Partaking in alcoholic drinks is an everyday social activity that countless individuals indulge in. It could be sipping on a cocktail at a get-together or enjoying a glass of wine with dinner. But, when we consume alcohol in excess, it can have serious repercussions such as addiction, liver damage, and impaired judgment. Nonetheless, a promising alternative called mindful drinking allows you to appreciate alcohol more consciously.
This article will explore drinking mindfully, why it is essential, and how you can begin to practice it in your life.
What is Mindful Drinking?
Mindful drinking entails being conscious of your drinking experience. It involves being present and aware of how you drink physically and emotionally. When practicing mindfulness with your alcohol consumption, you are fully present in the moment, relishing the taste and texture of the drink while paying attention to how it makes you feel.
This mindfulness practice helps you to connect with your body and emotions, ultimately leading to a positive and healthy relationship with alcohol.
Why is Mindful Drinking Important?
Practicing mindful drinking has several physical and emotional benefits. When you become more aware of your drinking habits, you will have more control over your alcohol consumption. This awareness makes it easier to avoid binge drinking and overconsumption, thus reducing the adverse effects of excessive drinking, such as hangovers, memory loss, and impaired judgment.
Benefits of Mindful Drinking
- Reduction of anxiety: Excessive alcohol consumption causes a hormone imbalance with can increase anxiety while being presented within stressful situations or every day life.
- Lower blood pressure: Alcohol can have a huge impact on your blood pressure. Reducing your consumption by two to three drinks per day could dramatically lower both systolic and diastolic levels. Limiting alcohol intake is an easy way to improve health, reduce stress, and keep your body running in top condition.
- Better Liver Function: Alcoholic hepatitis and liver disease continue to be a big issue in today's society, with more patients seeking medical attention for severe cases. By reducing your alcohol intake and cutting back on alcoholic beverages means less fat build-up and less damage to your liver.
- More brainpower: Cutting back can lead to mental energy, sharper cognitive performance, better concentration -all without the fog of excess alcohol consumption.
- Improved sleep: Sleep is an essential part of keeping our bodies healthy and well-rested. By cutting back on your alcohol consumption, studies show that it can drastically improve sleep quality leaving you more refreshes and energized the next morning.
- Weight Management: Cutting back on alcohol is an easy way to help you stay healthy and trim. Even if it is just one drink fewer than your average a day can make all the difference. Each glass has at least 125 calories.
- Healthier Skin: High alcohol intake can lead to early aging of the skin causes disruption of normal healthy blood vessels in your face. Instead, choose a moderate amount for a healthier-looking and more vibrant complexion for your future self. This includes less wrinkles; no redness or blotchiness and happy smile lines.
Mindful Drinking While Socializing
mindful drinking helps you to enjoy social drinking without relying on alcohol as a crutch. This realization allows you to engage with others while controlling your behavior and emotions; it promotes more meaningful and positive connections with people.
If you're looking to make a change in your lifestyle, now is the perfect time! Joining the 47% of Americans reported in 2021 who are setting an intention to drink less or establish healthier habits to gain a greater control over personal well-being.
It's easy to get caught up with indulging in social activities involving alcohol between happy hours at work and dates out for drinks can become routine. But being mindful about when you do partake allows you more freedom and fulfillment within yourself resulting in a more happier and prosperous life.
How to Practice Mindful Drinking
If you are trying to drink more mindfully, social situations can be tricky. But it is totally doable! Here are 14 wonderful ideas for cutting back on alcohol without compromising any of your fun. There is a multitude of ways to still have an amazing time socially while looking out for yourself too.
- Set an Intention and stick to it: Chances are that if you're trying to cut back on drinking alcohol, the worry of being asked why or invited for 'just one more' can be a major concern. But by setting yourself an enjoyable limit and having confidence in your decision, these conversations don't have to feel like such a challenge. Be mindful when socializing, thanking people sincerely when offered an extra drink, but stay strong in declining when something could take you away from achieving your goal and intention. Drink sustainably with intention and prioritize yourself so you can live each moment freely without feeling disappointed within yourself.
- Savor the moment and aim for small victories: As you take a sip of your drink, pay attention to the taste, texture, and aroma. Be mindful in the moment and how it effects you, makes your body feel, and how it changes your social environment. Are you really drinking because you want to or is it because everyone else is? Start with just one event and look for small victories. Every effort counts - even one less cocktail can make a big difference in your long-term planning to reach that goal. So keep going and don't give up; you may be surprised how much progress you can make little by little.
- Order drinks with half shots: Have confidence asking your bartender to create you a drink with half the amount of alcohol in it. This is a great technique to allow yourself to mindfully reduce your alcohol intake and sip on cocktails twice as long.
- Order or create mocktails: Ordering something that looks like a drink, but is a mocktail is a way to trick others with visual cues while having fun in the moment with your non alcoholic drinks.
- Drink water in between: Make hydration your secret superpower by Alternating between water and other alcoholic beverages. Consistently sipping on a big glass of H2O will help you feel refreshed, energized, and level-headed.
- Surround yourself with positive people who support you: Making lifestyle changes can be difficult, but having someone cheering you on makes it feel like you have a support system. Share your journey with those who care about you and will lend their support. Instead of a boozy brunch date, why not go for an invigorating walk or yoga session inviting your accountability partner or some one who supports you. If you are attending a party that is unavoidable make sure to surround yourself with friends that won't judge what's in your cup. Even if that means not being around the ones you usually are. Be confident in your choice and remember your why.
- Eat Mindfully: If you are used to holding something in your hand, turn to food to hold in your hand. Order yourself an appetizer, indulge in a dessert or graze on a healthy snack. Eating will allow you to break up your drinking habits and keep you from drinking on an empty stomach.
- Remember new does not last forever: Breaking your habits - whether it be to start a new exercise routine, embark on a healthier diet or reduce the amount of drinking you do brings in the energy of big change. This won't necessarily happen overnight though and often takes small tweaks over time that lead to maximum results. Aim for this 'new' routine and goal to become your 'normal'. Soon enough what was once novel will become second nature as part of an exciting journey towards improved health & wellbeing.
- Recognize you are not alone: Check out how people around you are engaging with their smartwatches and phones. Now, take a closer look because chances are they are tracking something in order to lead healthier lives - be it calories burned, steps taken or drinks consumed.
- Create a back up plan before going out: Sometimes, while out with friends things can get out of hand, where a few rounds of drinks lead to shots. If the evening plans change, create the back up plan of calling it a night and going home. No matter how tempting it is. Learn to get excited about the idea of doing something when you get home. Whether that be cuddling with your pet, watching your favorite Netflix show, taking a steamy shower, or even healthy masturbation. Sky is the limit! Turn yourself on with your next activity you are going to do once you get home by calling it a night early when plans change.
- Enjoy clarity: Embrace the clarity that comes with cutting back on your drinking. Instead of a foggy evening and fuzzy memories, enjoy feeling energized in the morning, headache-free. Cherish these moments when you can recall all those special yet simple little details from an enjoyable social gathering.
Mindful Drinking Apps
If you are some one who needs some assistant with getting started, there are various mindful drinking apps that you can download and utilize. No matter which mindful drinking app you choose to get started with, just make sure it feels like a good fit for you.
- Reframe: Total drinking make over with the use of neuroscience to reframe your relationship with alcohol to unlock a healthier you.
- Sunny Side: Great for 1:1 support and non judgmental coaches ready available at your fingertips.
- TryDry: A free mindful drinking app that allows you to not only track your drinking intake, but also over all wellbeing.
- Drinkcontrol: A great tool for tracking your money, alcohol consumptions and moderate your personal drinking goals.
- Less: If you enjoy games and visualization this is a great app that allows you to sail into a clear blue day with your new habits and goals tracking your progress.
Is mindful drinking the same as drinking in moderation?
Although mindful drinking can involve moderation, it is more about being present and aware of your drinking habits. It helps you to make more intentional choices about your alcohol consumption, which may lead to drinking less or drinking in moderation. However, it is not about limiting yourself to a specific number of drinks.
Can mindful drinking help with addiction?
Mindful drinking can be a valuable tool for people struggling with addiction as it promotes conscious awareness of drinking habits, leading to a positive and healthy relationship with alcohol. However, it is essential to seek professional help and support if you are battling addiction.
Can mindful drinking help with weight loss?
Mindful drinking may help with weight loss, as it can lead to a more controlled and conscious consumption of alcohol. However, alcohol is high in calories, and excessive consumption can lead to weight gain. Therefore, mindful drinking should be coupled with a healthy diet and exercise to achieve weight loss goals.
How can mindful drinking improve mental health?
Mindful drinking can improve mental health by encouraging conscious awareness of drinking habits and emotions. By being present and aware of how alcohol affects your body and mind, you can make more intentional choices about your consumption and avoid negative consequences such as hangovers, impaired judgment, and anxiety.
Is mindful drinking really considered a movement?
Yes. Mindful drinking is a movement across the globe world wide. In each state or location a designated mindful drinking festival will take place to celebrate those being mindful, and in the moment with their health and body.
In summary, mindful drinking is a practice that can help you to enjoy alcohol more positively and healthily. By being present and aware of your drinking habits, you can avoid the negative consequences of excessive consumption, such as addiction, liver damage, and impaired judgment. Mindful drinking can also help you to enjoy the social aspects of drinking without relying on alcohol as a crutch, leading to deeper and more meaningful connections with others.
Implementing the tips and strategies discussed in this article can help you get started with mindful drinking and make it a part of your lifestyle. Remember that mindful drinking is not about limiting yourself to a certain amount of drinks but rather about being present and intentional with your consumption.