Tip #89: Cut out alcohol in your life.
The why: I know, I know. I seem like a tee-total (sorry for the pun) party-pooper.
But hear me out.
I used to drink quite a lot. Potentially too much in fact. Definitely too much in fact.
So one day, I decided to cut it out almost completely. I expected it to have an affect on my liver, and help boost my brain function, but something happened I did not expect.
My anxiety became so much easier to manage.
It was then that I began to research into the effects of alcohol on mental health, and was rather shocked by what I found.
Here are five reasons to give up alcohol and improve your anxiety:
Number One – What Alcohol Is Actually Doing To Your Brain
Alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it actually disrupts the balance of chemicals in our brain. This disruption can affect our feelings, thoughts and have an impact on our long-term mental health.
Although alcohol can give you a short lasting buzz of joy, in the long term it can actually increase our anxiety and harm our neural transmitters that help protect us from bad feelings and thoughts.
Number Two – Anxiety Increases With Alcohol
Furthermore, if going to parties or clubbing induces anxiety for you, then reaching for a drink to loosen up may appear to be a good idea, in fact, it’s the opposite.
Alcohol narrows our perception of a situation, meaning that if we focus in on an anxious thought, our brain will only be able to comprehend that anxious thought, which can lead to panic attacks.
Number Three – Dealing With Panic Attacks Whilst Drunk
Also, alcohol lowers your cognitive ability, meaning that if anxiety does strike, it is far harder to be able to silence it or shut it down as your brain isn’t quite strong enough after drinking.
Number Four – Remember What You Did – In A Good Way
Going even further, alcohol can make you do and say some very questionable things, and there is nothing more stressful than waking up in the morning and thinking “Oh Lord what did I do this time?”
If anxiety can make you stress about that one time you farted when you were 5, imagine what it can make you feel about when you very drunkenly told a good looking stranger that you wanted to lick their eyeball to taste heaven. Not that either has happened to me. Ever.
Number Five – Save That Money
One of the biggest benefits of stopping drinking, apart from mental health improvements, was the sheer amount of money I saved.
I realised that I was saving about £20 a week in total, for some people it would probably be even higher.
Now, I save that £20 a week and put it into my savings account, meaning that my worries about money also decrease, as I know I’ll have a nice alcohol free financial cushion to keep me safe.
Going out sober may seem like you’re missing out on a lot of fun, but actually, I found that I enjoy nights far more when I’ve not been drinking, mainly because I don’t feel so damn anxious.
If your friends love you, they’ll deal with it.
Plus, your mental health is always more important than fitting in.