When you choose to drink less or stop drinking, you need to look at yourself and be able to investigate when, how and why you drink. The first part of this ‘self-help’ tool is aimed at examining your drinking habits. The second part is aimed at changing: less drinking or stop drinking.
To change it is important that you know your drinking habits in and out. You should know what your personal risks and pitfalls are.
This is your first trials: when do you run the most risk to go drinking excessively?
- What are my risky situations? In those situations, do I often feel like drinking?
- What are my risky thoughts? What often convinces myself to drink or to drink more than I had planned?
- What are my risky feelings? Whatever mood I’m looking forward to when drinking and which feelings I sometimes ‘drink away’?
- What is my risky behaviour? What do I do that helps me drink more often?
If you know what your risks and pitfalls are, you can learn to break these habits. You learn to predict when you will be looking forward to drinking and what you can do in that case.
To stop (excessive) drinking is wise for you to want fix ingrained patterns around your habit so you can change.
In the second part of this self help section, we’ll teach you step by step how to start changing your bad alcohol habits.
You are used to drinking when you are in a despondent mood. If you have a drink, you feel less gloomy. Drinking when you have this unpleasant feeling to reduce bad feelings is an ingrained habit. When you get in this gloomy mood, you fancy a drink. This you yourself, albeit unintentionally, taught. You will learn and recognize these habits – instead of a drink – you need to deal with this feeling head-on. Ask yourself this: What is causing this feeling? When you deal with the real casuse for your unpleasant feelings of depression, you’ll be able to deal with the root of the problem.
Drinking is just a mask for something much deeper.
You come home from work, hang your coat up, walk to the refrigerator and grab a beer. It goes like this every day. This is something, albeit unconsciously, you taught yourself. It became an automatic response. If coming home after work is your risky situation, you need to become aware of it and break that nasty habit. Stay away from the fridge after work. Instead, go to your family, your kids, or even get on your phone if you live alone and see where you can be of service to others. This will break you habit and bring more joy and happiness into your life.
When self-help tools don’t work, please seek professional help. Life’s too short for you to waste it with your bad drinking habits.