Cutting Down on your Alcohol Levels
Welcome to 2017.
Is this year feeling any different to 2016?
Will this be the year where you change some habits?
Do you have your alcohol consumption under as much control as you would like?
Perhaps you have decided to increase the number of non alcohol days, or participate in Dry January this year by spending the whole month without any alcohol. I wonder if the thought crossed your mind that you might be saying yes to too many drinks during this party season of bank holidays and parties and decided you have to change your habits.
Saying no to drinks
Do you find it easy to say no to drinks? Do you find it easy to enjoy nights out if you are the designated driver and therefore not drinking. Are you able to stick to any limits that you set yourself and only have one or two alcoholic drinks? Do you find yourself having a glass of wine as a way to switch off between work and home, or as a reward when the kids have settled in bed? Have you ever found yourself planning to cut alcohol levels, or have a ‘night off’ but then find it difficult to maintain.
When is alcohol a problem?
One good rule of thumb is when you think its a problem… In my time, as an alcohol and addictions hypnotherapist and counsellor, I worked with one person who drank 2 pints every Sunday afternoon, up to people who drank more than a bottle of vodka every day.
Aside from the related physical issues, every client had one thing in common.
They wanted to change their relationship with alcohol.
For the 78 year old man who drank 2 pints on a Sunday – he was having quarrels with his wife as he would insist on continuing his 50 year pattern of going straight to the pub to see his friends after Sunday lunch -this affected his marriage as his wife believed he must be addicted if he kept going. For the clients who drink a bottle of vodka a day, there is likely to be a physical dependency which needs to be managed with a medical team as well as with counselling / therapy – but there is still a psychological dependency that need to be addressed through therapy. Perhaps anxiety in social situations, stress at work, loneliness and isolation, learnt behaviour from family, pain management, routine and habit….. The good news is that habits can be changed with the support of therapy!
Cutting down on your alcohol levels
If you are concerned about your drinking – try these practical tips :
- Keep a drink diary – what time, and how much are you drinking? Get to understand how many units are in a drink. What emotions are you feeling as you reach for the bottle?
- Look at the percentage on the label? Swap to a lower volume, use a smaller glass, increase the amount of soda with each glass, have a glass of water with every drink. These tips will automatically reduce the number of units you are consuming.
- Deal with your anxiety, stress or depression, or issues that are happening in your life.
- Tell your friends that you are cutting your alcohol levels for ‘a while’ and suggest socialising in different places – go to the cinema or go bowling, or to places where you don’t want to drink as much.
- Speak to your GP – they will listen to you and advise you in confidence.
I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Counsellor, Advanced BWRT Practitioner and coach. I have been working with clients in Essex for 15 years. Get in touch for a free consultation on how therapy can help you manage your relationship with alcohol.