Alcohol is one of the most addictive, accessible substances known to man, with more than 17 million Americans suffering from chronic alcohol consumption or dependence. In small quantities and social occasions, sharing some beers with friends or a glass of wine at dinner can be perfectly safe and enjoyable, but it’s easy for those small quantities to start growing as time goes by, and a lot of people eventually start to feel like they’re consuming too much alcohol.
If you’re in that same situation, feeling concerned about your alcohol intake and wanting to reduce it, the first thing to know is that you’re not alone and it’s certainly not a bad decision to make. Not only is alcohol highly addictive and dangerous to one’s health over the long-term, but it can also lead to disastrous consequences, with many alcohol-related deaths and accidents occurring each and every year.
Trying to give up such an addictive substance can feel like an impossible challenge, which is why most people usually prefer to simply start off by gradually reducing their intake. However, even this can be quite difficult in some situations, so here are some useful tips you can keep in mind when wanting to drink less alcohol and improve your health and lifestyle overall.
One of the most useful tips that many people say helps them a lot in terms of cutting down alcohol consumption is to set themselves targets. Your specific targets should be unique to you, depending on your needs and situation. You might aim to reduce the overall total amounts you drink per week or month, for instance, or you might set a target of visiting a bar with friends and only drinking sodas or waters throughout the night.
Making records of the drinks you consume can also be a great way to track your progress as you try to cut down, as well as helping to make yourself aware of just how much you actually do drink per day/week/month. Many people aren’t fully aware of their drinking habits and tend to underestimate their drinking; it’s only when they start recording every bottle of beer and glass of wine that they start to realize that they may have a problem.
If you do choose to have a drink now and then, a good way to reduce your overall intake is to drink it slowly. Take little sips, rather than big gulps. If you’re someone who appreciates and enjoys alcoholic drinks like whiskey or wine, try to actually savor and enjoy their flavors, rather than rushing through one glass after another.
These days, there are plenty of alcohol-free versions of popular alcoholic beverages like beer and wine. These safe, alternative drinks can be a great option for those who want to gradually wean themselves away from alcoholic beverages. Many people find that they can be perfectly happy drinking a 0% alcohol beer with their buddies instead of a regular one, so give them a try and see if they work for you.
Keep Yourself Busy
One problem that many people face when trying to cut down on alcohol consumption is that they think about it too much. Thinking about the drinks you’re not having can slowly push you back towards them, so try to keep yourself busy with hobbies, interests, and activities. You might find that, without drinking in your life, you actually have a lot more free time to devote to the things you love like exercising or reading.
Ask For Help
A big step towards dealing with any kind of drink problem or simply cutting down a little is talking to people who care about you and letting them know about your plans and feelings. If your friends know that you’re trying to cut down, for example, those who really love you will be supportive and could get into the habit of offering you a glass of water or juice when you visit their homes or not visiting bars as often. Some might even decide to try cutting down with you, helping the process feel even easier.
Cutting down on your alcohol consumption is never a bad idea. Even in small quantities, alcohol can be a problem, harming your liver and raising your risks of various illnesses and health problems later in life. Making the decision to drink less can therefore help your physical and mental health in some big ways, and these useful tips will guide you through the process.