Are you aware of how much you are drinking and the effect it is having on your body? Can you enjoy drinking without the killer hangover? Would you like some useful insights on how you can make healthier habits as we come into the festive season?
This week’s #AlcoholAwarenessWeek aims to help people understand the impact of alcohol on individuals, families and society as a whole.
According the the NHS ‘Most drinkers are unaware that regularly drinking more than 14 units a week can lead to a wide range of long-term health problems, including cancer, stroke and heart attack.’
This infographic shows that alcohol is the third largest lifestyle risk factor after smoking and obesity and can be the cause of more than 60 medical conditions. It is estimated that the annual cost of alcohol misuse in the UK exceeds £21 billion.
Benefits to cutting down:
- Save money
- Lose weight
- Sleep better
- Feel healthier
- Have more energy
- Improved and stable mood
- Cognitive function and concentration
- Avoid the dreaded hangovers!
It’s not just alcoholics that need to manage their drinking. Anyone who relies on a drink to relax or have a good time is using alcohol to self-medicate. Many people self medicate with alcohol without even realising it, using it to sedate and tranquillise themselves, or to feel better and elevate their mood.
Peer Pressure or Peer Pleasure?
As drinking is not only socially accepted but actively encouraged, instead of peer pressure, today we can enjoy the wisdom of a different Peer: Marisa Peer. Considered Britain’s best therapist and Founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy, Marisa has empowered millions to make healthier habits pleasurable.
Having worked with Celebrity Superstars, Olympic athletes, top business leaders and even royalty for over three decades, Marisa’s well documented and award-winning approach has become globally renowned for achieving unparalleled results, where other approaches have failed. Her revolutionary method, Rapid Transformational Therapy™ (RTT™), combines the most beneficial principles of Neuroscience, Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, NLP and CBT for life-changing results. Her recent offering I Am Enough reveals how you too can transform your life rapidly and permanently.
The good news is that you have more power than you realise to choose healthier habits and this article will show you how.
Addictions vs Healthy Habits:
1 in 3 people are addicted to something, according to the charity Action on Addiction.
When it comes to helping people end their addictions, Marisa Peer teaches that willpower is not powerful enough to change behaviours long term. To achieve lasting transformation, we need to get to the root cause and work with the subconscious mind, which is 10x more powerful.
Pain Pleasure Associations:
Your mind is programmed to move you from pain to pleasure, triggering you to seek out the things it believes brings you pleasure. If you associate drinking alcohol with relaxing, unwinding, having a good time, being sociable and having fun, then anytime you want to feel those things, guess what you reach for…?
Changing the way you think about drink, changes the way you feel about it, which changes your behaviour on an unconscious level.
In Marisa Peer’s highly acclaimed Perfect Weight Forever program, she shows us that when you change the feelings and associations you have with food and drink, you change the need for them. She says: ‘you won’t have to resist an urge ever again, as the urge will no longer be there. You won’t have to fight cravings as they’ll be gone’. When you are more aware of the decisions you are making and why, then you are more empowered to make conscious choices that serve not sabotage you.
Did you know that one glass of wine has the same calories as a slice of cake? Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, which is almost the same as pure fat. Change the images and associations to empower your mind to link pain rather than pleasure to the things you wish to avoid.
What are you craving? Serotonin – The Happy Hormone
Did you know that one of the biggest factors of cravings is actually a lack of serotonin. When people drink alcohol to get the feeling of mood elevation, it’s actually the serotonin they are craving.
Serotonin, also known as the happy hormone, is essential for keeping our moods regulated. Research has found that alcoholics lack the required levels of serotonin, which elevates our mood, and low levels of serotonin have also been linked to depression.
When people stop drinking, or are hungover, they frequently crave sweet fatty carbohydrates, to replace the sugar rush they got from alcohol and increase serotonin levels.
The good news is that instead of needing to drink or eat unhealthy food, you can naturally increase your serotonin levels with healthier foods. This will not only make you feel better, healthier and more energised, but help your waistline too.
Marisa Peer’s 5 best healthy foods to help the body increase serotonin:
You can easily find a way of incorporating those five foods into your diet easily and cheaply and there are other healthy ways to increase serotonin production too.
5 other ways to naturally increase serotonin:
- Get outside in natural daylight every day, especially in the winter, as sunlight helps us make serotonin.
- Chew food slowly to trigger serotonin and control appetite.
- Take vitamins including B complex supplements to maintain brain function.
- Don’t eat junk food, white flour and sugar as they disrupt your serotonin levels, causing rapid spikes and drops, which increase cravings.
- Limit your consumption of aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in diet drinks and low-fat snack foods, as this can slow down serotonin production.
Powerful emotional needs: drinking also fulfils an emotional need.
Marisa has taught millions of people that the common denominator of nearly all issues is not believing I Am Enough. When we don’t feel good enough, we can try to fill the inner feelings of lack with self-sabotaging, destructive behaviors. However, once we understand that the void only exists in our own mind, then we have the power to change it forever.
Drinking alcohol is often used as a way to suppress feelings of emptiness and that something is missing in our lives. It has been proven that one of the major factors causing alcoholism is the feeling of not belonging. One of the successes of AA is that it allows addicts to feel a sense of connection and belonging to a shared community.
In her latest offering, I AM ENOUGH, Marisa observes that humans come onto the planet with two powerful emotional needs:
- To seek connection.
- To avoid rejection.
Marisa says: ‘Feeling disconnected or rejected can lead to all sorts of issues. It can manifest as a fear of intimacy, an inflated ego, or an addiction to eating, alcohol or drugs. It doesn’t matter where the rejection or lack of connection comes from, it almost always leads to a person who feels as though certain things in life will never be available to them. Many modern-day ailments are a function of humans trying to fill the resulting emptiness or gap that they feel. I always come back to this fundamental truth: more than anything else we need connection and to avoid rejection. It really is that simple, because that truth is so powerful and part of its strength is its simplicity’.
It’s your choice: enjoy it!
Whatever changes you decide to make, make sure you link pleasure to them. If you give up alcohol to improve your health, but resent doing it, your mind will link pain and denial to not drinking. You may feel deprived, which can actually lead to craving something even more. Marisa talks about this in Perfect Weight Forever, and why most diets don’t work as they focus on denying yourself the things you associate with pleasure.
Instead, know that you are making life-enhancing choices and are feeling great and proud of your new healthier lifestyle. Enjoy the feeling of empowerment.
Make a point of linking massive pleasure to the changes you are implementing. Enjoy having a clear head with fresh energy and enthusiasm, instead of feeling sick, lethargic with a stinking hangover. Enjoy spending quality time and the money you save from alcohol on things that are important to you and your family. Know that you have a choice and you are able to choose how you feel, so choose to feel amazing everyday.
What’s stopping you? “I want something but it’s not available to me”.
So many people long to be free of their issues, but have a fixed belief as to why the solution is not available to them, which becomes their biggest blocker to success.
For example: “ I am desperate to stop drinking, but I have the gene just like my Dad”.
Limiting fixed beliefs may have blocked you from achieving the solution you seek, but a solution is always available to you. Awareness is the first step to success. The minute you begin to question a belief you are holding onto – you begin to doubt it. When you doubt it, you start to dissolve the hold it has over you. Change your beliefs and you can change your life.
Alcohol ages your body:
In You Can Be Younger, Marisa states:
“One of the reasons alcohol is so ageing is because while you are drinking alcohol you will temporarily suppress the production of growth hormones which keep your cells vigorous and active. Drinking too frequently may have a very detrimental effect on the production of growth hormones, as blood levels of growth hormones fall after every drinking bout. Heavy drinking also causes a dramatic increase of free radicals in our bodies and is very damaging to the skin. It can lead to blotchiness, broken veins, enlarged pores, puffiness, decreased skin tone, thin, stressed, tired skin and Rhinophyma a condition that causes the nose to become larger and redder. Alcohol can also disrupt periods and contribute to early menopause. Alcohol can increase oestrogen levels by 20 to 30% during mid-cycle. Alcohol dramatically ages the skin and lowers our bone mass which can lead to osteoporosis. As we age our bodies are less and less able to deal with alcohol.”
It is recommended that we all try to have at least 2-3 alcohol free days each week, to allow our body the time it needs to repair itself.
“What do you want to drink, baby?”
At the other end of the scale, in Marisa’s book, Trying to Get Pregnant, she talks about the effects of alcohol on the body. It is well known that women should refrain from drinking when pregnant and trying to conceive, but it’s less known that this also applies to men.
‘Excessive alcohol can have a toxic effect on sperm and will lower the sperm count, while the hops in beer and lager contain plant oestrogens, which can also trigger infertility in men. The breakdown product of alcohol in the body is acetaldehyde, which is toxic to sperm. Stopping, or cutting down on drinking, preconception, is important for both men and women. Alcohol interferes with the secretion of testosterone and speeds up the conversion of testosterone into oestrogen’.
In summary, relying on alcohol to relax or have a good time can actually mean you are self-medicating to sedate or elevate mood. People can sometimes use alcohol to fill a void of inner emptiness, when we don’t feel good enough or are disconnected and feel that there’s something missing in our lives. However, when we realise that transforming our lives is an inside job, we don’t need to reach for external substances to fill us up, as we can do it from the inside.
Hopefully you will have found this article has introduced some ideas and resources to transform negative beliefs and behaviours into more positive healthy habits. Cutting down or stopping drinking alcohol can improve mood, energy levels, body image and quality of life. You now know how you can change your beliefs to change your life.
If you would like more support, Rapid Transformational Therapy can tackle alcohol issues by retraining the mind to think differently about alcohol. Hypnotherapy commands the subconscious to remove behavioural tendencies to seek alcohol, replacing them with a neutral, disinterested representation of alcohol, alongside positive associations of what you want instead. This powerful technique can turn an alcoholic into someone who thinks nothing of alcohol, even if surrounded by other people drinking. Stop Drinking easily or enjoy Selective And Moderate Drinking with these potentially life-changing resources: