Many people are able to drink without serious consequences, but there is a significant part of the population that struggles with sobriety. Many people rely on alcohol as a coping strategy. Others develop an actual physical addiction to alcohol. Common signs of alcoholism include:
- An inability to drink in moderation
- Overspending on alcohol
- Craving alcohol
- Neglecting personal and work responsibilities due to alcohol consumption
Work, personal relationships, physical health and psychological health can all be negatively affected by drinking alcohol in excess. Increase the odds of staying sober with these useful tips:
- Remove all alcohol from your home. Anyone that’s ever been on a diet knows that any food in the house that tastes good will eventually be eaten. The same goes for alcohol. If you enjoy drinking, you’ll eventually break down and drink it if it’s in the house.
- Avoid situations that make it easy to drink. Opportunity can equal disaster. Be careful about meeting coworkers at a bar after work. Parties can be another danger zone. Consider taking a date to a location that doesn’t serve alcohol. Be wary of where you spend your time if you want to stay sober.
- Re-evaluate your social circle. Spending time with your long-time drinking buddies can be a huge mistake. Do you have friends that always drink on the weekends? Does someone in your family drink frequently?
- While many people will be supportive of your decision not to drink, there may be some that won’t. You might have to shuffle the people in your life if staying sober is a priority.
- Find a group of people that share your challenge. There are many groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, that provide support to those who have chosen to stay sober. These groups can be a great place to build friendships with those going through the same struggle.
- Exercise. A good workout can clear your head, burn off stress, and reset your brain and your perspective. Exercise benefits you in many ways.
- Get help with any mental health issues. Mental health issues can make sobriety much more challenging. Get the help you need to deal with any mental health issues you might be facing.
- Find a hobby that you love and do it! Spend time on an enjoyable activity as often as possible. A positive mood makes it easier to avoid drinking. What do you like to do? What would you like to try?
- Deal with urges effectively. It’s important to have a plan when the urge to drink arises. There’s no way to avoid the urge to drink completely. What are you going to do when it happens?
- Call a friend?
- Call a sponsor?
- Go for a run?
- Reduce the stress in your life. Stress is uncomfortable. When we’re uncomfortable, we tend to do whatever needs to be done to make ourselves comfortable again. Stress can’t be avoided completely but reducing the amount of stress you experience can help reduce the urge to drink.
- Address any physical pain. Pain, like stress, is another form of discomfort. And let’s face it, alcohol is pretty effective at reducing pain. See your doctor and deal with any injuries or long-term pain your body might be suffering.
These tips can help with maintaining sobriety, but the initial steps of becoming sober might require the assistance of health professionals. If alcohol is a serious issue for you, it is likely to be an ongoing struggle for the rest of your life. It’s a battle best fought one day at a time. Alcoholism is a serious disease that requires immediate attention. Get the necessary help you require. You’ll be glad you did.
To Your Success,
You know that distracted driving is dangerous, but what about eating when your thoughts are elsewhere? A new study explains why you’re likely to snack more while you’re watching TV. Intrigued? I was too!
Researchers at the University of Sussex studied the impact of perceptually demanding tasks like watching TV or playing video games. They found that subjects whose attention was engaged in another activity ate 45% more chips. This supports the theory that your brain has a limited supply of attention, so it focuses on what seems most important. As a result, you keep on eating because you miss the fullness cues that your body is trying to send you.
Read this before another bag of chips or cookies disappears while you’re binge-watching or talking on the phone. Paying closer attention to your eating will help you to maintain your weight and cut down on junk food.
How to Recognize When You’re Full
Feeling full depends on chemical changes in your body that take about 20 minutes for
your brain to register. That sated feeling is designed to last for several hours, but
many common habits can undermine the process. Keep the following in mind:
- Understand cravings. Distinguish between hunger and appetite. Physical
hunger builds up gradually and subsides after eating. Emotional appetite and
cravings come on suddenly and may be more persistent.
- Slow down. Sitting down and dining at a relaxed pace gives your brain a chance
to know you’re full. Chew thoroughly and savor each bite.
- Avoid crash diets. Cycles of fasting and splurging confuse your body. Find a
balanced regimen that you can stick with for the long term.
Other Tips for Non-Distracted Eating
Recognizing fullness cues will help you to make healthier food choices. Take a look at some additional strategies for paying more attention to what you’reeating:
- Plan ahead. Creating daily or weekly menus may help. Use an online calculator
to figure out how many calories you need, so you can stay in the middle ground
between ravenous hunger and a post-Thanksgiving-style food coma.
- Focus on fiber. Unprocessed foods rich in fiber enhance your overall health
and satisfy you with fewer calories. Fill up on vegetables, fruits, and whole
grains. High protein foods have a similar effect, so include them in each meal
and snack instead of waiting for dinner.
- Drink water. It’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger. Have a glass before and
during meals and anytime a craving pops up. Once your stomach feels full, it will
be easier to resist temptation.
- Shop wisely. Speaking of temptation, keep junk food out of the house. Use a
shopping list when you buy groceries. Stick to the outer aisles where you’re less
likely to run into snack cakes and crackers
- Manage stress. Create a soothing environment, especially during mealtimes.
Talk about pleasant subjects or play soft music
- Work out. Physical activity helps you listen to your body and regulate hunger. It
also burns extra calories. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic
exercise each week. I remain fuller longer, when I use a pre workout before hitting the gym.
- Try again. Changing your eating habits takes practice. Be patient if you slip up.
You’ll recover faster if you stay calm and learn from the experience.
- Talk with your doctor. Your diet plays a major role in your physical and mental
health. If you have trouble managing your hunger or other concerns about your
eating habits, discuss them with your doctor or a registered dietician
- Paying attention . Your food and how much you’re eating can transform your
relationship with food and protect your health. Put the screens away during
mealtimes and pay attention to what’s on your plate. You’ll learn to listen to your
body and enjoy your food more.
How helpful are these tips to fight distraction eating? I have slowly been incorporating them into my own lifestyle. It’s slow, but I am moving faster than those not doing anything. As usual, this advise is not a one size fits all, always consult with your medical and mental health providers for support.
To Your Success,