Posted on March 13, 2017 in Alcoholism
5 of the Top Strategies for Getting Sober
What is the best way to quit drinking? That is a question binge drinkers and others concerned about their alcohol consumption frequently ask themselves, and perhaps it’s something you’ve wondered about as well.
In truth, there is no single best way to quit drinking. What you need is a multifaceted plan that will help you tame the beast of alcohol dependency before it launches a full-out attack on your health and happiness.
Should your attempts to stop drinking on your own fail, an addiction treatment program may ultimately be necessary. But, if you can eliminate your drinking habit before it crosses over into true alcoholism, it could save you — and the people who love you — a lot of heartache and misery.
If you’re serious about finding permanent sobriety, here are five strategies that will help you do it.
#1 Identify the circumstances that provoke heavy drinking and adjust your behavior accordingly. If you want to change your alcohol habit, it is very important to pinpoint the triggers that stimulate your desire to drink. Those triggers may involve people, places, feelings, memories or some combination of all of these.
To break your destructive patterns you should avoid the situations that trigger irresponsible drinking as much as possible. When they’re unavoidable, you should work to develop alternative coping strategies, or at least be aware of the temptations so they won’t be able to exert control over your life.
#2 Bypass social activities that won’t sustain sobriety. Up to now, alcohol has undoubtedly played a prominent role in your social life. That has to change.
Change doesn’t necessarily mean ditching old friends, ducking out on anticipated events or deferring opportunities for fun. However, you should only expose yourself to social situations where going alcohol-free is a legitimate option and your decision not to drink will be supported. If it’s neither, you’ll have no choice but to stay away and hope that others will understand.
#3 Establish a quality support network. No one should try to recover from an alcohol problem on their own. Even if your problem is in its early stages, the support of spouses, family and friends can strengthen your resolve and remind you of what’s at stake.
If you’re reluctant to be honest about your drinking problem because you fear your loved ones may judge you, please know your fears are unfounded and they will be more than happy to help. In fact they’ll be thrilled that you’re finally ready to admit you have a problem.
#4 Adopt health-promoting diet and exercise habits. Here’s an interesting and important fact: alcohol cravings are stimulated and intensified by unhealthy lifestyle practices and, conversely, they are suppressed by the opposite.
Cleaning up your nutritional habits and adopting a regular exercise routine will make you healthier, happier and more resistant to stress — and this also will reduce your physical and emotional desires for alcohol, since you’ll no longer need it to feel better.
#5 If you fall off the wagon, hop right back on. If you drink again don’t beat yourself up — and whatever you do, don’t give up on your sobriety.
With substance abuse, relapse is common and not a sign of weakness, nor does it mean you lack the willpower or moral fiber to stop drinking for good. The smart thing to do is accept your mistake, recommit yourself to your sobriety, and try to avoid the circumstances that triggered your relapse in the future.
Drinkaware: How to Stop Drinking Alcohol Completely
Lifescript: 5 Tips to Stop Drinking
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