We all love a drink every now and then. Maybe it’s the end of a busy and stressful week, and you simply want to relax and put your feet up with a cold beverage. However, it’s not uncommon for drinking to become habit and booze is renowned for its nasty ways of becoming a frequent thing.
Everybody knows the dangers of drinking and what it can do to you, but not many people know how to stop. If you’re becoming a bit worried about your alcohol intake and you want to do something about it, going to an AA meeting may seem a bit over-the-top. Alternatively, you could try looking into some habit-breaking meditation practices.
Recently, a study considered the effects that mindfulness meditation had on a group of ‘at-risk’ drinkers. These are people who come into the category of woman who drinks more than 112 grams of alcohol (around six glasses of wine) a week or men who consume more than 168 grams (roughly nine 4% pints a week).
The study was carried out among 68 people who fall into this category. The group partook in an 11-minute mindfulness session. Simultaneously, another group partook in a session that revolved around just relaxing.
The results were staggering. In only just one week, the mindfulness control group has consumed, on average, 75 grams of ethanol less than they had before. This averages around four drinks per person.
With the current health epidemic that we are currently in as a world society, it has never been more important to turn to studies such as this to look for answers. Although this study was small, hopefully, it will be a gateway for more similar studies to take place in the hopes of finding an answer to better off the planet.
The Technique to Reduce Alcohol
If you want to start feeling the benefits that this mindfulness meditation can bring, here’s a technique that can help you to create habits that you want to keep.
Let’s start by turning your head from left to right. Really pay attention to how you feel when you do this. Can you feel your neck, or is the feeling stemming from your head or your spine? Does your skin or muscles change temperature?
Monitor this feeling. It doesn’t matter if it feels wrong or right, simply accept the feeling and move on to the next. This is the most basic concept of mindfulness meditation, and you’ve just done it! Now, the same needs to apply when you have an urge to get a drink.
Monitor that feeling. Where in your body does the feeling originate? Is it in your stomach, in your head or in your chest? If you keep practising this form of meditation in every way you can think of, the world becomes your oyster, and you’ll be capable of successfully completing anything you put your mind too.
Every time you feel an urge, such as imagining the refreshing taste of beer, a glass of wine or any form of alcohol cooling you off, how does it feel? Make a note in your head of these feelings, and then let them pass.
There is a tonne of online courses, books and apps that can get you started in the practice of mindfulness meditation. Even if you start by practising ten minutes every day, this can help to create a habit that could change your life, and your health, forever.