What’s your relationship with Alcohol? Happily, married? All or nothing, casually dating? Take it or leave it? Controlling or emotionally dependent… Katie Lowndes gives you an insight into building a healthy relationship with alcohol.
Everyone’s relationship with alcohol is different and in some ways this relationship started very early on in your life when unconsciously adopting and /or absorbing behaviours and beliefs from others.
I have heard a great deal of stories from friends and clients over the last year where the amount of alcohol everyone consumed started to increase. Maybe due to boredom, stress, a way of ‘taking their mind off things’. Some declaring they would easily consume a bottle of wine a night. So, if that is you, you are not alone.Katie Lowndes
I’m sure some of you resonate with having a hard day and immediately thinking ‘I could murder a glass of wine’. Something to consider is this; What if you have a week where the workdays are stressful attended work events and then celebrations with friends on the weekend? Before you know it, you could be drinking every day. That is simply not good for the mind or the body. The advice given by government guidelines is no more than 6 x 175ml glasses of wine a week, 6 pints of beer or the equivalent in spirits which is 14 x 25ml measures.
Have you ever tried to cut back on your alcohol intake? Maybe you have but got caught out with social peer pressure.
‘Come on, have a drink’
‘Don’t be boring’
‘Come on, we haven’t seen you for ages, have a drink with me, I don’t want to drink alone’
You gave in, and the next day you felt worse for giving in and felt guilty and of course the natural after alcohol effects of anxiety kicks in which makes it worse. Maybe you wake up thinking ‘I wasn’t supposed to do that, what did I say? I feel terrible.’
So, what can you do to start changing your relationship?
- Decide what relationship you would like to have with alcohol.
- Set boundaries.
- Recognise triggers and prepare in advance for them so that you recognise them coming and can move past them. E.g tonight you have dinner with friends and you don’t want to exceed three drinks but worry you’ll get excited so you drink large water between each drink. Also, reward yourself too if you succeed! This could be an item of clothing or you put the money in your savings account that you would have spent on alcohol and watch it increase.
- Remove temptations.
- Track your intake.
- Write down what happens when you drink and how it makes you feel the next day. It’s good to track how it is affecting you.
- When you reach for a drink ask yourself why? If it is to de-stress, switch off, numb the pain etc. Ask yourself what is causing these problems because alcohol will only mask the problem. You need to start looking at the cause and a solution. You can always chat to a coach, hypnotherapist or someone else to help you change your beliefs around drinking which is hugely helpful. I work with NLP when doing this to help rewire your beliefs. Of course, if you are drinking excessively and it is affecting your health and relationships it is time to chat to your GP to make a plan or contact