The Good Outweighs the Bad When You Quit Drinking
There are lots of reasons why you might decide to take a break from drinking. You might find that your health is getting compromised, your mood is different or you don't like feeling like you need to grab a drink at the end of the day to relax or during social occasions. As you consider parting ways with alcohol, you might wonder what to expect. Below are some of the effects that you may experience once you choose to get sober.
You May Experience Withdrawal
This side effect is worth the temporary discomfort. Many people experience symptoms such as shakiness, nausea and panic attacks after a night of heavy drinking. You may find yourself craving alcohol again to quell these symptoms, but this is the cyclical pattern that you can end up trapping yourself in when you drink too much.
You May Lose Weight
Every alcoholic beverage that you consume provides unnecessary calories to your system that your body has to burn off later. Even if you normally stick to drinking light beer or a vodka with soda, it’s likely that you’ll still lose a little weight once you cut out the booze.
Your Digestive Health Improves
Do you ever experience diarrhea, bloating or gas after a night of binge drinking? This happens because your body is unable to break down and process the alcohol effectively.
Your Heart Will Be Healthier
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Alcohol can cause an increase in blood pressure and weaken the heart. This can eventually lead a drinker to have a stroke and increase their risk of having a heart attack.
You Will Have Less Heartache
In the same way that alcohol can increase your risk of developing heart disease, it can also increase your risk of experiencing heartbreak. A night out can lead to engaging in sexual behavior that you’d be less likely to involve yourself in when sober.
Your Relationships Will Improve
Drinking often starts as a social event. You may find it hard to develop or further relationships without meeting your friend, spouse or co-worker for a drink. The undeniable truth is that, in the long run, this strategy fails.
People Will Start to See You as Reliable
As your relationships start to improve after you quit drinking, you might also begin to notice that you become more reliable. Hangovers no longer take precedence over your life and force you to cancel plans. You won’t worry about when and where you’ll get your next drink.
You Will Feel Worthy
Alcohol can lead to depression, feelings of worthlessness and even suicide. Many people admit to drinking as a way to gain courage. The unfortunate truth is that the courageous buzz you get when you start drinking is a false sense of security, and it won't last.
Your Rational Mind Will Return
Drinking large amounts of alcohol can impair your judgment, slur your speech, lessen your reaction time and even cause memory loss. There’s nothing worse than blacking out the events of the night before.
Multitasking Can Become a New Tool
Alcohol slows down your brain function. This means that it becomes less likely to process multiple things you need to think about, let alone help you focus on that one thing you’ve already been putting off.
You'll Regain Others' Trust
Alcohol can make people do crazy things. Many people who are involved in criminal acts have admitted to the use of drugs or alcohol before the crime.
You Appear Fully Reliable
You know that coworker who goes to a work party and ends up getting thrown out of the bar for starting fights with the staff? After seeing this happen, it’s entirely possible that their team will begin to feel that they can't take the coworker anywhere or trust them with important tasks.
Anxiety May No Longer Be an Issue
Maybe you’re already an anxious person, or you typically feel uneasy most days. Although you think alcohol may help you cope with this, it actually does the opposite. Alcohol alters your blood sugar levels, and these swings contribute to anxiety.
You Can Cultivate a More Active Lifestyle
Maybe alcohol has you feeling overweight, depressed, dehydrated and unable to complete the simplest tasks. Without it, though, you'll likely lose weight, gain a better sense of yourself and become more active and engaged in life.
You’ll Boost Your Learning Curve
Every conversation you had when you were drinking seemed to repeat itself. If you were learning something new, you were too drunk to even remember.
You'll Make Better Friends
Most people worry about losing friends once they cut out the booze. Your drinking buddies shouldn't shame you for having a seltzer instead. If they do, you’ll see with sober eyes who they really are as individuals. They may just be enablers or people who are looking for confirmation of their own unhealthy behaviors.
Your Mental Health Will Improve
Drinking puts a damper on your mood because alcohol is a nervous system depressant. Regular drinking changes the levels of your brain's serotonin, the chemical that helps you feel happy. Many people want to drink to alleviate painful feelings, but the problem is that alcohol causes them over time.
You'll Drop Other Bad Habits
You might think of alcohol as a "gateway drug." For example, non-smokers may become "social smokers" when they drink. They might get addicted to nicotine and become regular smokers. Even worse, some people might find themselves dabbling with harder drugs when they’re intoxicated.
You’re Less Likely to Get Injured
Consuming a lot of alcohol impacts your speech, coordination and reaction time. This multi-layered impairment is part of why alcohol is a factor in almost 30% of traffic-related deaths. But it raises your risk of other injuries, too.
Your Skin Will Look Better
Alcohol is a diuretic. When your body isn’t properly hydrated, this can cause your skin to look sallow and dull. Alcohol also has an inflammatory effect on your body, which means it can make you look swollen and unkempt even after a full night of sleep.
You'll Get Better Sleep
Whether you close down the bar and leave yourself little time to rest before your job or you get a full night's sleep after a few drinks, you might still feel very tired and hungover the next day. That’s because alcohol blocks REM sleep.
You'll Have Fewer Migraines
Alcohol can cause an immediate migraine after a few drinks. It can also cause the migraine you may feel the next day during a hangover. In addition, any sugary mixer you have can increase the likelihood that you experience this, even though any alcoholic drink can trigger a headache.
Your Dental Hygiene Will Improve
You may already stay away from red wine because you know that it stains your teeth. So, why does your breath smell? Your body excretes some of the alcohol you consume through your mouth as it processes the intoxicant. This makes it hard to keep your breath fresh.
Your Liver Will Love You
No type of alcohol is all that safe for your liver, which processes about 90% of the alcohol you consume. This can cause fat or scar tissue to build up in your liver and even stop your liver from working entirely.
You'll Gain a New Perspective
You might find yourself drinking when you’re in crisis or feel like you’re at a crossroads. Many alcoholics have experienced some sort of trauma in their lives. For some, one day of drinking can turn into years of numbing the pain.
You May Live Longer
An estimated 88,000 people per year die from alcohol-related causes. Alcohol can also lead to many other health issues in later years. Quitting this habit can increase your chances of living a longer and healthier life.
You'll Save Money
It's no surprise that, once you quit drinking, you suddenly have a fatter wallet. Although you may have felt like you were saving money by choosing happy hours over nightclubs, ultimately, the money that you were spending on alcohol can go towards something better.
You'll Feel Reality at Its Finest
Alcohol gives you a false sense of self. Many introverts praise alcohol for allowing them to open up to other people. Alcohol may also help you wash away the worries of your day.
You'll Become Less Dependent
Many alcohol users become dependent on alcohol chemically, emotionally and physically after only weeks of heavier use. You may find it difficult to sit down and relax without having a drink. It can be hard to get through each day unless you have alcohol as your crutch.
You Won't Miss It
You may experience alcoholic cravings once you quit drinking. These won’t last, though, and you won't miss drinking. You won't miss the toll on your physical appearance, the hangovers, the disappointments you may have caused, the forgetfulness or the false sense of self you had from drinking.