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The decision to stop drinking alcohol can be life-saving for people who feel they are becoming addicted to alcohol. However, recovering from alcohol abuse, maintaining sobriety, and managing cravings for alcohol 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 can see it often. If you’re a heavy drinker, you need to slow down first to avoid potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms (in this case, involve your doctor in your plan to come up with a more appropriate appointment 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 to identify and avoid 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 compared to internal triggers.
Internal triggers are triggered by thoughts, negative emotions like frustrations, positive emotions like excitement, physical sensations like headache, anxiety, and tension. Once you’ve identified your triggers, work on how to prevent them from leading you to drink.
3. Avoid high-risk situations
The best strategy to stop drinking is to avoid high-risk situations. Avoid social settings where alcohol is served. Do not buy or keep alcohol at home as this will easily tempt you. Friends and family can also help by abstaining from alcohol in the presence of 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 will lead to full sobriety. The support of an available social network is particularly important during the first months of recovery.
5. Communicate effectively
Communicating effectively with family, friends, and co-workers can help you understand the different aspects and challenges involved in your road 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 adequate hydration are important to the healing process for 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, all of which are triggers that can lead to relapse. Your diet should incorporate types of foods that improve digestion, promote steady blood sugar throughout the body, and improve brain chemistry. A healthy digestion process optimizes the rate of absorption 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 3-month sobriety success rate for people with substance abuse problems. If you want to stop drinking alcohol on your own, here are some nutrition tips you can follow.
Do not make major dietary changes right away. Gradual dietary changes 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 the craving for alcohol.
Vitamin and mineral supplements, such as vitamins A and B, zinc, and B complex, are helpful during and after the recovery phase.
One way to replace destructive behaviors is to get involved in physical activities. Exercise stimulates the same neurotransmitters and circuits in the brain as most addictive substances. 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 past hobbies and developing new interests. This will help alleviate the boredom that can trigger a relapse and will help you seek much healthier and more satisfying alternatives.
9. Evaluate your progress
Evaluate your sobriety progress by setting an evaluation date. A 30-day plan is more effective in making your new behavior a habit. Evaluate and review your reasons for giving up alcohol. Write down the benefits, and if you slip, 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’ve assessed your progress and have reached a set duration of sobriety, treat yourself. The 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 your family and friends. Maintaining sobriety 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 works best for you.