Over drinking can be harmful. It is the first step towards alcohol addiction, and other mental, psychological and physical problems that come along with it. Cutting down your drinking is therefore, a proactive move that prevents you from being confronted with far worse issues in the future.
Why Cut Down?
Little changes go a long way in making a big difference. Cutting down your drinking has a cumulatively positive effect on your health, and on the nature of your relationship with family and friends. It also helps you to avoid the risk of forming a pattern of dependence upon the substance. As a number of alcoholic drinks are high in calories, cutting down can help you stay in shape. You get to sleep soundly, reduce stress and avoid the strain of a hangover.
The low risk unit guideline of alcohol consumption is 14 units per week. It is however, very easy to go beyond this level without realizing it. If your drinking goes beyond the average weekly level that is regarded as low risk, you should probably consider cutting down.
Cutting Down Your Drinking
Moderation is key. Going over board with anything at all, including drinking, has consequences attached. Here are five tips to consider:
- Set Goals And Keep Track
Making a plan that outlines how you cut down on your drinking, and sticking by it helps you discipline yourself. You can start by deciding on drinking a certain quantity that is less than you would normally drink, actually deciding to spend less on alcohol as well, and monitoring how well you are sticking to your guidelines periodically. You may decide to make entries into a journal or digital notepad to record your progress. You can also keep tabs by measuring the exact amount of alcohol that is consumed, to avoid going above limit.
- Inform Family And Friends
Cutting down your alcohol intake means that you will need all the support that you can get from friends and family. Informing them also serves as a check point for you- when you falter.
- Distract Yourself
It helps to distract yourself by engaging in other activities and exploring other interests that are meant to take your mind off drinking. You could decide to engage in exercising or take up a forgotten hobby. The bottom line is to carry out activities at times when you usually drink. This helps to form a healthier pattern to replace the old, and helps you to be generally happy. By so doing, you are channelling your energies into something more productive that can help you drown any urge to drink when triggers surface.
- Plan To Handle Urges
You will, at some point, be confronted with triggers that you cannot avoid. The best way to handle these, is to anticipate before hand that the urges will come. You need to always remind yourself of the need to cut down, why you decided to do it in the first place, and that you do not want to let down family and friends, whose support you have.
- Take Days Off And Stick By Them
You should decide on certain days in the week, that are alcohol free, and you should stick to them. This helps your body recover gradually and helps you to understand what triggers your drinking pattern.