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A Beginner's Guide to Mindful Drinking
Drinking Less

A Beginner's Guide to Mindful Drinking: Setting Realistic Goals and Finding Support

July 1, 2024
8 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 1, 2024
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 1, 2024
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 1, 2024
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Reframe Content Team
July 1, 2024
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Mindful drinking is an approach that encourages individuals to be more conscious about their alcohol consumption. Rather than completely abstaining from alcohol, mindful drinking focuses on making intentional decisions, understanding the reasons behind drinking, and recognizing the impact of alcohol on mental and physical health. This guide will help beginners start their journey towards mindful drinking by setting realistic goals and finding the necessary support.

Understanding Mindful Drinking

Mindful drinking involves being aware of why and how much you consume alcohol. It means drinking with intention and being conscious of the effects alcohol has on your body and mind. This practice is not about giving up alcohol entirely but about enjoying it in a way that is healthy and balanced.

Benefits of Mindful Drinking

The benefits of mindful drinking are numerous. According to The Benefits of Mindful Drinking, practicing mindful drinking can lead to improved physical health, better mental health, stronger relationships, enhanced cognition, and a healthier complexion. By being more conscious of your drinking habits, you can reduce the risk of various health issues and improve your overall well-being.

Setting Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is crucial for anyone starting their journey towards mindful drinking. Here are some steps to help you set achievable goals:

  1. Assess Your Current Drinking Habits: Take note of how much, when, and why you drink. This will help you understand your patterns and identify areas that need change.
  2. Define Your Goals: Be specific about what you want to achieve. For example, you might aim to reduce your drinking to weekends only, or limit yourself to two drinks per occasion.
  3. Set Small, Achievable Steps: Break your goals into smaller, manageable steps. Instead of trying to cut down your drinking drastically, start by reducing the number of drinks you have in a week.
  4. Track Your Progress: Keep a journal or use an app to track your drinking habits and progress. This will help you stay accountable and see how far you've come.
  5. Be Flexible: It's important to be flexible and adjust your goals as needed. If you find a particular goal too challenging, don't be afraid to modify it.

Examples of Realistic Goals

  • Limiting alcohol consumption to weekends.
  • Reducing the number of drinks per social event.
  • Choosing lower-alcohol options.
  • Incorporating alcohol-free days into your week.

Finding Support

Support is essential when making changes to your drinking habits. Here are some ways to find support:

Join a Community

Joining a community of like-minded individuals can provide motivation and accountability. According to How To Practice Mindful Drinking, connecting with others who are on a similar journey can offer valuable insights and encouragement. Online forums, support groups, and social media communities are great places to start.

Use Technology

There are several apps designed to help you practice mindful drinking. These apps offer features like drink tracking, goal setting, and educational resources. For example, the Best 10 Mindful Drinking Apps provide a variety of tools to support your journey towards healthier drinking habits.

Seek Professional Help

If you find it challenging to manage your drinking on your own, seeking professional help can be beneficial. Therapists, counselors, and coaches can offer personalized guidance and support. The Reframe App provides access to licensed coaches and evidence-based strategies to help you cut back on drinking.

Engage in New Activities

Finding new hobbies and activities can help reduce your reliance on alcohol. Engaging in physical exercise, exploring creative outlets, or joining clubs and groups can provide alternative ways to spend your time and cope with stress.

Tips for Practicing Mindful Drinking

Here are some practical tips to help you practice mindful drinking:

  1. Set Rules for Yourself: Establish clear guidelines for your drinking, such as limiting yourself to a certain number of drinks per occasion or choosing non-alcoholic alternatives after reaching your limit.
  2. Take Regular Breaks: Space out your drinks and take longer breaks between them. This can help you stay in control and avoid overconsumption.
  3. Alternate Drinks: Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to reduce your overall alcohol intake and stay hydrated.
  4. Eat Before Drinking: Eating a nutrient-dense meal before drinking can slow the absorption of alcohol and help you feel full, reducing the urge to drink excessively.
  5. Reflect on Your Drinking: Pay attention to how alcohol affects your body and mind. Ask yourself if you're drinking to cope with negative emotions and consider healthier alternatives.

By setting realistic goals and finding the right support, you can successfully embark on your journey towards mindful drinking. Remember, the key is to be patient with yourself and take it one step at a time. Celebrate your progress and enjoy the benefits of a healthier relationship with alcohol.

Master Your Triggers

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol. 

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today! 

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