Whether you want to know how to stop drinking or you are trying to manage alcohol cravings after recovering from alcohol abuse, you will have to pay attention to so many things. You will have to recognize your triggers, learn to communicate effectively, stay away from high-risk situations, stick to a nutritious diet, and build a support network. It is equally important to exercise regularly. Let's find out what else you can do to prevent relapse.
How to Stop Drinking
Set Realistic Goals
It is important to set realistic, specific, and clear goals to be able to stop drinking. You could set a goal to stop drinking on weekdays. Then, you could say that you would drink no more than two drinks on weekends. You can then move on to have an alcohol-free week. What it means is that your goals should be specific and achievable too.
To do this, you need to know what you really want to achieve. Your goals will be different if you just want to cut back a little as compared to when you want to stop drinking altogether. Be sure to tell people around you about your goals and learn to avoid temptations and bad influences to make it easier to achieve your goals. So, know what you want and then set realistic goals to reach there.
Deal With Triggers and Cravings
The biggest problem you face while trying to quit drinking is that there will be triggers all around you. It is important to learn how to deal with cravings and triggers. You may have to work with a specialist here to learn specific skills required to deal with alcohol cravings, stressful situations, and social pressure to drink. You need to learn how to say no when there is social pressure to drink alcohol. To deal with alcohol cravings, talk to someone close to you or someone you trust. You should do it to distract yourself when alcohol cravings hit you. It is better to ride out the urge instead of fighting it.
Build a Support System
How to stop drinking? Build a support team! You need to understand the importance of support because your support system can increase your chances of staying away from alcohol for good. It is important whether you stick to self-help programs, opt for rehab, use a self-directed treatment plan, or get therapy. Ask close friends and family members to be around you and help you stay focused. Build a new social network with sober friends who would help you with your recovery. You can also think of moving into a sober living home and attend support groups and meetings.
Get a Sober Wallet
If you have the urge to drink, simply take that amount of money and put it in your "sober" wallet. You can check this wallet at the end of the month and see how much money you would otherwise be wasting on alcohol. You can also use that money to reward you in other ways, like you can spend some time at a day spa, get a massage, or buy yourself a piece of jewelry. This tangible benefit will serve as a great motivation and help you stay on track.
Enjoy the Psychological Benefits of Quitting
Living a sober life can help you, both mentally and physically. Be sure to enjoy those benefits and feel those psychological benefits to stay on the right track. Make yourself understand how amazing it is to go to sleep at a set time instead of crashing after drinking only to get up in the middle of the night with a severe headache. Feel those amazing changes in you and make yourself understand that you are really on a right path.
Check Your Progress
After you have done some hard work, it is important to check how far you have gone. You need to evaluate your performance every 30 days. Review those reasons why you decided to quit drinking in the first place. Take some time and identify all those benefits that your changed life has offered. If you notice that you have not been able to quit successfully, you may want to talk to your doctor or therapist to find other ways to stop drinking.
Maintain a Healthy Diet Plan
This is a must-try method when it comes to how to stop drinking. It is important to eat clean and drink plenty of water daily to prevent dehydration. This will improve your overall health and increase your chances of recovery. Not getting enough nutrients can lead to anxiety, depression, and low energy. Opt for foods that improve digestion and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Include lean protein in your diet to ensure that your brain keep producing optimal levels of neurotransmitters. It is a good idea to work with a nutritionist to learn what to eat and how much you can eat. Here are a few tips to bear in mind when making changes to your diet:
Do not make quick changes to your diet. It is better to gradually introduce new foods to your diet.
Do not stay hungry for a long time; instead, get meals and snacks after regular intervals.
Opt for low-fat foods and get lean protein to build muscles. Walnuts, peanut butter, and salmon are some good choices.
Include fresh fruits and veggies in your diet to get fiber, vitamins and minerals. Bananas are great because they help increase your intake of potassium that increases serotonin and dopamine levels naturally. These neurotransmitters improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Avoid processed sugar and opt for whole-grain bread to get complex carbs that help prevent sugar cravings for long.
Talk to your doctor and start taking mineral or vitamin supplements. Depending on your unique circumstances, these supplements may help with recovery.