9 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Reducing Alcohol
How to reduce your alcohol intake when you fear doing it.
The biggest issue is fear of reducing alcohol or fear of giving up.
Having given up alcohol in the last two years, I now realise that being judged for giving up was one of my biggest fears.
Not for any addiction either, just a social pressure thing. It had become a habit.
I’m serious. What the hell! It just shows you how easy it is for habits to be formed.
You see, sometimes with alcohol, fear of reducing your alcohol consumptions is more significant than giving it up.
I have to say that if you have a severe alcohol intake, always get medical help first.
It is essential as you are dealing with an addiction.
Even as a BWRT recognised therapist, I always say check in with your doctor first. It should be the same for anyone claiming to coach or help people with alcohol addiction.
However, here is the thing.
Most people don’t realise they are a so-called alcoholic and don’t want to be called that, and I get it.
I was often within the weekly units as well!
Read what one unit of alcohol is
For me, the people who have managed to conquer their fear of giving up alcohol are the most successful ones giving up or reducing alcohol intake.
They are often those that manage fear most effectively.
Conquer your fears and achieve success when it comes to reducing your alcohol intake.
9 – Control your thoughts about your fear and alcohol
Yes, I may have done it.
And if one person can do it, so can someone else.
So it’s possible to think something different about alcohol.
If you think of your limiting beliefs, they are just thoughts.
After all, you can’t just put them in a wheelbarrow. They might feel real, but they are only thoughts.
I bet you have chosen what to think about on numerous occasions, right—that new Netflix series or going to the fridge for a glass of wine.
You can think about anything you choose when it comes to alcohol.
But yes, it’s an addiction in many cases, but we are talking about having another glass of wine here not changing the world.
Remember, willpower doesn’t work when you are giving up alcohol. The reason why is that you are thinking about what you don’t want to do, and the brains’ imagination is compelling!
Don’t think of a delicious sweet piece of chocolate cake covered with cream; see, got you.
Of course, if you hate sweet things, then that proves my point as well.
If you want to conquer your fear of giving up alcohol, think about what you do want, not about what you don’t want.
The best way to stress yourself about your alcohol intake is to stress out about your alcohol intake.
8- Be extreme and think the worst.
Yes, this goes against everything I have just said.
But take a moment to consider the worst things possible about giving up alcohol.
Go for it, and I mean so over the top that your head hurts.
If possible, make yourself laugh about it.
Imagine telling someone about this problem so that they will hate the thought of you even talking about it.
Here is a question!
Could you handle the worst thing about giving up alcohol or even stopping altogether?
What if you were to die? This may be extreme, but that was me less than two years ago, and I was just social drinking.
Imagine you were told you had 48 hours to live if you did not reduce your alcohol intake?
Weird, maybe, but that is what I had to deal with.
And before you judge anyone, alcohol can affect many people in different ways. Including people who hardly ever drink!
You will be different but think through your consequences.
The fact is most fears won’t come to pass, and I’m still alive.
What will your friends say if you are giving up drinking or reducing your beer or wine on Saturday night?
Is it significant that alcohol is killing you? Maybe actually, I have seen it.
Social pressure can be crazy.
Think about history. People have thrown themselves into all sorts of trouble because someone told them to do it!
Take a moment to consider the worst likely outcome of either reducing or giving up alcohol. Work through every scenario.
But here is the thing.
You are only allowed 10 minutes. Yes, a big fat 120 minutes. Can you handle 10 minutes?
Good now, pull back on your perspective on reducing your fear of reducing your alcohol intake.
Once we consider the worst and roll around a bit, we can get a bit more perspective on the issue.
7 – Keep Breathing.
Breathing is so underrated it’s untrue. I don’t mean shallow breathing either; when you focus on deep natural breathing, your thoughts about reality and alcohol change big time.
Remember, the mind and body are one system.
So when you change one area, the other one does too, and that gives you a different perspective and your thoughts and fears on conquering your fear of alcohol intake change.
Ever hated the thought of going for a walk, then once you have been, you feel different about it.
I am not a big exerciser, but the more you can do with your breathing to conquer your fear around alcohol, the better.
Breathing changes the chemical reactions in your body. So it goes without saying that it can also change your thoughts about alcohol as well, right?
Very often, it is the social aspect that alcohol feeds. Many of us have used alcohol in the past to deal with stress.
You only have to look at how many people drink alcohol after work to destress to work that one out.
How many times have you used alcohol to combat stress? That tells its own picture.
Here is an essential self-help guide for breathing that can be done anyway and is promoted by the NHS in the UK
6 – Imagine that you have conquered your fear
Your fear of no longer giving up or reducing your alcohol intake has gone.
What would you do if that was the case? I would like you to raise your standard of quality of life just for a moment.
What would change?
Be a bit Harry Potter about it. If you could wave a magic wand and reduce your alcohol intake, what would change?
What would you see, hear and feel? Use all your senses and do it with emotion.
Decide to set higher expectations of your life where alcohol is no longer dominant.
Fake what you believe, and it becomes a reality. But then take action.
Even small steps will help.
5 – Create a different trigger for alcohol
The brain works to triggers before you have even decided what to do about them.
In fact, in an experiment used now by BWRT practitioners worldwide as a base for theory, we have discovered that the reaction to something starts before we are consciously aware.
It was based on experiences by Libet. You can read more about BWRT here.
So what makes you fear giving up alcohol?
Friends, family, yourself, bars, stress, your boss.
Knowing your triggers can help, so create a trigger diary.
Over time, reduce those triggers and, therefore, your fear of reducing your alcohol intake.
4 – Be public talk to others
There are more of us out there than you might first think!
I have concluded that when we try to be radical about something and get comments, many people wish they were the same.
I have often been stared at for drinking alcohol-free drinks, only to be told later that sales of it went through the roof.
Sometimes you have to be a trailblazer.
Yes, it’s social proof, and people sometimes need to be more assured that they are not on their own.
Although since giving up alcohol, I have had people judge me, once I am so open about it, people start to relate.
Sometimes they will say, “I think I need to cut back”, Or “ good for you”.
It may not be their first reaction, but every time it changes.
I decided to create this blog, but you may choose just a different route.
But once we are more authentic about alcohol and our relationship with it, stuff changes. Please don’t ask me how but it does.
Talk to a friend or a mentor. Be choosy!
Some of your friends and family are more supportive than others.
Find someone going through the same thing and console each other. Online forums can be helpful, and you can remain anonymous.
3- Sorry, but fear equals change
There’s a reason to be excited when you’re afraid about giving up fear to reduce your alcohol intake.
You’re starting something new, and that is scary.
Remember, your brain is designed to keep you safe, so it sends warning signs that you’re doing something different.
Remember me when you did something for the first time and ordered something different at the bar?
I remember it well, and I still get a strange stare now; of course, now my mind has adjusted to it, so I think, oh well, their issue!
It’s exciting you could be at the start of something new. How cool is that!
As Susan Jeffers says in her book, Feel the Fear and do it anyway.
2. Make a long list of awe-inspiring reasons.
Make it so attractive that you want it.
Now that voice says, “what about the drink” but think again back to the alternatives. It’s just a protection strategy kicking in.
Get a piece of A4 paper and begin to write. Do it with emotion.
Imagine the doctor had told you that you had dodged a bullet with alcohol, but you would be OK if you cut back or gave up drinking.
What would you do then?
You would make the change.
Create a long list of the positive benefits of cutting back on alcohol and doing it with passion.
People like reasons for things.
- Live Longer
- Be healthier
- Save money
- Not sleep with strangers
- Keep your job
- Do something you love.
- Start a new business.
- Not to mention you’ll have a fantastic experience by just doing something new.
1 . Become an Alcohol-Free Drink Boozer baby
Fear of giving up alcohol is real.
After all, I know from experience, people tend to think worse of us for giving it up rather than staying on the drink, even socially.
Even though alcohol would kill me, I have had people offer me a drink as “one does not harm”.
It is madness!
Now the elephant in the room. Alcohol-free beer and any alcohol-free drinks are not suitable for everyone.
Many medical practitioners urge against it in case it’s a trigger or your drink gets spiked.
Sure, but I have people try to put drugs in a glass before now on holiday, so I am pretty sure I am a sharp cookie when it comes to that.
Now it may trigger off the desire to drink in some people. And my advice is only you will know that.
If that is, you don’t go near it.
For most people, though, having an alcohol alternative can be massive and help.
Even alcohol drinkers who read this blog occasionally fancy an alcoholic free beer to keep the overall alcohol down in the week.
That has to be a good thing, right. Are we seriously saying it’s a bad thing for people to have a choice?
Once you can have at least something in your hand, the social pressure goes away.
But now, the breweries worldwide are realising that there is profit in those niche drinks, and the brands are flowing out big time.
Focus groups and clever marketing are in 5th gear!
Fear is a lousy excuse when it comes to cutting back on alcohol.
But I get it; I have been there.
Fear is a bizarre reason for not doing something. But fortunately, it’s false evidence appearing real anyway.
Fear has become a socially acceptable excuse.
Do you allow fear to determine your actions?
Fear is self-imposed, so be brave and grab it with both hands.
Sometimes all it takes is a few steps in the right direction. Then, before you know it, you will be conquering your fear of reducing alcohol.
What is your fear of reducing alcohol? Is it real, and what can you share with others? Leave your comments below.