The road to sobriety is a tough one. We live in a society that basically glorifies alcohol: we see ads for it in magazines, t.v, even walking down the street. We are taught that in order to relax and have fun there has to be alcohol involved. As a result, 86% of Americans 18 and older have used alcohol, in higher or lower measures. So, trying to stay sober in a world that revolves around alcohol can be hard, but it is possible, and it is definitely worth it.
Even if you’re not a heavy drinker, quitting alcohol can bring a lot of benefits for both your physical and mental health. Even though it may be hard to quit at first, the best motivation is knowing how much better and happier you will feel when you reduce -or better yet, eliminate your drinking altogether. Without further ado, here are 5 benefits you can get from sobriety.
Alcohol has many negative side effects, you might already be aware of many of them. Short-term you get the famous symptoms of a hangover: headache, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and fatigue. Long-term it can cause liver disease, depression, different types of cancer, immune system damage, among many others.
When you stop drinking, your chances of developing these diseases decreases. You start feeling significant positive changes in both your physical and mental health. You might start feeling more energetic, sharper, your metabolism can improve, your skin and your eyes will look brighter, and you will start sleeping better.
By drinking alcohol you fill up your body with toxins. When you stop drinking, your body will thank you by giving you better physical health, a brighter outlook on life and a better appearance.
It’s no secret that alcohol can be expensive. A night out drinking with friends at a bar or clubbing can take a chunk of your paycheck that you could use for something else or just save it. Not to mention that when you become addicted (addiction is always a possibility when you drink alcohol) your life starts revolving around alcohol, and you will start spending all of your money on buying more and more to be able to meet your needs.
You are probably not aware of how much money you spend on alcohol until you stop drinking it. Make the experiment and quit for just two weeks, or a month, and see how much more money you have in your hands. Sobriety gives you the opportunity to put the money you’re not spending on alcohol to good use. You can even set goals and reward yourself when you achieve them, for example: after a week without drinking, use the money you saved to treat yourself to a fancy dinner.
Alcohol abuse and addiction can damage relationships. Have you ever had a fight with your partner, your parents, or someone you care about because of your drinking? Did you think they were just overreacting? Drinking doesn’t only affect you, it can also affect and hurt the people close to you, and it can even burn bridges that are hard to rebuild.
Sobriety is the best opportunity to repair damaged relationships and start building new, healthier ones. When alcohol stops being the most important thing in your life, you’re able to interact with people in a more sincere way, since approaching relationships with a clear mind can help you become more understanding, more empathetic and less selfish. You will see that building and maintaining relationships becomes much easier once you’re sober.
The World Health Organization states that every year 3.3 million deaths worldwide are attributed to alcohol use, which represents 5.9% of all deaths. There are also causal relationships between alcohol use and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, as well as behavioral disorders and injuries.
Sobriety decreases your risk of developing several serious illnesses as well as being involved in potentially life-threatening situations due to poor judgment while intoxicated, such as car accidents, street fights, and unprotected sexual encounters.
A Happier Life
Overall, the greatest benefit sobriety can bring you is just being happy. Practically every aspect of your life improves when you stop drinking alcohol: physical and mental health, relationships, your finances, your appearance, your performance at school or work… Sobriety, paired with doing the things you love the most, is the perfect combination for finally living a happy life.
Without the influence of alcohol, you’re able to recognize what are the areas in your life you need to work on, what you would like to improve in order to become a better person and even create self-improvement plans for yourself.
Sobriety can also help you become more aware of your surroundings and live life more consciously. This can help you learn to appreciate the small things in life -which are actually big things- such as being able to enjoy a sunny day, playing with a pet, having deep, meaningful conversations with loved ones, listening to your favorite music, etc. With the new perspective, sobriety gives you, you will become more grateful for the many great things you have in your life, and this change of attitude can result in becoming a more positive, happier person.
You just read 5 benefits of quitting alcohol, but there are so many others that you will start to find out by yourself when you stop drinking. Remember, it might not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it. Give it a try, and come back and tell us what benefits you start to experience after quitting alcohol.
Do you know any other benefits of sobriety you would add to this list? If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment below.