After around 2 years of the covid-19 pandemic together with lockdowns, general restrictions, social isolation, and a general feeling of anonymity due to masks, a lot of people are wondering how do I stop drinking.

Google Searches for “How do I Stop Drinking” Have Increased by 900% in the Last Year

If you feel like you’re drinking too much and are unable to cut back or quit drinking, you belong to an ever-growing group of people. The Google searches for “How do I Stop Drinking” and “How to quit Alcohol for Good” have increases by 900% in the last 3 months as well as compared to the prior year.

And it’s not just people who drink a bit too much on the weekends and want to cut back. As you can see in the image below the Google search volume for “How to Stop Drinking Alcohol Cold Turkey” has gone up by 900% in just one year.

People who’re wondering how to stop drinking alcohol cold turkey are not people who drink a bit too much when they’re out on a Friday night. They are people who in some way have become more dependent on alcohol than they would like to. Whether it be a mental dependence, as the only way to reduce stress or cope with feelings of loneliness, depression or anxiety, or even a physical dependance such as experiencing “the shakes” after a heavy bender.

The single best way to stop drinking is to restructure your daily routine in such a way that there is no time nor desire for drinking

Have you heard the old proverb, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”?

It is 100% true. If you don’t actively fill up your day with things that excite you, your day will fill up with things that distract and bore you.

If you don’t fill up your day with things that inspire you, your day will fill up with things that other people have planned for you but that are ultimately uninspiring and tedious to you.

You need to actively structure your day in such a way that you have an exciting day or else your day will fill up with boring and dull tasks.

Research clearly backs this up: The average adult experiences around 131 days of boredom per year, according to Medical News Today.

Here is a specific suggestion how you can structure your day so that there is no time nor desire for drinking:

  • 6.00 am: Get up, shower, have breakfast
  • 8.00 am: Go to work. Do not work from home! Avoid working from home at all costs. Working from home means boredom: No new surroundings (your office), no new insights (conversations with coworkers) and no change of scenery (commuting to your workplace). If you’re an entrepreneur or don’t have the opportunity to go to your workplace, go to a café, rent an office, rent a seat in a co-working space, go to the public library, or go to your parents’ basement to work there. Just get out of the house.
  • 5 pm: Go directly to the gym, a sports club, the swimming pool, etc. and get a workout in. Go from your workplace directly to the gym. Do not go home first. Bring your gym clothes with you as you leave the house in the morning. Lift heavy weights and do cardio.
  • Alternatively: On days you don’t work out, go and join a club. Join one or more of the many clubs or activities in your area. Most of them are free or quite cheap.
    • Film Club
    • Cooking Club
    • Improv Club
    • Yoga
    • Soup Kitchen
    • Photography
    • Hiking Club
    • Foreign Language Club
    • Table tennis
    • Golf
    • Basketball
    • Running Club
    • Book Club
    • Bible study
    • Local politics
    • Volunteering
    • Alcoholics Anonymous
    • and many more…
    • On days you really can’t find anything to do in the evening, go to a café, order a coffee or tea, and read a book for an hour or two.

Why is this routine so incredibly effective?

1) Exercising reduces cravings for alcohol

Research has shown that after people work out, they have significantly reduced cravings for alcohol. Also their mood improved and feelings of anxiety   decreased.

This is likely due to significantly increased levels of happy neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. These neurotransmitters give you that same great feeling that alcohol gives you.

2) Staying busy and, getting out of the house, and changing your scenery multiple times during the day drastically reduces feelings of boredom

Why is boredom so problematic?

Boredom increases the probability that people take drugs to combat feelings of boredom, according to Scientific American.

Why is this routine so incredibly effective?

1) Exercising reduces cravings for alcohol

Research has shown that after people work out, they have significantly reduced cravings for alcohol. Also their mood improved and feelings of anxiety   decreased.

This is likely due to significantly increased levels of happy neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. These neurotransmitters give you that same great feeling that alcohol gives you.

2) Staying busy and, getting out of the house, and changing your scenery multiple times during the day drastically reduces feelings of boredom

Why is boredom so problematic?

Boredom increases the probability that people take drugs to combat feelings of boredom, according to Scientific American.

How long do I need to stick with this habit to quit alcohol for good?

In the past, experts suggested that it takes 21 days for a new habit to form. This is a myth, however.

This concept originated from the book “Psycho Cybernetics” from the 1960s by plastic surgeon Maxwell Malts, who stated that he found that it took patients about 21 days for them to get used to their new faces they had plastic surgery done.

This notion has been proven incorrect by recent studies. Scientists from the University College London found out that it takes 66 day on average for a new habit to form.

Furthermore, it can take as much as 254 days until this new habit is fully formed.

You need to stay very busy for at least 2 months until not drinking becomes a fully formed habit for you and the new norm.

Don’t rely on willpower to quit drinking. Structure your days in such a way that you have no time nor desire for drinking alcohol. Staying at home too much and not having any inspiring things to do is the perfect breeding ground for problematic alcohol and/or drug consumption patterns.

Be radical for at least 2 months. Get out of the house as much as possible and work out and/or go to a club, the public library, a cafè, whatever, every single evening after work until your carvings for alcohol subside.

Stick with this routine until it becomes your new habit and replaces your habit of drinking alcohol

About the author : dominik.doeppert@web.de

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