Having a bad day? Perhaps your world just feels a bit heavier these days and you just can’t figure out why. The solution for some folks has been to reach for a drink when things get tough. What about when you had a particular good day and you wish to share that excitement with others? Can your moods be enhanced or altered by drinking? This study published by the National Institute of Health looks at Alcohol, Moods and Male-Female Differences. It finds that although a particular mood may be the motivator for a person to party or “Get Drunk”, neither men nor women who drink heavily effectively drown their sorrows with alcohol.
So certain moods do influence drinking behavior but ultimately there can be many excuses a person uses to rationalize their desire to drink. Breaking the drinking habit just gets tougher the more your rely on alcohol. So what can you do “when **IT” really hits the fan? Are your pursuing healthier habits that bring happiness? Well Forest Gump used some exercise when things got tough for him. Here are three more suggestions that will change your mood rather than reaching for a drink.
Tips to Improve Your Mood
One of the key characteristics of heavy drinkers and alcoholics is selfishness and self-centeredness. So the opposite of that is to think of yourself less. So we suggest a pathway to happiness is to
- Do More for Other People
Performing Random Acts of Kindness has been proven to have positive health benefits for you. Here are a few scientifically proven benefits of being kind:
- More Energy with increased feelings of self-worth
- Increased Happiness
- Increased production of “The Love Hormone” (oxytocin)
- Improved production of “The Pleasure Hormone” (serotonin)
- Regular acts of kindness produces less stress (diminished amounts of cortisol)
Your Acts of Kindness can be Contagious
The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!
2. Don’t Tie Your Happiness to External Events
How you feel about yourself is a little tricky for a heavy drinker. Low self-esteem is often addressed with going to more social events and trying hard to fit in, buying expensive things for yourself to help you stand out or even setting yourself up for failure by tackling activities beyond your ability. The short-term emotional benefits of pursuing self-esteem are often outweighed by long-term costs and a heavy drinker will again reach for the solution he/she knows and fall deeper into addiction. Our suggestion is to look inward for the root causes of low self-esteem and develop your spirituality. We encourage our residents to find a spiritual community such as a 12 step fellowship, yoga classes and/or a faith based community to turn to for fellowship. This article on developing your spiritual resources can be helpful in your quest to look inwardly.
3. The Importance of Being Grateful
Easier said than done if your mood is always blue. If you are prone to pessimism and depression, this practice of becoming grateful may require you to act your way into the right way of thinking. Start with a short list. Making a gratitude list every couple of days helps remind you of the simple things in life are often the more important things. Eventually this simple act will begin to alter the way you think and have seen the practice bring people out of the darkness that had ruled them. Being grateful changes people for the better every time and this attitude of gratitude is infectious. Here is a little science about How Gratitude Changes You for the better.
Break The Drinking Habit
Happiness is an inside job is a common quote you here is the rooms of a 12 step fellowship. There is plenty of truth in this statement and this blueprint for life found in these fellowships starts with a willingness to change the way you think. It is almost impossible to stop drinking when you are still drinking. If you need help to stop the crazy cycle of drinking, we can help!