5 Ways to Practice Mindful Drinking

In life, you will see all sorts of fads—diets that you HAVE to follow and clothes that you NEED to wear. But one lifestyle that has become more popular in recent years is much more than a fad. We are talking about mindful drinking. 

Mindful drinking is not only about drinking less. It’s about understanding your relationship with alcohol. About knowing yourself better. Because when you know why you do what you do, it’s much easier to change (if you want to).

So, how can you practice this lifestyle?

Well, you can start by reading this article. Here, we will discuss mindful drinking, a few strategies to start with, and some of the benefits it can bring to your life.

What is Mindful Drinking?

How does mindful drinking work? At its core, it’s all about mindfulness.

Practicing mindfulness involves paying attention. Often, we do not give much thought to how we feel, think, or react to the world around us. By being mindful of these things, treating ourselves with love, and not judging ourselves, we can achieve a sense of serenity. To be ourselves is the key.

Living with purpose is also part of mindfulness. Occasionally, life can feel like it is happening to us, and we may have trouble coping. However, we can start to change when we become more aware of what is happening inside us and how we react to others; this is called conscious living. Even if we can’t change everything, we can learn to accept and be grateful for what we live with.

How Can I Practice Drinking Mindfully?

We talked the good talk about what mindful drinking is; now, let’s see how you can put it into practice:

Don’t let others push you around

You must make your decision, express it, and practice saying it aloud. Say, “I will not drink tonight since I am saving myself for the weekend.”

Shift the spotlight onto your friends if they try to bully you into drinking. You can ask them a question. Did their day go well? Do they like cat memes? Change the subject from your drinking choices to something else.

Making the right decision for you doesn’t require anyone’s permission. No one has the right to convince you otherwise.

Plan ahead

You can’t wing it and be mindful at the same time. You must plan, plan, plan. Drink low- and no-alcohol drinks at pubs and bars to have the option of drinking or not drinking. You can ask venues about their choices in advance or find a new local that cares about you and your preferences.

Think about how you feel

Having a drink or two is okay when you are feeling good. You know how that ends. However, drinking while tired, stressed, sad, or any other negative emotion is not a good idea. You’ll be much better if you acknowledge your emotions and face them rather than drown them in booze. You’ll be glad you took this approach.

Pay attention to your body’s needs. Think about HALT: Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, or Thirsty? Make sure you address any of these issues before trying to hide them with alcohol.

Fake it ‘till you make it

It is not always necessary to have another tedious discussion about why you aren’t drinking a ‘real’ drink. Stay under the radar. Below are three hints:

  • Become a regular at the bar: Bartenders are happy to assist you in impersonating a Gin and Tonic (also known as a Tonic and Tonic, or T&T) or putting a fizzy elderflower into a Champagne glass.
  • Change your drinking game: Start with a low-alcohol beer and top it off with lemonade or soda each time.
  • Upgrade your water game: You’re heading to a bar but aren’t sure if it has something you’ll enjoy? Enhance your water. Add a bottle of your favorite cordial to your fizzy water and spruce it up all night.

Don’t lose your cool

At the bar, stay strong. Be careful not to fall back on ‘the usual’ in the face of indecision. Don’t rush. Be thoughtful. Ask the staff what they have available and what you want to drink. Some might even appreciate the challenge of putting together a less conventional cocktail.

When it comes to cutting down on drinking, you are not alone. Many people don’t drink or are trying to cut down (about one in five people). If you want to take your time, you can decide what you want.

What Are the Benefits of Mindful Drinking?

There are countless benefits to drinking less or in moderation. Not only for your body but also for your mind. Here’s a quick overview of some of the ways mindful drinking can help you:

Relief from anxiety: Sunnyside members reported that a 30% reduction in drinking in 30 days led to greater sleep and less worry. Physiological abnormalities caused by excessive alcohol use can heighten anxiety in stressful situations.

Enhanced liver function: There has been an increase in patients with alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic liver disease. Alcohol can build up fat in the liver. Fat buildup may be a precursor to liver disease. Patients can prevent these potentially harmful effects by reducing alcohol consumption moderately.

Blood pressure: Heavy alcohol use (more than 3 to 4 drinks per day) is associated with increased blood pressure. Reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure is possible by cutting back on two to three daily drinks.

Improved Intelligence: In addition to the liver, more deliberate drinking also benefits other vital organs. When people reduce their drinking, one of the most common benefits they report is improved attention, clarity, and mental vitality. Consequently, motivation and cognitive performance often improve.

Healthier skin: Drinking attentively also has some aesthetic benefits. Alcohol consumption causes dull, lifeless skin. Dull, dry, and puffy skin can result in redness and blotchiness on the face. Skin aging and wrinkles can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption. In addition, it is pro-inflammatory and can impair the normal function of blood vessels in the skin.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a mindful drinker might not be easy, but it’s worth it. Each person will have a different journey, and how hard it is to change your habits will largely depend on how ingrained they are. But it’s not impossible to change, far from it.

All you need is perseverance, consistency, and support. Make sure to surround yourself with people that understand what you are trying to accomplish. Your body, and mind, will be grateful for the change.