Have you been thinking about finally saying “goodbye” to alcohol, but you’re wondering what life would be like if you do? It’s a big decision and here at the Reframe app we know how strange it can feel to even think about. But if this describes where you are right now, then you’ve come to the right place! In this post, we’re going to cover what happens when you quit drinking alcohol, including all the physical, mental, emotional, and relational aspects of life beyond drinking. There are so many benefits of not drinking that we’re excited to tell you about, so read on for eight benefits that we stand to gain when we stop drinking alcohol!
Benefit #1: Increased Energy
Because alcohol is a depressant, it makes our brain and our body slow down. So the less we drink, the more energy we gain for being productive in all of the many things we have to do at home, work, and throughout our busy lives. With no alcohol in our system, we find ourselves thinking more clearly so we have the motivation to tackle that project list. The other great thing that happens when we stop drinking is that our sleep cycles will improve to give us better rest overnight, which only compounds all these positive effects. Think about waking up with no hangovers or hangxiety to hold us back from having a great day! Removing alcohol from our lives sounds daunting, but the rewards are so worth it!
Benefit #2: Improved Immunity
Drinking does a real number on our immune system because our body recognizes alcohol as a toxic substance, so our other major bodily functions like digestion and fighting off environmental pathogens are temporarily set aside in favor of processing the alcohol first. That means we can get sick more easily when we drink, especially when we drink over long periods of time — so by removing alcohol, we’re giving ourselves a far better chance of overall bodily health.
Benefit #3: Stronger Organs
Going along with the improved immunity, quitting alcohol has huge effects on our internal organs. From our liver to our heart, from our stomach to even our lungs, and essentially every major and minor organ in our body, no alcohol means stronger health. That includes our skin, too! Since alcohol is a diuretic that dehydrates us, we retain more of the water we need to nourish our skin and this helps us maintain the glow we’re hoping for. Our blood pressure improves when we don’t drink, and our liver gets the chance to repair itself and do its job more efficiently. Many studies have also proven that drinking leads to various types of cancer, so we also protect ourselves for the future when we stop consuming alcohol.
Benefit #4: Weight Loss
Alcohol provides “empty calories,” meaning that it has no nutritional value itself. However, the drinks we consume that contain alcohol also have a lot of calories which don’t get properly metabolized because our body prioritizes filtering out the toxic alcohol. Removing alcohol therefore frees our digestive tract to do what it does best — to capture the good nutrients that we need. Additionally, think about all of the extra calories we won’t be eating from all of those questionable dietary decisions we made while we were drinking! Stopping drinking can really help our weight loss goals.
Benefit #5: A Happier Outlook
When we get rid of alcohol, we find ourselves free of the anxiety and depression that it brings. Not drinking means we give our brain a chance to reset its neurotransmitters so that we can experience greater overall well-being and a happier outlook on life. This doesn’t happen overnight, but thanks to our brain’s amazing power called “neuroplasticity,” we can actually rewire our neurological connections and start to experience life differently. As we slowly and consistently change the associations we have with alcohol in our everyday lives and replace drinking with other activities, we gain confidence and our brain literally gains new connections.
Benefit #6: Smarter Decisions
Alcohol impairs our ability to make good decisions, and most of us can think of at least one time when we regret doing something while under the influence of the drinks we consumed. Think about what life would be like without having to worry about remembering everything that you said and did — doesn’t that sound appealing? Without alcohol to cloud our judgment, we are able to think more clearly through the consequences of our words and actions, and in turn to make better decisions. Whether it’s planning for the future or having conversations with others in our lives about important topics, the less alcohol we have in our system, the better.
Benefit #7: Deeper Relationships
Going along with the idea of clearer conversations, the benefits of not drinking can improve our relationships with our family, friends, and coworkers. When our mind and body are free of the intoxicating influence and after-effects of alcohol, we’re better able to communicate in helpful ways with the most important people in our life. This means we are being our true, authentic selves, which is such a critical part of any thriving relationship. Removing alcohol can even help things in the bedroom because it won’t be getting in the way of having the most satisfying sex possible! If you’re ready to recharge your relationships, from romantic to platonic, from family to professional, then quitting alcohol is a great decision!
Benefit #8: More Money in the Bank
Take a moment and think about how much you spend on an average drink. Let’s assume for the sake of simple math that it’s two dollars per drink. Even for just two drinks per day on average, over the course of a month that’s $120 you’ve saved, and for a year it would be $1440! Do your own math and think about what you would do with that kind of extra money. Especially if things are tight financially, consider the stress you would probably save yourself by removing alcohol from your budget this month and how you could use it to take care of yourself and your loved ones instead. You can also think about setting this money aside to treat yourself to something special later this year. Rewarding ourselves as we obtain the benefits of not drinking is very important!