You haven’t needed to consume alcoholic drinks for your entire life. Consider your childhood, when you filled your hours by having fun with friends, rushing around, and discovering the environment.
Consuming alcohol is generally at the heart of finding pleasure and getting loose for adult people. Whenever a person is distressed, (s)he drinks to relax. It serves as an amusement when (s)he is bored and as a solace when (s)he is unhappy.
Nevertheless, drinking can be more harmful than helpful. Alcohol is a natural sedative. The reason we vomit at the end of a long night out is the toxicity of alcohol. Even though we consume it thinking it will give us a sense of connection, it frequently makes us lonely.
The bright side is that you can reframe how you see the consumption of alcohol and get back to being the person who can be happy with no drinking. Are you ready for a confrontation?
Throughout the chapters below, you’re going to learn
- how conflicting opinions about consuming alcohol are stored in our brain
- the things that goat smell and taste of alcoholic drinks mutually share; and
- the fact that drinking causes more anxiety than relief in the end.
Chapter 1 – The difficulty of quitting alcohol stems from cognitive dissonance.
Think that you are maintaining a regime to slim down. You have been in a good mood during the day with a complete determination not to ruin it. However, afterward, one of your colleagues brings hand-made cookies. You devour one without even realizing it.
This is an instance of cognitive dissonance, the situation in which the conscious and unconscious parts of your mind are in disagreement. In your conscious mind, you are aware of the fact that you need to set aside the cookies. Nevertheless, your unconscious mind is incapable of refusing.
When it comes to your brain, although it is intelligent, it is also an expert at whitewashing your behaviors. You strongly promised in your mind that you wouldn’t consume any cookies after that ultimate one. Or you suggest to yourself: Every person has the right to have a snack sometimes, right?
The situation with cookies is the same with drinks.
You may be fed up with waking up with a hangover. Perhaps you see that drinking makes you fatter while emptying your pockets. Encountered with this fact, the conscious mind knows it might be nice to take a break from consuming alcohol or give up on it completely. However, even if this is the case, you find yourself in a pub at the end of a workday, for your unconscious mind, which manages your feelings and wants, is full of contrary data.
Years-old practices have imposed on your unconscious mind that there is goodness in drinking. For instance, it aids you to be loose. You are aware of this because you have witnessed your mother or father or movie characters arrive at their houses to drink a beer in a delighted manner at the end of a tiresome day. Thus, even though you know in your conscious mind that drinking is not beneficial all the time, your unconscious mind is prone to push you to do it.
That old-school strength of will is the way to halt alcohol consumption for many people. However, as in the situation with cookies above, this is not a remedy. Your strength of will is a sort of power. In the end, it is consumed away. If you need a strong will throughout tense working days, it shall be less powerful when you ought to avoid that enticing beer.
The nice thing here is the existence of a remedy. Throughout the chapters below, you are going to find out in what manner re-evaluating your opinions about drinking can completely switch off your unconscious aspiration for alcohol consumption.
Chapter 2 – Presumably the taste of drinks is not the sole reason you consume them.
The brother of Annie Grace has a goat farm. It emits goat smells. Every time Annie goes to that farm, that awful and dense odor always hits her nose.
However, Annie’s brother has no complaints about it at all. The smell is out of his notice. Yet the reason for this is his daily exposure to goat smell.
Many people have no doubt we enjoy drinking for its taste. For instance, Annie’s friend adds some Baileys to her coffee each morning. Her friend claims that it is unimportant. She is not aware of it in the same vein as the case of Annie’s brother. She is unable to detect the alcohol in it. She enjoys the sweet and creamy flavor that comes from Baileys.
Our thoughts about our alcohol consumption can be wrong, and Annie Grace offers a method to re-evaluate these thoughts. This method is A C T or ACT. It can be used to aid us in identifying the way alcoholic drinks taste to us.
In the first place, know what your thoughts are. Shout out that you consume alcohol due to its nice taste.
Then let’s clearly explain the way you feel. Consider how your introduction to alcoholic drinks was. Perhaps when you were a child, you tasted it from your parent’s glass. Did you like it? Not possible. Perhaps it either hurt you when you swallowed it or stank terribly. That’s why the taste of harmful food and drinks is usually disliked by people. Your taste receptors give negative responses to alcoholic drinks in the same vein people turn their noses away from decayed dishes.
Our bodies certainly adopt the taste after a while. As we continue to push ourselves to drink, our bodies shall throw in the towel and operate the taste more effortlessly. In the end, as it is often said, we come to have that taste, that is, we end up being resistant to it.
As you have discovered your thoughts about the taste of drinks, you can apply the final phase of the ACT technique, that is, adjust these thoughts. Think about what your real attitude is in this matter. Can you truthfully utter that the taste makes you consume alcoholic drinks? Or maybe saying that the taste is not the incentive for drinking is more correct? Or perhaps you merely say that they taste awful.
However, if the taste does not cause us to consume alcohol, then what does?
Chapter 3 – Your mood goes up before going down due to the activation of compounds by alcohol.
Your day was hard, filled with office work. However, now because it is a merry time, there is no problem! You have gathered with your besties at the pub and had the bartender pour you a glass of wine. You feel relaxed as you sip the first glass. You chuckle a bit and even get a little excited. That moment is the first one in the whole day when you feel truly pleasant.
Take a break for a moment. What exactly is going on here? What is the reason for your felicity? And what’s the reason you don’t stop after taking pleasure in drinking your first glass of wine? What makes you need to continue gulping?
Getting a little tipsy from the night’s first drink is a not-so-complicated chemical transition. It occurs in the nucleus accumbens, to put in simpler words, a region in your brain that is responsible for managing pleasure.
As soon as you begin drinking a glass of wine, your brain secretes lots of dopamine, which is the compound of wants and passions. Dopamine puts you in a merry mood, as a result of which you desire more.
Meanwhile, your brain works to re-establish its balance. It knows that the inducement is not natural. It secretes mood-boosting dynorphin, which suppresses your quick and excited feelings. As this initial super feeling fades away, you begin to feel a bit more pessimistic than you had been before the first drink of the night. The remedy is bright as day: the next glass of wine gives the next pleasant dopamine hit that renders you feel blissful afresh.
However, taking the drinking habit further causes wider impacts. Your senses become dull bit by bit but absolutely. It causes your brain to lose its agility. If you continue to consume alcohol, you will feel a little bit like your connection with the actual world is gone. You may repeat to yourself that that is not a bad condition. Your brain wears blinders and loses its skill to foresight. This is the reason for people’s foolish actions such as sending their former spouses or dates messages before dawn in the morning when they are buzzed. In short, they cannot calculate the future outcomes of their behaviors.
If you are struggling to quit drinking, it may help to keep in mind that the only reason you enjoy your first sip is because the chemicals are reacting in your brain. When you accept this unreservedly, you can begin to uncover your thoughts about the reason behind your alcohol consumption.
Chapter 4 – Drinking is a reason for anxiety rather than being a paradise of loosening.
Spare a minute to note down the things that cause you to consume alcohol. Be as frank as you can as no one will judge you at this point. If you are not too different from Annie, there will be articles such as your daily life being filled with alcohol or alcohol aiding you in handling scary networking events in your listing.
Then note down the things that make you reluctant to consume alcohol. Perhaps you are tired of getting out of bed with horrible feelings. Perhaps you are afraid of remembering things vaguely. Perhaps you merely want pennilessness and fatigue to stay away from your life.
Unless you are very different from the majority of alcohol consumers, you are presumably in a widespread situation that involves turning to alcohol for relaxation, getting loose, and relieving anxiety.
To many people’s minds, relaxation as a reason for alcohol consumption is the first article on the list. Come on, be completely aware of the existence of such a thought and call it alcohol as a substance that aids in getting loose and overcoming anxiety.
Now then clarify the issue by thinking a bit more profoundly. Is alcohol truly your supporter in relaxing and getting rid of anxiety?
If you consider this, you can understand that drinking only relieves anxiety. The sole method to eliminate anxiety and get loose is to handle the root cause of the problem. Make a conversation with your employer. Try to resolve troubles in your relationships. Instead of finding a cure for the problems in your work, tequila puts it out of your mind, at least for a bit, until you gain consciousness with a poorer emotional state than before.
What we haven’t talked about yet is what drunkenness can do to your life. Going into the office with a hangover or struggling with a companion who becomes mad at your drunkenness are some of them. Even though people try to convince themselves that drinking takes away their anxiety, the sharp reality shows that it just increases the anxiety many times over.
In reality, this is a fact about physiology from head to toe. Since alcohol is a sedative, our system stabilizes it through some stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol, for example). Since these endocrines are eliminated from the organism in seven days, if you constantly consume alcohol, your cortisol and adrenaline will be high almost all the time. Thus, although eight cans of beer may seem like a balm for the wound, it shall cause you great anxiety the following week.
Be cautious about your facts about drinking. Can drinking bring more anxiety and reduce it at the same time?
Chapter 5 – The emergence of genuine and worthwhile bonds between people is unaccompanied by drinking.
Perhaps you just can’t wait to take a break from drinking. However, one way or another, your fellows shall become aware of this alteration. They may suggest you consume only a single drink out at night and ease off rather than backing your determination. In case this occurs, it is substantial to acknowledge that fear may be behind something like this.
Perhaps they are aware of the fact that their alcohol consumption is a bit in excess as well even though they are reluctant to accept it. They may be merely afraid that you will be less willing to spend time with them in the future than you were before.
Proceeding calmly is a beneficial way. Do not set huge goals in cleaning yourself from drinking. Let it be mild and jolly. You can tell your fellows that you shall take a break from drinking for a month since you consumed alcohol excessively in the past weeks and such a consumption shall be sufficient to maintain you during this period.
Although your practice can be uncomfortable for a short period, it can make you gain benefits in the long run.
You are presumably aware that entering into profound and worthwhile conversations with your drinking friends is not possible if you have experienced it before. They will not pay attention. You can understand by their looks that they are not really with you.
It is the reality that if you are struggling to stay seated at the bar, you cannot form an actual bond with others. Some of the causes of this are biological. The working pace of the neurons in the brain is decreased by alcohol in the body. The process of answering your friends slows down. If you are extremely drunk, you must focus firmly only to form sentences properly.
It is a genuine fact that cherishing bonds between people solely occurs in the absence of drinking. A friend of Annie’s did not want to spend time with Annie again by the time she became a non-drinker for the first time. Then, Annie found out that her friend thought that a time without margaritas would not be quite amusing. However, Annie convinced her friend for a meeting. She stated that if it turns out to be incredibly cringe-making, they can cackle at that.
Eventually, Annie’s friend met her. They spent the most lovely hours they had ever had. Annie and her friend discussed topics on politics, family, and religion. Their laughter was so excessive that their stomachs ached. For the sake of their chat, they canceled going to the cinema and hiking that they had programmed for that day. It became clear that alcoholic drinks had taken the genuine bond from Annie and her friend for a long time. Today, their bond is stronger than before.
A life without drinking provides many things. However, there is no such thing as reaching it needs to be straightforward. We shall see a few methods to seize control of it in the last chapter.
Chapter 6 – Do not think there will be excellence if you are on the way to giving up alcohol.
Announcing that you definitely won’t consume alcohol in the future can be scary and so merely beginning with a month is superb. A month is not an eternity. And should you succeed in it, you may have a stab at two more months, don’t you? If you gradually increase the time you stay away from alcohol, you can begin to wait excitedly for the days when it will not dominate you.
A friend of Annie’s managed to stay alcohol-free for 12 months in the end by processing this method. In that situation, there was no ground for her to start drinking again. Because she has eliminated her cognitive dissonance about drinking, her unconscious want for it did not conflict with her conscious aspiration of quitting it anymore.
She broke the chains.
Many people follow being a non-drinker for a month’s trial but are hit unexpectedly by a moment of setback. Still, it does not need to be like this.
Take companies that rejoice when their sales rise by 5 percent or their costs reduce by 10 percent. If you usually consume drinks each day and then do not touch them for a month, your alcohol intake has fallen by 8 percent for 12 months. It is great! And even if you have five setbacks in a month, you still get 84 percent success. It is great as well! Congratulate yourself and celebrate your achievement. Do not worry too much about the blows.
If you are anxious about starting to consume alcohol again, prevent yourself from going off the rails by putting things in front of you that you cannot bargain with.
Passing on the things that cannot be negotiated is with outcomes. Failing to remember the third birthday of her son made Annie consider forgetfulness as a non-negotiable thing. In her situation, if there was a missing part in her memory when she awakened, she was aware of the fact that she needed to do something, which signified becoming sober.
Finally, if you can alter your thoughts about alcohol, which have long been rooted in the depths of your mind, in the opposite direction, it is not impossible to continue life without drinking. Thus, consider your reasons for drinking. Think about what alcohol signifies for you and how it affects your daily life, your interactions with people, and your biological well-being.
What an implausible organ the human brain is. Maybe it is trying to convince you to consume alcohol on this day. However, you can adjust its program by dealing with problems daily.
The Alcohol Experiment: A 30-day, Alcohol-Free Challenge to Interrupt Your Habits and Help You Take Control by Annie Grace Book Review
Despite the general opposite view, alcohol is a destructive compound that causes addiction. People convince themselves that whenever the actual world is far more toxic, drinking makes getting loose, blissful, and being amused with their fellows easier. However, the ability to seize control of our alcohol consumption is in the hands of every single one of us. If you stand against alcohol throughout a month, you may find a sounder and more satisfying life.
Before setting your drinking custom aside, measure your weight and take a selfie of yourself.
Should you wish to make the effort to quit drinking for a month, remember to take a picture of yourself and write down your weight before you begin. After 30 days of being devoid of calories from alcohol, you can be delighted and amazed by your physical change and betterment.