Even though drinking is one of the most accepted social activities in America, alcohol remains one of the world’s most addictive substances. In 2019, 14.5 million Americans over the age of 12 had an alcohol use disorder. Grappling with alcohol addiction challenges can make you feel like you’ll never be able to permanently stop drinking. Your brain, which has become accustomed to alcohol as a primary source of pleasure, tricks you into thinking that you need to drink in order to feel and function well. That’s not true. You don’t need alcohol to overcome pain, deal with stress, and feel good. In fact, you don’t need alcohol at all. Alcoholism is a treatable condition and long-term sobriety is possible. With the help of recovery centers like Soba, you can even stop drinking permanently.
Practical Ways to Give Up Alcohol For Good
Addiction damages areas of the brain that help regulate your choices. Luckily, the brain is plastic, meaning it is capable of changing and developing new habits. Here are a few practical tips that can help you give up alcohol forever.
1. Understand Your Relationship with Alcohol
Knowing why you drink is an essential part of treating alcohol addiction. Oftentimes, stress, relationship problems, trauma, insomnia, anxiety, boredom, and mental health issues are some of the most common reasons individuals drink. Luckily, enrolling in a rehabilitation program and undergoing behavioral therapy can help you understand your relationship with alcohol, avoid triggers, and find healthier ways to address those issues.
2. Make Your Intentions Known
Tell family members, friends, and even coworkers that you’re giving up alcohol permanently and explain why. If they understand why you’ve decided to stop drinking, they can help support your sobriety and hold you accountable. Reminding yourself and people close to you of the reasons why you want to quit alcohol can help you stay sober.
3. Avoid Temptations
If you’re serious about giving up alcohol, you’re going to need to avoid situations where you may be tempted to drink, especially during the earlier stages of your recovery. You may need to avoid pubs and go to restaurants that don’t sell alcohol. You should also identify times of the day when you would usually drink and fill that part of the day with a healthier activity instead.
4. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditating and practicing mindfulness can help rewire the parts of the brain negatively impacted by addiction. Meditation can increase the neural density and functionality of the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s happiness center, retraining the brain to experience pleasure without alcohol. Meditation and mindfulness can also make you less vulnerable to stress and help you “urge surf,” or better resist waves of alcohol cravings.
5. Reward Your Progress
Rewarding yourself for not drinking can help you stay motivated and maintain positive change. Begin by rewarding yourself for alcohol-free weeks. You can take a road trip or treat yourself to some new clothes and gadgets with the money you’re saving on alcohol. As you become more comfortable with your sobriety, you can reward yourself for an alcohol-free month and so on.
Helping You Change Your Life for The Better
At Soba Recovery, we care about your recovery. Our multiphase addiction treatment program combines evidence-based therapies with additional wellness treatments like yoga, meditation, chiropractic care, nutrition, and acupuncture. Alcohol doesn’t have to dictate your life. You can stop drinking permanently and we can help you get there. Contact us today if you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol.