Self-Help Strategies for Quitting Drinking

Whether you have made the decision to quit drinking for health reasons or because you are concerned about the amount you drink, it is important to understand that it will present a variety of changes in your life. For example, if you typically stop in for happy hour with co-workers and you decide to quit drinking, you will either need to avoid this ritual or learn to control the temptation to drink during these outings. If you have an addiction to alcohol, it is essential that you understand the effects of alcohol withdrawal and seek support during this part of giving up alcohol. Whether you choose to seek help from a treatment center or other outside type of assistance for quitting alcohol, or you are attempting to quit drinking at home, the following self-help strategies will help you achieve a successful outcome.

Learn to Say No

One of the most difficult parts of the process in quitting drinking is learning to say no. At times, you will be offered a drink, especially when you are out with others who are drinking. It is important to learn how to say no and mean it. Don’t hesitate to answer when asked, because hesitation will often lead to giving in. You may find that it is more difficult than you anticipated to say no, so it may help to practice your responses to help you get more comfortable when responding. Here are some strategies to help in situations when you have to turn down a drink:

Avoid Triggers

A trigger is something that encourages you to follow through with a habit you are trying to break. Take the time to identify your triggers, in other words, learn the activities, situations, moods or the other things that increase your urge to drink. For example:

Once you identify your triggers, it is essential that you avoid them.

Taking Action

You probably drank for a variety of reasons, and you usually have many reasons for choosing to stop drinking. It is much easier to think about what you want to do than it is to actually follow through. Taking action now will make it easier to follow through with your goals to quit drinking. Regardless of how long you have been drinking, quitting will be a massive effort on your part to rebuild and restructure your life without alcohol. To be successful, you may have to make difficult decisions and take actions that require a lot of effort. You will have to relearn many behaviors, such as how to:

Get Physically Healthy

The time you spent drinking was also time spent abusing your body. Giving up alcohol is a big step toward living healthy and cleansing your body of harmful toxins, but it is also important to take other steps toward improving your physical health. Some of the things you can do to improve your health include:

Build Your Self-Esteem

Making the decision to quit drinking can have a serious impact on your emotions. It is common to feel anxious, scared and depressed when you quit drinking, but it is also common to find blame within yourself for drinking. For example, some people may feel self-pity and self-blame for areas in their life, which may encourage your drinking. One of the most important things you can do for both your mental and your physical health is to rebuild your self-esteem. Some things that may help improve your self-esteem include:

Overcoming an alcohol addiction can be a long and difficult journey. At times, it may even feel like an impossible task. But, if you are ready to quit drinking and willing to take the steps necessary to reach your goal of being alcohol free, you can recover from the alcohol abuse. Regardless of how bad your addiction is, or how defenseless you feel, you can do this. Keep in mind that some people can stop drinking on their own, but others need outside help and medical supervision to safely and comfortable withdraw from alcohol. It is critical for your success to evaluate your situation and determine if you would benefit from outside help. It is also important to know that seeking help for an addiction does not make you weak; it actually makes you stronger, because you realize that your health, your life and your success will benefit from the help of others. Regardless of how you choose to quit drinking, utilizing these self-help strategies will help you through this difficult time.

Sources

http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/alcohol-withdrawal

http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body

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