There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks, so long as it’s done in moderation. In our society, alcohol is often considered a social necessity, for better or worse. We feel the pressure to drink all around us, which can make it quite difficult for those that are thinking of drinking less.
That’s where mindful drinking comes in. Mindful drinking is all about enjoying drinking while prioritizing your health, and with our tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more mindful drinker.
In this article, we’ll share with you 4 excellent tips to be a more mindful drinker, as well as the benefits that mindful drinking can bring to your life.
4 Tips to Be a Mindful Drinker
From planning ahead to savoring your drink, there are a lot of ways you can practice mindful drinking. Here are our top 4 tips to be a more mindful drinker:
- Plan ahead
To be mindful is to think about what you are doing. And in the case of drinking, that means planning ahead. You want to have a limit in mind before you go into a bar or social gathering.
You also want to prepare yourself mentally for the kind of questions, requests, and all-around social pressure you’ll get. However, don’t let any of that derail you from your plan.
If you already know where you are going beforehand, check out their menu to see what kind of low or no-alcohol drinks they have. If you know your limit and what you’ll order going in, you’ll have an easier time sticking to your guns.
- Use half shots or alternate with water
One way to cut back on your alcohol intake is to order drinks with half the usual alcohol amount. It’s a great way to continue enjoying your drinks without reaching your limit. Don’t feel embarrassed about such an order, you won’t be the first or last person to ask a bartender for half a shot in their drink.
Alternatively, if that doesn’t cut it for you, you can have a glass of water in between drinks. This will help keep you hydrated and reduce how much you drink overall. Additionally, have a few glasses extra after you are done and back home to help mitigate any aftereffects or dreary hangovers.
- Be mindful of your social environment
We have associated drinking with socializing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t socialize to drink, socialize just for the fun of it. It’s ok to drink with your friends, but don’t use them as an excuse to drink. You’ll feel much better if you start to focus on the people around you rather than the drinking.
But the people around you also need to be supportive. It’ll be hard to cut back on drinking if you are going out with friends that keep pushing you or disrespect your boundaries. There are a lot of people who want to cut back on drinking. Next time you go out, team up with those that have similar goals to you. It’ll make things easier.
- Take it slow and have a few bites
Drinking is not a race. You don’t have to gulp down your glass as soon as it hits the table. Learn to enjoy your drink. Take it slow and savor the experience. If you don’t like what you drink, why are you drinking it?
And a drink always goes better with something to eat. Order some chips, wings, or any appetizer. Maybe even some dessert. Breaking up your drinking with some food will keep you on your toes and help avoid the trap of drinking with an empty stomach.
Benefits of Mindful Drinking
Mindful drinking isn’t just a fad, trend, or social movement. It’s about taking better care of ourselves, both physically and mentally. And according to physicians, there are many health benefits to mindful drinking.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways cutting back on alcohol can be good for you:
Mindful drinking helps your body in these ways:
- Better liver function: Continued alcohol use builds up fat in the liver, which can cause liver damage. This can lead to diseases and even hepatitis. If you drink less, your liver will thank you.
- Lower blood pressure: Drinking 3 to 4 drinks a day is associated with higher blood pressure. You can lower your systolic and diastolic pressure if you cut back on your drinking.
- Easier weight management: It’s easier to maintain a healthy weight when you control your alcohol intake. A single drink doesn’t have a lot of calories, but they can pile up quickly as you drink more.
- Healthier skin: Drinking a lot can lead to your skin looking more aged, as alcohol disrupts the function of your skin’s blood vessels. Drink less and your skin will be healthier.
And on the mental side, you’ll see the following benefits:
- More focus: You know how alcohol makes you feel all dizzy and numb? Well, that’s not great for the brain, is it? It’s been reported that people that drink less have increased clarity and focus, as well as more mental energy.
- Better sleep: Drinking a lot will give you trouble sleeping, not to mention it will make you wake up feeling tired. If you drink less, you’ll start to notice the quality of your sleep improve.
- Less anxiety: Speaking about sleeping, by improving your sleep quality you are also helping to reduce your anxiety levels. Furthermore, alcohol messes up with your hormones which leads to feeling more anxious in situations of stress.
We are not saying you shouldn’t drink at all. It’s ok to have a few drinks, but it’s important to be aware of how it all affects you. If you want to drink less, planning ahead is important, as are the people you surround yourself with. Mindful drinking will not only be good for your body, but also for your mind. Even your wallet will thank you.If you want more support, tools, or information about mindful drinking, check out Sunnyside.