Alcohol is responsible for almost ninety thousand deaths in America every year. Around fifteen million adults are thought to have alcohol-related problems.
Alcoholism is seen as a preventable disease. It’s also one that can be treated. Part of the road to recovery is recognizing what the benefits of quitting alcohol will be. These offer glimmers of hope in often desperate times.
However, you don’t need to have a serious drinking problem to reap the rewards of an alcohol-free life. Here’s how kicking an alcohol habit could change the way you live for the better.
The Mental Health Benefits of Quitting Alcohol
Alcohol inhibits our ability to make decisions. This can often lead to undesirable and regrettable behavior. The net result of that can be shame and guilt. You might find yourself analyzing events that happened the night before, for example.
That means your emotions could be full of embarrassment and regret. In the long-term, this can seriously affect a person’s mental health. It can also create a vicious circle, and increase the likelihood of reaching for the comfort of a bottle.
Over time, this can take its toll on a person’s mental health. Take alcohol out of the equation and you’ll reduce the likelihood of these kinds of emotional extremes.
A person may already have an underlying mental health issue such as anxiety. This will be much easier to treat without alcohol being involved. Because alcohol is a depressant, it can also make depressive illnesses even worse.
The best way to sort out these kinds of issues along with the alcohol problem itself can be through attending a residential rehab center. You can learn more about these here and find out about the one nearest to where you live.
Recovery programs can assist people in adopting healthier ways of thinking and behaving. That can also help to prevent alcohol relapses.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack
Excessive regular drinking can increase the risk of heart disease. Drinking leads to more fat in the bloodstream. It can raise the number of triglycerides and this can result in higher cholesterol levels.
One of the key benefits of quitting alcohol is a healthier heart. That could lead to a longer life.
Alcohol is also high in calories. The body processes and stores alcohol as sugar. That will then convert into fat. There can, therefore, be a definite link between excessive alcohol consumption and obesity.
The more a person drinks, the more likely they are to gain extra weight. Some drinks also have higher sugar content. Giving up alcohol can lead to weight loss when combined with taking plenty of physical exercise and a better diet.
Look Younger When You Quit Drinking
Alcohol can make you look older. Too much alcohol can dehydrate the body. This can cause the skin to dry out and to become less elastic.
Drinking too much can also lead to body tissue inflammation. This is why we see some people go red in the face when they drink.
In most people alcohol can lower collagen levels. Collagen is a protein which connects skin cells and firms up the tissue. If it breaks down, the skin can get loose and saggy.
Have a Better Sleep
Alcohol is a key cause of disrupted sleep patterns and snoring. It can alter the production of melatonin which plays a key part in our body’s circadian rhythm.
Alcohol may certainly get you off to sleep. That could be at a completely inappropriate time if you’re drinking excessively. Drinking too much can also cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
Giving up alcohol will help you to sleep better. It will also increase your energy levels during the day. You will find that a gym work-out feels far less tiring if you haven’t been drinking a lot the night before.
Reap the Financial Benefits
Add up how much buying one bottle of wine a day costs over a whole year. It’s then easy to see how your budget is taking a big hit from drinking too much. That hard-earned cash could be better spent in healthier ways.
Drinking too much can also cause us to make risky decisions. That could be something like driving whilst under the influence. This can lead to fines and increased insurance premiums both of which can be very costly.
It may feel that alcohol can help you to connect better with people. In small doses, it certainly can loosen you up in a social situation.
Problems arise when alcohol is drunk excessively. It can give a false sense of security and detach a person from psychological distress. People can use alcohol as a way to avoid painful emotions and self-awareness.
If you don’t drink, this forces you to form real connections with those around you. Alcoholism is isolating. People can experience a hard time during the early days of sobriety. Their crutch is suddenly pulled out from underneath them.
Over time and with the right support, things will improve. It is far easier to build meaningful relationships when sober.
Alcoholics can act in a way that causes family or friends to distance themselves. Once a person quits drinking their behavior and state of mind can improve. That can help them to reconnect with those they love.
Take Up a New Hobby
Drinking is time-consuming, especially when you factor in recovery time. The advantages of giving up drinking are two-fold.
You will be stopping doing something that can be bad for your mental and physical health. You’ll then replace it with something that’s actually good for you.
That could be taking more exercise by going to the gym regularly. You might also start focusing more on reading or music. A person who gives up drinking is going to have more time to do things that are more meaningful.
A Brighter Future
Improved physical and mental wellbeing are just two of the benefits of quitting alcohol. Together they’ll mean that a brighter and more worthwhile future lies ahead.
Read more useful articles in our ‘Psychology and Sociology’ section about other issues that may be affecting your life.