Monday, September 26

The Benefits of Mindful drinking and How to Start

Mindful drinking is more than a fad; it’s a lifestyle. If followed properly, you can completely transform your relationship with alcohol and yourself. That’s because mindful drinking is about knowing yourself better, in the context of your alcohol use, of course (but more than that too).

And the benefits of mindful drinking are far more than just a healthier relationship with alcohol. Curious? Read along to find out more.

In this article, courtesy of Sunnyside, we’ll discuss mindful drinking, its benefits, and how to get started on your journey to a healthier relationship with alcohol.

What is Mindful Drinking?

Mindful drinking is an attitude. When you drink mindfully, you ask yourself, without judgment, why you drink. Before consuming alcohol at a gathering, ask yourself, “Do I want this drink?” or “Will it lead to unfavorable outcomes?”

When you drink mindfully, you become more aware of how alcohol affects your body and mind, resulting in a more present-focused relationship with alcohol for many people. By doing this, you will be able to drink less and stay within the HSE’s weekly low-risk guidelines.

What Are the Benefits of Mindful Drinking?

Where do we even start with the benefits? There are so many perks to drinking mindfully that it would take us a while to get through them. Here are some of the benefits to your life you can expect from mindful drinking:

Get rid of hangovers

Are we right to argue that no one enjoys a hangover? We thought so, too. If waking up energized and refreshed meant not drinking, we were all on board!

Sleeping Like a Baby

It is a well-known fact that alcohol interferes with your sleep cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. If you usually struggle to get up for work or spend the day caring for children after a bad night’s sleep, why not try drinking less during the week and see if that helps? This way, you can still enjoy an occasional drink but not excessively.

Goodbye Anxiety

Some people have achieved a decrease of 30% in drinking over 30 days, thanks to programs like Sunnyside’s, leading to improved sleep and reduced anxiety. When under stress, excessive alcohol consumption can cause hormonal imbalances that increase anxiety. 

A healthier lifestyle? Yes, please!

Not only may you feel healthier, but you may also be healthier. If you have had a lot to drink, you might crave junk food that night or the next day, and a McDonald’s is fine now and then, but not every night! Now is the ideal time to attempt new activities and develop new routines you enjoy. In addition to trying new alcohol-free alternative drinks, you might also try new cuisine, such as healthier snacks or experiments in the kitchen.

Furthermore, blood pressure rises with heavy alcohol use, defined as more than three or four drinks per day. It may be helpful to cut back by two to three drinks per day to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Having a clearer mind

In addition to preventing hangovers, you should also stay mentally healthy. Drinking alcohol causes anxiety to some people for many reasons. Your actions or words the night before may be a cause for concern. We recommend skipping the alcohol for a bit and having a memorable day (or night) instead!

How Can I Start Drinking Mindfully?

Your reasons for changing your drinking habits seed the life you imagine.

Changing our drinking habits isn’t just about changing our habits. It’s about feeling better about ourselves as well. As diverse as we are, there are many reasons for wanting to change, but changing our drinking is rarely purely about drinking. What life would you like for yourself?

You can decide what role alcohol will play in the life you imagine for yourself. It is possible to be a mindful drinker while also avoiding alcohol. You can achieve this by swapping your regular drinks for alcohol-free versions, cutting back on drinking, or having alcohol-free days. The more people learn about themselves, the closer they are to becoming mindful drinkers. You’ll figure out what works best for you.

We won’t dictate how you should drink. After all, it’s your life!

To change your drinking habits, you need to pay attention to the factors that affect your drinking in the first place. You can live the life you imagine by putting alcohol in its proper place.

Practicing mindful drinking is as simple (and as complicated!) as living with intention and paying attention.

Plan your drinking or an alternative strategy ahead of time: Plan as much as possible regarding alcohol. Be sure to plan what you will drink and how much you will consume before going to a party. You may want to consider nonalcoholic drinks if you switch to them during social engagements.

Develop a list of alternate activities to do instead of your usual happy hour if you’ve decided to avoid temptation.

Regulations can backfire if you cling too tightly to them: If you want to set strict limits, you should make a plan beforehand. Then, decide if you want to stick to it. Limits lead to the brain rebelling and craving more when they are too strict. You have more power when you are flexible.

Put in your order first: You can avoid the temptation to order alcohol if you order your nonalcoholic beverage first. In social groups, people often say, “I’ll have what they’re having.”

You might be surprised. Others might even follow your lead and drink nonalcoholic beverages. 

Describe the steps you will take for others: Your decision to order sparkling water may have made you feel great. It may feel easier to accept an alcoholic beverage when someone offers it to you to avoid embarrassment.

How do we solve this problem? Practice declining respectfully. Not because you are obligated to explain, but because you will feel more powerful.

Have a good time drinking: Engaging in mindful drinking can be a joyous and pleasurable experience. Mindfulness is about savoring the moment.

Enjoy the flavors of your drink and the fine glassware with which it is served, as well as the ambiance of the bar or restaurant.

Drinking should be enjoyable, according to experts. You shouldn’t drink if it doesn’t suit you.

Final Thoughts

You must consider why you are doing this, as following these tips sometimes won’t be enough. The benefits of mindful drinking are numerous to your body and mind. But all of that would be meaningless if your heart, and mind, are not in the right place. That’s the whole point of mindful drinking. 

Once you’ve gained a healthy understanding of your relationship with alcohol, you’ll be able to mold it as you see it.

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