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The Life-Changing Benefits Of Changing Your Drinking Habits

Jessica Betancourt is an RTT trained hypnotherapist and Certified Transformational Life Coach specializing in addiction transformation with an emphasis for Alcohol Use Disorder. After having gotten clear that her own drinking habits had become problematic, she successfully re-trained her brain using meditation, hypnosis, spiritual practices and subconscious reprogramming to heal her relationship with alcohol.

 
Executive Contributor Jessica Betancourt

We're really made up of the seemingly insignificant behaviors that we do every day, as in, we are the accumulation of the things that we repeatedly do. And for many people, the habit of drinking alcoholic beverages daily has become something that just feels very common and normal. Most people are working long hours, taking care of families, partners, or parents, and have seemingly little time for themselves and the hobbies that bring them joy and generally speaking there is a sense of needing to escape or disengage from the responsibilities and tasks of daily life. But what is that habit doing for our quality of life?


Mixed race woman having a cocktail in the bar at night out.

While alcohol can have the allure or appeal that it is 'helping' us to cope or manage our moods and circumstances, what might happen if we didn't rely on it so heavily?


These are 3 ways that reducing or eliminating alcohol can change the course of your life.


You will have an incredible amount of 'thought-power' back to help you proactively solve problems.


A drinking habit of chronic (daily) or binge (excessive) consumption takes up a considerable amount of your mental space. Think about it in terms of time spent while consuming it as well as time invested OUTSIDE of consuming it. There is the time spent planning, desiring, and daydreaming about when it will be accessible, making you feel not present to be able to effectively manage the situation that you are presently in. There's the time spent to earn the money to spend on it, the hours of 'time out' time that begin at the time of the first drink but extend after the last one, and any time it takes to return to a feeling of wellness after drinking.


This amounts to a lot of time, especially when compounded over days upon days upon months upon years. Imagine what might be available to you if you redirected this 'thought power' towards a different goal. If we become what we think about, what else might you daydream yourself into? Who else could you potentially be or become by the power of your thoughts alone? It is also highly likely that you would find alternative and creative ways of solving the issues or problems that your over-attention on alcohol is distracting you from seeing.


Humans are naturally very creative and imaginative beings. We are designed to be solution-oriented and resourceful. When we detach from obsessing about something so all-consuming, we regain these abilities to create our realities with intention.


Your energy levels will increase.


Over time, alcohol use takes a toll on every system of the body. So even if you eat well, get decent sleep, and exercise, you may begin to feel like you're just 'getting old', and 'that's how it is'. But in reality, the breaking down, metabolization, and elimination of alcohol requires a great deal of effort. And when our body's efforts are being prioritized to break down an induced toxin, they are not readily available to serve us in other ways. This is why day drinking makes us so tired and night drinking makes us feel cranky the next morning. Our energy is being used and focused on removing something that the body sees as 'foreign', but if it's not being obligated to do that, it gains an incredible amount of reserves back!


For many of my clients and people that I speak to about their drinking habits, ALL of them have spoken of the late afternoon/ early evening time slump of energy when they feel inclined to drink because the day is not yet over, they need something to keep them going and having a drink sounds like a good remedy for transitioning from the busy day but also needing something to sustain their interest in their evening duties or rituals. It seems to work, but eventually what happens is it makes us more tired!


When you alter or modify your drinking, you will be amazed at how the evening hours transform from a slump to a second or a third wind! You find that you have hours back to your life to do things that you may have said that you 'didn't have time for'; perhaps things like calling a friend, playing piano, lifting weights, practicing Spanish, folding those clothes on the couch, or anything that is at the edges of your mind but you have been too tired to do. When you change your drinking habits, you get a lot of motivation and energy to put into creating more fun and joy in your life.


You feel more confident and attractive.


Nobody really likes to hear this but alcohol ages you.


At the ends of our DNA strands are protective caps called Telomeres. Essentially, they protect our longevity and when intact and at their correct length, a person can be expected to 'be in good health'. When they become frayed or shortened, the physical evidence is fatigue, graying, wrinkling, difficulty in mobility and maintaining a healthy weight, etc, typical 'signs' of aging. In study after study, alcohol use has been linked to the noticeable shortening of telomeres.


Read a particular case study that was conducted in Japan right here. "It's important for the public to understand that heavy drinking causes telomere shortening because awareness of this fact provides important information necessary for people to live healthier," says Naruhisa Yamaki, M.D., a clinical fellow at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine who conducted the research.


You may not really be as biologically old as you feel. It may be perhaps that your body and your cells are just being overly taxed by alcohol consumption.


When you begin to minimize and/or eliminate alcohol use you do notice how much better you feel! And when you feel better, you feel like doing more of the things that are important for your health. And when you do that – you look better which in turn boosts your confidence. When I was in high school back in the 90s we used to say, 'Lookin' good feelin' good', and it's a very relevant motto because it is hard to have one without the other.


Let's take this opportunity to look at having this information as helpful, rather than daunting because the more we know about the negative effects of alcohol use, the more we can make informed and empowering decisions about how much we really wish to consume it if at all.


Would you like to know more about the judgment-free, shame-free, zero-rules method that I use to help people change their minds about how they are drinking in a way that feels safe for their nervous system and is fun to implement? Grab a copy of The Mindful Drinking Starter Guide right here. And have a healthy and well-informed day.


 

Jessica Betancourt, Hypnotherapist | Addiction Coach

Jessica Betancourt is an RTT trained hypnotherapist and Certified Transformational Life Coach specializing in addiction transformation with an emphasis for Alcohol Use Disorder. After having gotten clear that her own drinking habits had become problematic, she successfully re-trained her brain using meditation, hypnosis, spiritual practices and subconscious reprogramming to heal her relationship with alcohol. She now works helping others to do the same with their addictive tendencies, which may have also included but are certainly not limited to: smoking, food, cocaine, marijuana, and sugar. She is a mom of 4 and lives in her adopted country of Spain with her Spanish husband and she dies an ego death every day.

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