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Quit Drinking

How To Stop Drinking

June 16, 2023
7 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.
June 16, 2023
7 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.
June 16, 2023
7 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.
June 16, 2023
7 min read
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Reframe Content Team
June 16, 2023
7 min read

You’re at a party, the energy is pulsing around you, and the drinks are flowing generously. Despite your initial intention to abstain, you find yourself instinctively reaching for that enticing glass of wine. This narrative is familiar to most of us, but when drinking more than we intend starts to become a pattern, it’s crucial to take a deeper look into our relationship with alcohol.

How, exactly, do we stop drinking and ultimately stick to our alcohol-free lifestyle for good? Read on for some actionable, science-backed tips!

Understanding Our Relationship with Alcohol

First, we need to dig beneath the surface to understand why we're drawn to drinking. Alcohol has deeply permeated our societal rituals: it’s used as an icebreaker at parties, a relaxant after a long day, or even as a coping mechanism for life's hurdles. Recognizing this can be uncomfortable but illuminating. Are we reaching for the bottle to deal with stress, loneliness, or perhaps boredom? Maybe it's a social routine we've slipped into, or we might be wrestling with more profound issues such as anxiety or depression. By asking ourselves these tough questions, we can map out the intricacies of our relationship with alcohol — a critical foundation for the journey towards sobriety.

Setting Clear Goals

With a better understanding of our motivations, we can move forward to set clear, achievable goals. These are unique to each person. For some, it could mean reducing the number of drinks consumed each week; for others, it could mean striving for complete abstinence. Regardless of our specific goal, the key here is to be realistic yet ambitious. Every small step we take towards these goals is a personal victory, and we must acknowledge it as such.

Building a Support System

When we've got people in our corner, the fight becomes less daunting. Support systems act as our safety net, always there to catch us when we stumble and lift us when we're down. This network can include friends and family, support groups, or professionals like therapists or counselors. You can even tap into support 24/7 via Reframe’s anonymous Forum. Here, you'll find like-minded people who understand, support, and respect your decision to stop drinking. This is not a journey we need to undertake alone; having allies along the way can be a real game-changer.

Finding Healthy Alternatives

Let's face it: sometimes we drink out of sheer habit. Maybe it’s the end of a grueling day, and we automatically reach for a drink to unwind, or we’re cooking dinner and sipping some wine. Breaking these patterns by finding a healthier alternative can be immensely helpful. This could be anything that brings us joy and relaxation, from brewing a calming cup of herbal tea, immersing ourselves in a good book, practicing meditation, or taking a refreshing evening walk. By replacing old routines with new, healthier ones, we can gradually change our automatic response to stress and fatigue.

Mental Health Matters

Acknowledging and addressing underlying mental health issues that may contribute to our drinking is an essential component of this journey. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), for example, has proven effective in treating alcohol misuse by altering the way we perceive drinking. Moreover, mindfulness and meditation techniques can help us manage our stress and emotions better, reducing our urge to use alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Celebrating Progress

As we venture along this path, it's crucial to recognize and celebrate each milestone, no matter how small. Progress isn't linear; there might be hurdles and setbacks along the way. But what defines us is not the number of times we fall, but the number of times we get back up. Our consistent effort and resilience shape our journey, not the detours or delays we may experience as we go.

The Takeaway

Moving towards a life without alcohol can feel like sailing through uncharted waters. We might encounter storms of temptation and currents of doubt, but it's important to remember that we have the strength and the courage to navigate this trip successfully. Change is possible! We have the power to redefine our relationship with alcohol, one day at a time.

So the next time you find yourself at that lively party, instead of mindlessly reaching for a glass of wine, take a moment. Remember the journey you’ve committed to and the progress you’ve made.

The road towards sobriety isn’t easy, but it's worth every step. As J.P. Morgan famously said, "The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that we are not going to stay where we are." So, let's take that first step together.

Ditch the Alcohol for Good With Reframe

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 today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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