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Alcohol and Health

How to Change Your Relationship with Your Emotions When Cutting Back on Drinking

October 17, 2022
13 min read
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Written by
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.
October 17, 2022
13 min read
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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.
October 17, 2022
13 min read
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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.
October 17, 2022
13 min read
Reframe App LogoReframe App Logo
Reframe Content Team
October 17, 2022
13 min read

You’ve often fantasized about having a spotless mind free of emotions. You wouldn’t feel grief, anger, or sadness. The catch is you also wouldn’t  feel happiness, hope, or love. Emotions are such a mixed bag because you’ve never learned how to see them as opportunities or how to express them properly. You can now.

Learning to cut back on drinking alcohol can be a daunting task, especially if we’ve been drinking to cope for a while. It's important to understand how to cut back on alcohol consumption safely and why it is essential for our physical and mental health while keeping the emotional effects of alcohol in mind. Emotions are a powerful tool that can guide us toward an optimal approach in order to cut back on drinking alcohol safely and responsibly.

Why Emotions Matter: Drunk Feelings vs. Sober Feelings

If we’ve been drinking to cope, cutting back can bring on a flood of emotions. Since “drunk feelings” can be quite different from “sober feelings,” it’s important to go easy on ourselves as we adjust to our changing emotional landscape, understanding that it won’t stabilize overnight. By taking the time to learn strategies that fit our individual needs, we build up strength and resilience so that, when faced with emotional challenges, we can make informed decisions that enable us to cut back without sacrificing our emotional well-being. With time and effort, cutting back on your alcohol consumption does not have to be seen as a chore but as an opportunity for positive transformation in your life.

Cutting back on alcohol can be challenging. People may not understand how to cut back on drinking or may not recognize when it's time to cut down. It is important to know how and why reducing alcohol consumption is beneficial for your overall physical and mental health.

What Happens When You Drink Less Alcohol

Drinking less alcohol can help you improve the quality of your sleep, strengthen your immune system, promote stress relief, and reduce your risk of certain conditions. It can also help cut back on unnecessary calories in day-to-day life. With a small lifestyle change and a few helpful tips, you can make huge improvements in your health.

How To Develop Emotional Skills

Cutting back on drinking alcohol can be a daunting challenge for many people. Whether it's to cut back on unhealthy habits or cut costs, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is an important decision. To help you cut back, there are several strategies you can use.

For example, always having some kind of snack before going out to have a few drinks can slow down your intake and make you less likely to overindulge. Limiting the time you spend socializing in contexts where alcohol is present is also a helpful strategy in cutting back on alcohol consumption. Setting yourself limits ahead of time lets you stay committed to drinking less than before. Although decreasing your alcohol consumption is no easy feat, with enough dedication and a few strategic tips, anyone can learn how to cut back on alcohol responsibly.

Steps to Embrace Your Emotions While Quitting/Cutting Back

Emotional Inheritance

Our emotions can be both an asset and a liability — it all depends on how we choose to use them. Just like with a financial inheritance, we don't always know how to use our emotional inheritance.

If our parents, teachers or friends don’t show us how to properly navigate our feelings, we can find ourselves in trouble. We may overeat, procrastinate, or drink too much alcohol — because the emotional intelligence necessary to cut back on these harmful habits hasn't been learned.

When it comes down to it, learning how to understand your emotions is one of the greatest investments you could ever make. Taking the time to learn emotional self-care tools such as proper coping strategies and finding healthier and more meaningful ways to take control of your life can be incredibly beneficial.

It won't only help you cut back on drinking alcohol but also teach you better communication and relationship skills. With this knowledge, you can be more prepared not only when you encounter difficult situations but also in moments of joy or stress which come hand-in-hand with everyday living.

Travel Inward

In the modern world, it's easy to get pulled away from focusing on our emotions, especially with so many things vying for our attention. When trying to build emotional skills, this self-awareness must come first. We won't find insight into our feelings outside of ourselves — rather, we need to cut back on overthinking and center inward.

Tune Into Physical Sensations

Tuning into your body is the secret to unlocking all other emotional skills. This can be done through a variety of methods — breaking free from toxic habits such as drinking too much alcohol is one key way that can help boost awareness in your inner state. When you cut back on drinking alcohol, you nurture an ability to decipher subtle changes in energy that occur inside you throughout the day.

Acknowledge Emotions

Identifying and naming your emotions is a crucial step to understanding your needs and responding healthily to life’s challenges. It can take patience to slowly differentiate our feelings. After a bit, we may be able to accurately identify moments of joy, sorrow, fear, or anger. We can even go further and begin using more specific terms to explain the inner experience.

Instead of attaching a broad label like “good” or “bad,” we learn to recognize that we may feel relaxed, pleased, reassured, or attentive. Through this practice of recognition and labeling, we equip ourselves with the tools necessary to cut back on drinking alcohol and make positive changes in our highly rewarding journey.

Emotions Present as Opportunities

Don’t cut yourself down and judge the emotions that you have. Remember each of your feelings carries an important message for you to receive and understand. It may help to view them as opportunities for self-discovery and growth instead of something to be ashamed of.

Even if you've been told in the past that you were "overreacting," try to offer yourself a sense of compassion and openness toward these moments instead. Validate the emotion, explore it without judgment, and thank it for what it is trying to tell you. These are all powerful and healthy ways to show yourself love and understanding when faced with emotions that may feel difficult or uncomfortable.

The Story of Why

Learning the story of why a behavior or feeling is manifesting can be as powerful as discovering new life lessons. These experiences may cause past traumas to resurface, but by processing them and understanding what triggers old feelings, one can cut back on drinking alcohol.

Drinking less alcohol can lead to an improved physical and mental state and cut back your chances of having such instances occur in the future. Finding ways to cut back on alcohol can be difficult, but with patience and dedication to self-care, it is possible to find more manageable solutions. Understanding your emotions helps you gain insights and grow, so take time to explore what your body tells you.

Sit With It

To cut back on drinking, it’s essential to take some time and “sit with it.” It’s often tempting to try and ignore or push away uncomfortable emotions. But, it's actually key to balancing out alcohol intake in the long run.

Allow yourself to face those feelings on what we can think of as a metaphorical “bench.” Really take the time to get to know them — even if they are intense or unpleasant — and gain understanding from that. If you leave too soon, your feelings will remain unresolved and could lead you back into heavy drinking bouts. By sticking it out, however, and taking a break from the booze, you can learn how to cut back on the long-term reliance on alcohol for numbing.

Emotional Management

Learning how to manage our emotions is an essential skill for navigating through life. It is important to pay attention to the needs and signals that our emotions are sending us, but it is also important to pause and consider if there are healthier ways to respond than those we may feel driven to initially.

Every emotion has something valuable and important to tell us. Rather than avoiding or denying it, often all that is needed is understanding and validation. It can be helpful to cut back on drinking alcohol as a first step in learning how to better manage difficult emotions when they arise. By drinking less alcohol, we can gain clarity of thinking, which will help us consciously make healthier decisions about how we want to respond.

Develop Valuable Communication Skills

When it comes to expressing your feelings to those around you, it is important to gain an understanding of yourself and your feelings first. People often cut back on drinking alcohol in order to better understand their emotions and develop valuable communication skills. Taking the time to learn how to cut back on drinking, or stop drinking alcohol, can provide clarity and confidence in your ability to articulate your thoughts and ideas.

When we take action or verbalize our feelings before taking the time for self-reflection, our relationships may become confused or strained. So if you have decided that you would like to take further action on something, make sure to understand yourself fully first!

It's important to be aware of the amount of alcohol you drink. Cutting back on drinking can have benefits such as improving your overall health, quality of sleep, productivity, and even put more money in your pocket. Start by being honest with yourself about how much you really need. Track your progress each week and celebrate small successes with the Reframe app.

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