The Power Of Gratitude (And How It Affects Your Sobriety)

The Power Of Gratitude (And How It Affects Your Sobriety)

I don’t often talk about gratitude.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I prefer sharing tips, tricks and actionable advice to help you move forward with your sober goals. 

But the truth is, none of that stuff is going to work if you’re approaching sobriety from a negative place.

If your focus is always on everything you don’t have, or everything that’s going wrong in your life, it makes it pretty hard not to drink. 

You’re far more likely to hit wine o’clock and think “What’s the point?”

My American friends will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week, so now feels like a good time to talk about gratitude and the surprising benefit it has on your sobriety. 

Key points: 

Why bother with gratitude?

Our brains naturally have a negativity bias – we’re wired for self protection, so we often pay more attention to negative experiences. If we constantly feel a bit dissatisfied with life, it’s easy to think, “Why am I bothering to quit drinking? I deserve a drink.” 

 

Scientific proof

Tests at the University of California found that people who kept a gratitude journal for two weeks felt happier and healthier. They exercised more, drank less alcohol and their families and friends noticed they were nicer to be around. 

 

How to practice gratitude

Write down 3-5 things or people that you’re grateful for and why. You could jot down a list of different things, or you could get really specific, and write all your points about the same thing. 

Alternatively, you could try a ‘what went well list’ or note down things you’re grateful for on little pieces of paper that you keep in a jar. On some days, you’ll have to work a bit harder to think of what went well, or what you’re grateful for – but that’s kind of the whole point! 

 

What’ve you got to lose?

We all have negative thoughts from time to time, of course we do. But if you’re not careful, complaining can become a habit, and feeling as if life is less than perfect can become an easy place for your mind to rest.

2020 has been a tough year for many of us and maybe you’re wondering how this can really help? But if a sceptic like me can come round to this idea… perhaps you can too.

 

If you’d like some help and support to create an alcohol-free life you love, click here for details of my online course.

 

Doubting Your Decision To Quit? Focus On This Instead

Doubting Your Decision To Quit? Focus On This Instead

I used to question my decision to quit drinking all the time.

When I was hungover, I’d feel so motivated for a few hours, or maybe even a few days. Sometimes I’d stop for several weeks.

But then the doubts would creep in. 

I’d start to wonder whether I really needed to stop. Would it even be worth it? 

When you’re questioning your decision to quit, managing your mind becomes really important. 

This video is all about what to focus on when you’re on the verge of giving up. 

Key points

Doubting your decision to quit

Most of us accidentally give a lot of energy to our doubts and fears. They become the soundtrack to our lives. Change is hard when our focus is always on why this won’t work and whether it’ll be worth it.

 

Switching your focus

A belief is just a thought you’ve practised over and over again. You can choose to continue practising the old, unhelpful thoughts that have you constantly doubting your decision to quit… or you can consciously put your attention on something else. 

 

⭐ Download all 20 affirmations here ⭐

See which ones resonate with you the most and then write them down. Put them on sticky notes, on your phone screensaver, or set them as reminders to pop up at different times of day. Make sure you see them often!

 

Remember…

You can go to bed tired because you’ve spent the day recovering from a hangover and questioning your decision to quit drinking. Or you can go to bed tired because you’ve been practising some different thoughts and trying out a more empowering set of beliefs. 

 

If you’d like some help and support to create an alcohol-free life you love, click here for details of my online course.

“I Just Want To Numb Out And Escape For A Bit”

“I Just Want To Numb Out And Escape For A Bit”

Many people want to numb out these days.

We’re living in difficult times – and when things are tough it can be tempting to drink more, just to get a break at the end of the day.

You crave that numbness. That feeling of turning off the world. 

So… let’s talk about it.

This video is all about how to deal with the urge to numb out and escape. 

Key points

You’re not really numb

If you’ve ever got drunk and still felt really sad, happy or angry, you’ll know that alcohol is not actually that great at numbing your emotions. You can still feel them, right? Alcohol is an unreliable numbing agent, to say the least. 

 

What actually happens

Even when alcohol does help to facilitate some numbness – or it acts as a bit of a distraction – all that really happens is you shuffle your problems along by a few hours. Things never feel easier at 4am when you’re tired and hungover, yet unable to sleep.

 

Choose better quality problems

Here’s the thing: you can choose to sit with a craving to numb out and deal with the discomfort of that. Or you can choose the discomfort of being hungover, tired and anxious. Sobriety will get easier with time, but drinking won’t. So which problem would you rather have?

 

Healthy escapism

Numbness is really just escapism, and there are many ways to get that without drinking. Binge watch Netflix, go out for a walk, dance, read or do something else that’s completely absorbing and distracting. 

 

A radical idea

As a drinker, it didn’t occur to me that I could just sit with difficult emotions and feel them. We’ve been taught to run from pain and numb it at all costs. But really, it’s just part of life. We can sit with difficult emotions. They pass quicker when we let ourselves feel them.

 

If you’d like some help and support to create an alcohol-free life you love, click here for details of my online course.

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Why November Is A Great Time To Quit Drinking

Why November Is A Great Time To Quit Drinking

Back in my drinking days, I was great at telling myself it wasn’t the ‘right time’ to stop.

I would’ve dismissed the idea of taking a break from booze at this time of year. After all, you don’t turn over a new leaf in November. That’s what January is for, right?

But you might be a bit smarter than I was… and you might realise that there are some big benefits to quitting drinking right now.

(Especially this November, with everything else that’s going on.)

If you’re looking for a dose of motivation to stick to your alcohol free goals, check this out:

Key points

This isn’t a ‘normal’ November

Our lives are still disrupted by coronavirus at the moment, so a lot of the usual temptations have been taken away. The holiday season is going to look pretty different this year too – there won’t be one party after another, so you could quit without anyone even realising!

Taking care of yourself has never been more important

The days are getting shorter, it’s dark, cold and life feels uncertain. It’s very easy to get down about things. Alcohol –  a depressant – magnifies those feelings. Drinking increases your anxiety and makes it harder to take care of your overall health and wellbeing.

January will be a lot like November

When the New Year arrives, our lives will still be fairly uncertain. We’ll still have social distancing and restrictions in place. So let’s not romanticise New Year as the only time for starting new things.

Success happens when you take action

I was always great at thinking about my drinking but not very good at doing anything about it. Unfortunately, it turns out that you don’t learn much that way! Waiting until you have all the information before you begin is a sure fire way to never take action.

You’ll be in good company

Ignore the posts on Facebook – as articles like this one show, lots of people are quitting drinking and choosing something different for themselves right now. There’s no such thing as the perfect time to stop – it’s just your mindset and perspective that matters.

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How To Get An Extra Hour In Your Day, Every Day

How To Get An Extra Hour In Your Day, Every Day

Here in the UK, the clocks went back over the weekend, giving us an extra hour in the day on Sunday.

It got me thinking about how luxurious it is to have more time… and how often booze steals that from us.

Alcohol is such a time thief.

It quietly snatches hours from unexpected places, leaving you feeling behind (and craving another drink to ease the stress).

I think you might be surprised by just how many hours we’re talking about here:

Key points

How we lose time drinking

Once you’ve opened a bottle, hours can just vanish. But the time spent drinking is only one piece of the puzzle. Alcohol steals time in other ways too. You’ll also want to consider:

  • How much of your time is lost feeling hungover or being too ill to follow through on planned activities?

  • How does a mild hangover affect your productivity? Do you spend longer on basic tasks?

  • Do you beat yourself up about your drinking, worry about it and spend time searching for help on sites like this? That all takes up time too.

  • Going to war with yourself over whether to drink tonight is bound to eat up time, as you distractedly try to decide when, where, how much?

  • How many hours are lost putting things right after the night before – cleaning up, making amends etc?

  • Where are you bending over backwards to make your life fit around your drinking e.g. not being able to drive after a certain time, going to different shops to buy alcohol?

  • How much time do you spend with friends who aren’t true friends – but make great drinking buddies?

  • Do you ruminate over certain issues which cause you stress… but your drinking stops you from taking action?

  • How many books, TV shows and movies have you drank through… and can’t remember the storyline?

  • How often are you spending time with loved ones but find yourself slightly absent, unable to remember what happened, or what was said?

 

Hour after hour, it all adds up

Can you see how sneaky alcohol is? The combination of these different factors creates a constant feeling of never having enough free time or being on top of things. It’s hard to get a break or feel truly rested – which makes you crave another drink even more…

 

Why this really matters

Early sobriety takes time and effort to get right. You’re going to want to spend some time learning about alcohol, finding new coping mechanisms and getting to the bottom of why you’ve been drinking in the first place. 

If you see sobriety as yet another thing on your to do list, it will always be hard to find the time to really crack it. Yet when you start to see alcohol as the culprit responsible for your lack of time, it’s easier to find the motivation to change. 

 

Download your free Wine O'Clock Survival Guide!

(It’ll help keep you on track tonight)

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Is This Good Enough For Me To Stay As I Am?

Is This Good Enough For Me To Stay As I Am?

“I’m not sure if my drinking is bad enough for me to have to quit completely.’’

This is something I hear a lot and it’s a debate I had with myself for a long time. 

I wasn’t a rock bottom drinker, so did I really need to quit – or was I overreacting? 

It took me ages to realise that I was focusing on the wrong thing.

This week’s video is all about the question that every drinker should ask…

Key points:

Why we struggle with this

We’re conditioned to think that we should be able to exercise control over alcohol – a drug that makes us lose control. We’re told it’s just a small section of the population who can’t do this and there’s something wrong with them – it’s a personal failing, a weakness.

Consider for a moment how well that belief system serves the alcohol industry. They don’t want you to quit drinking. You don’t want to be labelled an alcoholic. So we tie ourselves up in knots trying to drink ‘normally’. (I talked more about ‘normal’ drinking here.)

 

A better question to ask

Rather than focusing on whether your drinking is bad enough ask this instead: Is my drinking good enough for me to stay as I am? When you weigh up the benefits against the negatives, is it worth it? Are you willing to keep putting up with the status quo?

 

Your ‘good enough’ standards

What do you consider ‘good enough’ in other areas of your life? If alcohol was a food stuff, a medicine or a relationship, would you be willing to put up with the downsides? Would the side effects be worth it, or do you expect better?

Remember: we deserve good things. We deserve a good quality of life. We deserve to take care of ourselves. None of us need to be anywhere near rock bottom before we decide to stop hurting ourselves and start making different choices. 

 

If you decide alcohol isn’t good enough…

Your next steps are more straightforward than you think. Take a break from drinking and give yourself time to test drive – and fully experience – a new way of living. Treat it like a project and go all in. 

 

If you’d like some help and support to quit drinking – and create an alcohol-free life you love – click here for details of my online course.

Stay sober tonight - listen to my free pep talk!

As well as the audio, we'll also send you helpful and inspiring weekly emails with free resources, tips & advice, plus details of our awesome products and services. We’ll take care of your data in accordance with our privacy policy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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