Do you drink alcohol to have a good time? To relax? Does it help ease the pain from life’s challenges or help you cope with depression or anxiety? For all the reasons that you may believe regular use of alcohol improves your emotional and physical wellbeing, the benefits of living life without alcohol—permanently—are exponential. While you have likely heard that quitting alcohol improves your health, from your memory to your sleep, to your liver functions, you may not realize all the ways that a life without alcohol will enhance your well-being. Read on to learn how quitting alcohol for good can improve your life, mind, body, and spirit.
- Your Personal Relationships Will Improve. You may be so caught up in how drinking makes you feel that you don’t realize that it’s damaging the relationships you have with the people who matter most in your life, including your spouse, parents, children, friends, and co-workers. Your alcohol use may make you forgetful or unavailable at best, or cruel or abusive at worst. By removing alcohol from your life, you eliminate its nasty side effects, such as selfish or verbally abusive behavior, so that you can start rebuilding the relationships in your life that will make you feel secure, comforted, and joyful.
- Your Sex Life May Improve. When you are under the influence of alcohol, your body experiences a sort of numbness that can reduce the pleasure associated with physical intimacy. By eliminating alcohol from your life, you can improve your sex drive and your enjoyment of physical interactions.
- You Meet More People Who are Like You. While some people can quit alcohol cold-turkey, the most successful recovering alcohol users are those who seek the support of group counseling, such as a 12-step program or an Alcoholics Anonymous chapter. By embracing those who understand your struggle with addiction in a way that others in your life cannot, you will forge friendships with people who will see you through your recovery, even during your darkest times, because they’ve been there too, and they know what it takes to reach the light.
- You Will Spend Less Money. Like many bad habits, alcoholism takes a financial toll on its victims. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Americans spend approximately one percent of their gross annual income on alcohol. For the average household, this amounts to $565 a year, or about $11 a week. In cities where one cocktail costs more than this amount, it’s easy to see how the amount of money that alcoholics spend on drinks can quickly become a significant line item in their monthly budget. Imagine taking the money you currently spend on alcohol every year and spending it on vacation or saving toward a down payment on a home instead.
- You Ditch Other Bad Habits. People who are addicted to alcohol are susceptible to other addictive substances and hobbies such as gambling and smoking. When you cut one addictive behavior from your life and experience the life-altering benefits of your choices, you will be more likely to find the will to cut other unhealthy habits from your lifestyle.
- Your Self-Esteem Boosts. Not only will you feel confident knowing that you accomplished something with which many people struggle— overcoming addiction—but you will also feel more self-confident once you are living unshackled by the pressure of finding that next drink.
The health benefits of quitting alcohol should be paramount in your choice to get clean, however, you may not realize the myriad of ways in which an alcohol affects your life personally, financially, physically, and emotionally. Any one of these reasons is enough to start your journey toward a confident alcohol-free lifestyle. If you’re ready to let go of your addiction for good, talk to a doctor or therapist who can help you begin the path toward recovery today.