A recent article on Inspiyr explained the negative side effects of overindulging on America’s favorite beverage: alcohol. But the extra-long list of consequences may not be enough to wean you off of alcohol, so we’ve compiled a list of helpful hints and tips to help you cut back on your drinking habit.
1. Drink for your health
This isn’t just about binge drinking; it’s about being conscious of your body and its limits. Generally, the maximum amount of alcohol men should consume in one day is two servings (for women it’s one). So, one serving is equal to one glass of wine (5 fl. oz.), a bottle or can of beer (12 fl. oz.), or a shot of hard liquor (1.5 fl. oz.). Men should stick to these recommendations in order to allow for healthy bodily functions, and it’s important – especially for young people – to realize that this is the maximum amount per day. Not drinking for two days does not mean that you can have three times the recommended amount on the day that you do decide to drink; these are not rollover points.
2. Don’t drink your feelings
It can be hard to avoid eye contact with that bottle of vodka when you’ve had a bad day, but the purpose of doing so is because drinking inhibits your ability to manage your own feelings and increases reliance on alcohol. Essentially, alcohol isn’t going to cure any diseases, but people often use it to alleviate feelings of sadness, despair, or anxiety. Interestingly, this might explain the large revenue growth in the alcohol industry during the recession. Alcohol is classified as a depressant, and it can cause anxiety, depression, or anger when individuals consume more than the recommended amount, so drinking alcohol to relieve negative feelings won’t make them go away; it will actually just make them worse. Regardless, it isn’t smart to turn to alcohol whenever you’re feeling down. Finding a healthy hobby that you enjoy might help you turn away from the temptation of booze whenever you’ve had a rough day.
3. Don’t spend the money
Very few things in life are free, and alcohol isn’t one of them. For every $100 that Americans spend on food and beverages, they spend one dollar on alcohol. On a similar note, the average college student spends $900 a year on it. Like everything else, alcohol can be a major expense, especially if you have a penchant for premium liquor, fine wine, or craft beer. Keeping track of how much you spend on alcohol each month can help you get a better grasp on the exact amount of spending that takes place, and it can help you cut back if you’re breaking the bank. Simply put, not spending money on alcohol is a good way to cut back.
4. Don’t make it a habit
Some habits are good. Others are only a detriment to your health, relationships, and wallet. Alcohol is one of those things that aren’t good to consume in excess. It’s okay to consume alcohol under controlled circumstances, but too much can have negative impacts on your well-being. One of the key steps to take in order to reduce consumption involves habits. For example, having a couple of beers each time you watch football or having a glass of wine (or two) each day after work – these habits are fine and may even be healthy; however, there is a possibility that healthy habits may lead to reckless consumption if not kept in check.
If you find yourself consuming exponential amounts of alcohol, then some reevaluating may be in order. A good step is to stop associating alcohol consumption with particular actions or events and to start relating it only with special or celebratory occasions. By doing so, the urge to drink can be avoided and the risk of becoming dependent on alcohol is less likely.
5. Don’t have “drinking” friends
That is, having a group of friends with whom your only activity or interaction involves alcohol. Consuming alcohol with friends who are heavy drinkers inevitably increases your own likelihood of overindulging. In addition, it can lead to dangerous situations – wait, so none of us is sober enough to drive home? – along with a slew of social ramifications like arguments and infidelity. Regardless, it is important to surround yourself with healthy, responsible people who won’t pressure you into situations that you don’t necessarily want to be in.
In the end, alcohol can provide entertainment and enjoyment for many people, but failing to drink responsibly can turn a festive situation into a regrettable one. So the next time you get the urge to have some alcohol, drink away…just don’t drink the whole bottle.