and BOOM done. In some cases this is relatively easy – especially if specifics are known.
But, a majority of us struggle with over-arching concepts and beliefs about self. I’m not good enough. Or I can’t take care of myself. Or something similar.
These foundational beliefs may have harder to find “root causes”, and may need to have work done around them before you can get to the heart of it. Meaning – sometimes you have to clear part of the forest before you can get to the main trees.
I’ve given up things before…. caffeine, sugar, alcohol, carbs, meat, cooked food, listening to the news. LOL!
Sometimes, I would come back to the things I had left, other things I have not yet returned to. Either way, throughout all the times that I have “quit” and “fallen off the wagon” (aka started again), I’ve determined that there are specific things that you can do that will help set you up for success.
Here are some of my best tips for quitting, cutting back on, or eliminating dependence on alcohol.
Fortify Your Body By Providing It With The Things It Needs
- Consider cutting back on or eliminating caffeine. I know most people “need” caffeine to get started. But, the reason why you can’t get started is because you’re trying to run on empty. Studies have shown that caffeine in the morning contributes to anxiety in the evening. If you are drinking alcohol to eliminate your anxiety, consider cutting back on the caffeine you have in the morning.
- Eat a variety of vegetables, and take a multi-vitamin. Did you know that drinking alcohol on an empty stomach destroys the villi of your stomach lining making it difficult to absorb nutrients? Research suggests that alcohol cravings are due to a deficiency in B vitamins. However, it’s more interesting that alcohol uses up B vitamins. Stress also uses up B vitamins. And B vitamins are known to be helpful in managing stress. If you’re drinking to reduce stress, you may be depleting your body of the very nutrients it needs to counteract stress.
Treat Your Stress
I have found that complementary and supportive adjunct therapies can be very beneficial while working on a larger, multi-faceted problem. As such, I’ve found that treating anxiety, nervousness, and lack-of-calmness symptomatically can provide some relief while I work on the root cause. Here are a few options:
- CALM – a magnesium-based product that can calm the nervous system.
- GABA – is more than an amino acid. It is also one of the central nervous system’s most important neurotransmitters, it stimulates receptors to calm down activity in the brain.
- Valerian – is also used for conditions connected to anxiety and psychological stress. Some people use valerian for depression. Valerian slows down the central nervous system.
- Melatonin – reduces anxiety in a variety of settings. Recent studies have shown that fluoride, mono sodium glutamate (MSG), and aspartate (as in the sweetener aspartame) shut off the production of melatonin. If you are having trouble sleeping and drink alcohol to knock you out, this supplement could be beneficial.
- Ginseng – Both Siberian and Chinese ginseng have been shown to enhance our ability to cope with stressors in our lives. It is presumed this anti-stress action is caused by mechanisms that control the adrenal glands. Ginseng delays the onset and reduces the severity of the “alarm phase” (fight, flight, or freeze) of the body’s response to stress.
Please consult a doctor before taken any supplements and make sure and let your practitioners know what supplements and medications you are on.
Determine what your habit or ritual is and then break it.
- If you stop at a bar on the way home, consider taking another route.
- If you drink right after you come home, make an agreement with yourself that you will drink a glass of water or warm tea or other non-alcoholic beverage BEFORE you start on your libation.
- If you only drink after 8 pm, consider going to a movie so you are not home to drink.
Consider rationing your portions. If you were drinking however much you wanted, try measuring it out and cutting back over time.
Consider replacement items. Non-alcoholic beer, ginger ale, etc. Something that you can do instead of drink alcohol.
Make Sure You Are Prepared
- If you know that many of your cravings are hunger and thirst driven, make sure that you have water and a snack with you whenever you go out.
- Carry any supplements you may need with you so you have what you need when you need it.
- Realize you are going to have thoughts and impulses and cravings in the beginning. These are not a sign that you are failing or have failed. They are just thoughts, nothing more. And you don’t have to do anything about them. Just because you have the thought doesn’t mean you have to do it.
- If you’re working with a practitioner, make a note of when, where, and the circumstances around these thoughts or impulses. They can provide useful clues on where to go next in your emotional landscape for healing.
Being prepared will help strengthen your resolve around sticking to your plan.
Focus On Something Else To Quit Alcohol Quickly
- Stick to your guns. If you are drinking more out of self-medication and habit rather than a full physiological addiction, then like most things, the effects of alcohol will be out of your system in a matter of days. Like dealing with caffeine headaches or carb-flu, if you can stick it out for the first couple of days, it will get easier after that.
- Go do something that prevents you from performing your habit. What are things you like to do that require your attention? Do you have any hobbies that you like? Try to find something to do that is not completely mindless. The idea here is to put your full focus on something else, and that will distract you from your cravings.
Again, these are not suggestions as alternatives to getting the help you need. These are adjunct ways that you can help yourself while working on the issues that cause you to do your addictive behavior in the first place.
Time For Tough Love
Stop whining and complaining about how hard it is. If you are serious about giving up something (not just alcohol) then you will actively do what it takes to leave the problem or behavior behind. That means you will think creatively. You will come up with solutions and new alternatives that will help you succeed. You will get help when you need it.
Most people say they want to give something up. But if they are honest, the truth is that they want to keep it. They just don’t want to feel bad about keeping it. They want the judgments against themselves for doing the “bad” activity to stop. They want their “addiction” to not have consequences.
Everything has consequences, the really question is which consequences do you choose? What do you want your life to look like?
Each one of us is a work in progress. We are never done. We are never complete. We are always growing. My passion and purpose is to help other on their paths to success and greatness.