If you’re looking to drink less or eliminate alcohol from your life entirely, there are many healthy activities that can help prevent the temptation to drink while improving your overall health.
Finding healthy lifestyle activities that support sobriety may seem like a challenge for those who are accustom to alcohol being a component of a good time. However, with thought and exploration, it’s easier than you think to find activities that are fun, positive, and promote health and wellness. The following are a few examples of healthy lifestyle activities that help to avoid the influence of alcohol.
Of all the healthy activities that can help someone avoid drinking, exercise may have the most profound benefits. Perhaps the most significant benefit of exercise is that it relieves stress and anxiety, which are huge triggers for alcohol use. Regular exercise also increases the levels of dopamine and other “feel good” chemicals in the brain. Additionally, exercise improves sleep, helps increase focus and clarity, which both help maintain a balanced mental state. In addition to the cognitive and stress-reducing benefits, it also helps improve physical appearance, which can help boost confidence and self-esteem, both of which are factors in alcohol abuse.
Mindfulness exercises are a great way to improve focus, improve levels of happiness while reducing stress levels.
Mindfulness practice centers on exercises and activities that help you stay grounded in the present moment. Activities such as yoga, mindful breathing, and meditation help ease emotions, decrease anxiety, and depression. All of which benefit those who are looking to reduce drinking due to emotional distress,
The best part is these practices don’t need to take up significant parts of the day. In as little as 15 minutes, mindfulness practices can produce enormous benefits that help someone avoid the desire to drink. There are many mindfulness-based groups that allow you to add a social component and a great way to meet like-minded, health-conscious friends.
Journaling daily is an activity that can help you stay grounded and focused. The simple art of writing feelings and emotions is cathartic and therapeutic. With daily journaling, people can see where they are progressing and where they may be stuck.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of daily journaling comes from a focus on gratitude. Gratitude is the appreciation of all the positive things that happen in one’s life—no matter how small or trivial. Reframing thought and belief patterns to see the positives in your life can offer a massive boost to levels of happiness. We often dwell on negatives such as past failures or regrets. By shifting the focus to our small wins each day can help avoid the urge to burry problems with alcohol. Practicing gratitude through daily journaling provides a tool to cope with life’s challenges without engaging in unhealthy habits such as drinking.
Giving of One’s Time
For those who are in a position to help others, they say that giving of one’s time to others helps strengthen your own levels satisfaction in life. The simple act of helping others releases the same brain chemicals seen with those who regularly exercise. There are several great ways to help others, including volunteering at a school or drop-in shelter, mentoring, or even being a sponsor for someone who you are in a position to help. Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and improve levels of happiness; both can help avoid the influences of alcohol.
One of the biggest enemies avoiding alcohol use is isolation. If someone who is in retreats from others for extended periods, the thoughts of drinking can become more prevalent. Loneliness and a lack of accountability can lead to drinking for some people. Avoiding isolation can be through socializing in a healthy environment such as a sporting club or other health-conscious groups. Taking up a new sport or hobby can be a great way to occupy time and avoid boredom, which in turn can help prevent the influence of alcohol.
Additionally, people who need to quit drinking often need to strengthen their support systems. These systems include friends, family, and others who are supportive of sobriety. Having feelings of love and meaningful support helps to avoid drinking as a means of comforting oneself.
You Have the Power to Change
If you’re looking to quit or reduce how much you drink, there are many ways to replace alcohol with healthy activities and behaviors. Replacing alcohol use with some of the activities mentioned above can provide a massive boost to both mental and physical wellness. This basic lifestyle adjustment can result in increased levels of happiness and quality of life.