Is alcohol affecting your life negatively so you want to learn how to stop drinking? Here are nine simple ways to help you sober up.
In this article:
- Reduce Rather Than Go Cold Turkey
- Have a Drinking Journal
- Say No to Drinking or to Events That Will Tempt You to Drink
- Substitute Drinking With a Healthier Habit
- Tell Your Immediate Social Circle
- Be Honest With Yourself and Celebrate Wins
- Appreciate the Benefits
- Relapsed? Forgive Yourself
- Remember Why You Want to Stay Sober
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol: 11 Simple Ways for a Better You
1. Reduce Rather Than Go Cold Turkey
Going cold turkey to stop alcoholic habits and tendencies can do more harm than good. Rather than cutting off the alcohol from your life immediately, take it one step at a time.
Here are simple tips on how you can stop drinking excessively.
- Designate days or periods of no alcohol intake.
- Minimize your alcoholic intake. For example, you can start two glasses per day then minimize it to one, then drink half a glass the following week.
- Spread alcoholic intake evenly. Don’t drink excessive amounts one day, then drink none the next.
2. Have a Drinking Journal
Putting things into writing can help you formalize it, which can help you build the self-discipline needed to see it through. Having records can also help you track your progress better and inspire you to persevere.
Here’s what you need to put in the journal:
- Note the date and time when you had a drink.
- Record the type of alcohol and how much of it you drank.
- Write down your emotional and mental state when you felt compelled to start drinking. This can be anything from stressed, bored, or sad.
From here, you can form a connection between your emotional or mental state and drinking. This can also prove valuable for a therapist if you’re seeing one.
3. Say No to Drinking or to Events That Will Tempt You to Drink
For most people, drinking is a given when they go out or attend an event. You can always say no, either to the drink or to the event that will tempt you to start drinking.
If you feel like you’re strong enough to be in a room filled with alcohol and refuse to drink, then it’s okay to go. If you think you’ll be easily tempted and can’t say no, reconsider going.
It’s not always easy to give up something if everyone around you is doing it. With time, you’ll be able to curb your desire to drink, and it’ll be easier to stay sober by choice.
4. Substitute Drinking with a Healthier Habit
Some people use alcohol as a way to destress or as “liquid courage” to help them socialize. Sometimes, people also try to fill in their spare time by drinking when they’re bored.
This makes it harder to give up drinking because it’s associated with positive emotions and memories.
If you want to quit drinking, you have to start disassociating these emotions from alcohol. You can replace it with other good habits, such as:
- Feeling stressed? Work out instead.
- Want to be more social and outgoing? Put down that beer and work on improving your skills in the art of conversation.
- Bored? Rather than head out for a drink, try pursuing a new hobby or going on a sober night out with friends.
5. Tell Your Immediate Social Circle
Peer pressure can be extremely powerful and influential. Use this to your advantage by telling the people you regularly interact with about your plans on becoming sober and why it’s important for you.
This includes your family, friends, and even your coworkers. Anyone who you often go out drinking with should know about your plans.
If somebody in your circle is also having issues with their alcohol consumption, you can be each other’s support system. You can be there for each other, which can help both of you stay on track.
6. Be Honest with Yourself and Celebrate Wins
It’s not easy to overcome a bad habit, and there are times when it can feel like you’re fighting it alone. Ultimately, it’s you who’s fighting, so you have to stay strong and believe in yourself.
Be in control of the situation by being honest to yourself. If you’re straying from the right path, acknowledge it instead of being in denial.
If you’re making progress, acknowledge it regardless of how small it may seem. Don’t forget to celebrate your small milestones because, combined, these add up to bigger victories.
To check your progress, go back to your drinking journal and see how far you’ve come since Day 1 of your sober up campaign. You can also check in with the people around you to get an outsider’s perspective of how well you’re doing.
7. Appreciate the Benefits
You may have decided to quit drinking for one reason, but reminding yourself of the other reasons sobering up can help you is a good way to motivate yourself. Here are some of the benefits of becoming sober:
- Alcohol is expensive, and not drinking it can save you a lot of money. You can use your savings into something more productive like a savings account or an investment portfolio.
- You can also say goodbye to hangovers if you stop drinking. Not to mention, you’ll always keep a clear, level head, and alcohol will never control your decision-making.
- You’ll have more time to spend on other things and the people you love. Rather than spend the day in bed because you got wasted the previous night, you can hang out with your loved ones or work on a passion project.
8. Relapsed? Forgive Yourself
All people make mistakes. It’s not easy to quit something you’ve been accustomed to, and there may be times when you’ll fail.
If you have relapsed, don’t despair and learn to forgive yourself. Talk to your friends, record the day in your drinking journal, and promise yourself you’ll do better.
Avoid getting sucked into the black hole of despair and negative thoughts that only do you more harm than good. Start again, and remind yourself that you’ve survived, and it made you a stronger person.
9. Remember Why You Want to Stay Sober
Don’t forget why you started this journey in the first place. Remind yourself what triggered you to say you want to stop drinking and the benefits that are waiting for you on the other side of this uphill battle.
Whether it’s for your family or your health, remembering your purpose for this journey can help motivate you, especially when you’re struggling. During the darkest and hardest times, remember your why to help you stay on track.
The reason why you started is as important as the techniques you adopt to stay sober. Don’t forget to center yourself with your goals and your strategies to remain sober.
These nine techniques on how to stop drinking can help you stay sober without sacrificing much or hurting yourself.
Remember, taking these small steps can help lead you to a better, sober you. All you have to do is find the courage to take that first step.
What are your other tips on how to stop drinking? Share them with us in the comments section below.