How to drink mindfully
Alcohol is a depressant, and it's no secret that it can cause some serious problems for those who drink too much. In fact, many people are able to quit drinking once they understand how alcohol affects their lives and why they drink in the first place. For example, when you're tired after a long day at work, you might crave an alcoholic beverage to help you relax and unwind—but this can lead to an increased tolerance for alcohol as well as cravings for more booze later on in the evening. Mindfulness can help with all of that! Here's how:
Identify your triggers
Identify your triggers.
Identify the situations that trigger you to drink, or the specific thoughts and emotions that trigger drinking for you. For example, does watching a sad movie make you want a glass of wine? What about when your boss is being difficult? Or when someone asks if they can borrow money from you? Are there certain times of day when this happens more regularly than others? Sometimes it’s helpful to write down these triggers so that they are more clear in our minds and we can think about how they might change over time as we work on changing our relationship with alcohol.
Practice mindfulness techniques
We’ve already seen how meditation can lead to a greater awareness of your mood, but there are other mindfulness techniques you can try, too.
Yoga is another great way to increase your mindfulness. You might be familiar with yoga as an exercise or relaxation technique, but it also encompasses methods that help you better understand your body and its place in the world. Some types of yoga focus on breathing exercises; others involve slow movement or stretching. Either way, they all force you to be present in the moment—which is something we could all use more of when drinking alcohol!
And if these exercises aren't for you? Try sitting down outside with friends and taking turns being mindful at different points during your hangout session: one person will meditate while another reads poetry aloud; then another will do yoga poses while someone else makes art from materials found nearby (like leaves). If everyone's doing things separately rather than together, it will make each activity more immersive for both participant and spectator alike.
Watch what you eat
Eating healthy is a great way to stay mindful of how you're consuming food. Eating only when hungry, avoiding foods that trigger cravings and overeating, focusing on the taste and texture of your food, eating slowly, chewing well and stopping when full are all ways to practice mindfulness while eating.
Try to avoid alcohol- and sugar-free drinks; they're often made with artificial sweeteners like aspartame which can trigger cravings after drinking it. Alcohol-free beer or wine has fewer calories than regular beer or wine but still contains alcohol so beware of overconsumption if you drink these beverages!
Alcohol-free desserts such as sorbet or frozen yogurt are low in fat but have as much sugar as ice cream so avoid them if you want to reduce your calorie intake for the day! The same goes for other types of snacks: nuts contain healthy fats but also lots of calories--so don't go overboard on them either!
Stop identifying as a "social" drinker.
Remember that you’re a human being and not a social lubricant.
Stop drinking to fit in. You know how it goes: you go out with your friends and someone orders shots, so then everyone does, even if they don't like them or want them at all. Or maybe you're at a party where no one else is drinking water, so you drink beer just to be part of the group (and avoid looking lame). It's normal to feel pressure from our peers when we're young and trying to find our place in society, but eventually we need to realize that we shouldn't let others determine what's best for us—especially when their choices are making us feel less secure about ourselves.
Stop drinking so others will love you more (or less). If someone likes alcohol more than anyone else in the room—even if they don't drink much—it's natural for them to want everyone else around them also enjoy getting drunk too. But remember: caring too much about what other people think isn't healthy! Focus on doing things that make YOU happy instead of worrying about whether or not those around you approve of what happens next!
Build a support team
One of the best things you can do to support your ability to live a mindful, healthy life is to build a strong support team. This can be as simple as talking with your friends and family about what they think of your recovery journey and how they can help (or if they're willing at all) or going into therapy so that you have someone who knows what's going on in your head when things get tough.
Including people in your recovery process might feel scary at first, but it's important not to isolate yourself from those who care about you—and even more important than that is remembering when others are isolating themselves from their loved ones because of addiction problems. Having an open conversation about what it means for both parties is key here, especially since everyone has different needs when it comes to how much emotional labor they're willing or able give out during this time.
The most important thing for anyone struggling with addiction issues is getting back on track with their lives—and having good relationships with people who understand what this process looks like will make that happen much easier than trying alone!
Remove alcohol from your house.
Remove temptation. If it's not there, you can't use it.
Don't keep alcohol in your house, car or office. If you know where the liquor is and how easy it would be to steal a drink while no one's looking, your mind will keep thinking about drinking instead of focusing on why you want to quit altogether.
Don't carry alcohol around with you at all times. If a bottle is easily accessible in your purse or pocket (or even better yet, if they're full of bottles), then there's no way for your brain to stop thinking about them unless they are gone forever and out of sight entirely
Keep track of your drink count
Keep track of your drink count
There are many ways to keep track of how much you drink, but it's best to keep a running tally throughout the day. You can use a smartphone app such as Bevlog (Android and iOS), DrinkTracker (Android and iOS), or EasyDiary (iOS). Alternatively, you can use a journal or sheet of paper. The important thing is that you have access to this information anywhere—if it's on your phone, then carry your phone with you at all times; if it's in an app, then make sure that app is on all day long so when anyone asks what drinks did I have today? You'll know!*
Learn how to say no.
One of the most important things to understand about drinking mindfully is that you need to set boundaries. If you have a long day ahead of you and plan on going out with friends, it's important to know your limits so that you don't end up blacking out or having too much fun and regretting it later.
You should also be assertive in saying no when someone else wants to drink more than they should. Don't feel bad about this; if they ask why, just tell them the truth! You don't have time for hangovers or regrets, so just be honest with everybody involved.
Finally, remember not to judge yourself for what happens when you drink—and even if something does go wrong (like missing a party), try not to beat yourself up over it too much—it's just one night!
Mindfulness can help you stay sober or reduce your drinking.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. It often involves focusing attention on breathing or counting or repeating words silently. Mindfulness has been shown to help with stress, anxiety, and depression.
Mindfulness can also be used in recovery from addiction since it helps people understand how their feelings affect their behavior. If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs it may feel like everything you do revolves around getting high; this makes it difficult for you to see other options for dealing with life’s problems besides using drugs or alcohol. Mindfulness helps people learn how to focus on different things besides substance use when they experience negative emotions such as anger or boredom instead of relying solely on substance use for temporary relief from those emotions
The bottom line is that mindfulness can help you stay sober or reduce your drinking. It’s a great tool to use alongside other support systems, like AA and therapy, and it can give you the tools needed to make better choices in life. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction or know someone who does, learning about mindfulness could be life-changing for both of you!