10 best ways to stop drinking alcohol

The decision to stop drinking alcohol can be life-saving for people who feel they are slipping into alcohol addiction. However, recovering from alcohol abuse, maintaining sobriety, and managing alcohol cravings is a difficult struggle. There are many ways to achieve sobriety. For a person wondering how they can stop drinking, here are the top 10 ways to stop drinking alcohol.

1. Make a plan

Make a plan to stop drinking alcohol by setting a date. Post the date in a place where you will see it often. If you’re a heavy drinker, you should first slow down to avoid potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms (in this case, involve your doctor in your plan to come up with a more appropriate dating schedule).

2. Identify triggers

The urge to drink alcohol is triggered by internal or external triggers. The key to quitting drinking and staying sober is identifying and avoiding your triggers. External triggers, such as places, people, and things that are associated with drinking behaviors and opportunities, can quickly lead to relapse. High-risk situations are more obvious, more predictable, and more avoidable than internal triggers.

Internal triggers are triggered by thoughts, negative emotions like frustrations, positive emotions like excitement, physical sensations like headaches, anxiety, and tension. Once you’ve identified your triggers, work on how to prevent them from driving you to drink.

3. Avoid high-risk situations

The best strategy for quitting drinking is to avoid high-risk situations. Avoid social settings where alcohol is served. Do not buy or store alcohol at home as this will easily tempt you. Friends and family can also help by refraining from drinking alcohol around people in recovery.

4. Build a strong support network

Make sure you surround yourself with positive people. This will help you build and improve your self-esteem and confidence. Without a positive support network, it is difficult to make changes that lead fully to sobriety. The support of an available social network is particularly important during the first few months of recovery.

5. Communicate effectively

Communicating effectively with family, friends, and co-workers can help you understand the different issues and challenges involved in your journey to recovery. Expressing yourself with them will help them to be much more understanding and helpful.

6. Incorporate a nutritious diet

A healthy diet and proper hydration are important to the healing process of an alcoholic. Proper nutrition, as well as hydration, helps restore physical and mental health, improving the chances of recovery.

Macro and micronutrient deficiencies can cause low energy levels, depression, and anxiety, which are triggers that can lead to relapse. Your diet should incorporate types of foods that improve digestion, promote a consistent level of blood sugar throughout the body, and improve brain chemistry. A healthy digestion process optimizes the absorption rate of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals that help reduce cravings for alcohol. An adequate intake of lean protein ensures that your brain produces optimal amounts of neurotransmitters that are associated with feelings of well-being.

Comprehensive nutrition education program and individualized nutrition counseling have been found to improve the success rate of 3-month sobriety in people with substance abuse problems. If you want to stop drinking alcohol on your own, here are some nutrition tips you can follow.

  • Don’t make major diet changes right away. Gradual changes in diet will lead to better body compliance.
  • Eat foods that are low in fat and include adequate levels of lean protein.
  • Eat regular meals throughout the day.
  • Water is the most important nutrient required for every function of the body. Adequate water intake helps reduce cravings for alcohol.
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements, such as vitamins A and B, zinc, and B complex, are helpful during and after the recovery phase.

7. Exercise

One way to replace destructive behaviors is to engage in physical activity. Exercise stimulates the same neurotransmitters and circuits in the brain that most addictive substances do. Start your exercise routine slowly and focus on strength training and cardio.

8. Participate in healthy activities

Alcoholics have been known to give up activities they once enjoyed. Part of the recovery process is rediscovering old hobbies and developing new interests. This will help relieve the boredom that can trigger a relapse and help you look for much healthier and more satisfying alternatives.

9. Evaluate your progress

Assess your sobriety progress by setting an assessment date. A 30-day plan is more effective at making your new behavior a habit. Evaluate and revise your reasons for quitting alcohol. Write down the benefits and, if you relapse, start over. An evaluation plan will help you see how far you have come and motivate you to do better.

10. Treat yourself

Once you have assessed your progress and have reached a set length of sobriety, treat yourself. Money that was used for alcohol can now be used to visit a spa, get a massage, join a yoga class, buy new clothes or furniture, or even buy gifts for family and friends. Staying sober is about seeing its tangible benefits.

Keep in mind that there is no universal best way to stop drinking alcohol. You may need to try different combinations and find out which one works best for you.

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