Follow your instincts not the music of the Pied Piper a.k.a. marketing/advertising.
Changing our belief systems through thoughtful education and knowledge of the truth behind what alcohol really is.
How do we know when something isn't right?
We get warning signs. Just as you get warning lights on your cars dashboard, you get warning signs with your body.
Our bodies and our minds are perfect creations. We have built in systems to keep us safe and healthy. For example: A fever to battle an infection.
We have our five senses to observe what's right and wrong, healthy and unhealthy.
When you first took your first sip of alcohol did you like the taste? Probably not. That was your sense of taste sending a signal to stay away from the harmful/toxic ingredients of alcohol. Most of us just didn't listen because we were brought up to believe that the mystery of alcohol, an elixir to the good life, must be a good thing.
The first time you drank too much... did you throw up? Probably. That was your body ridding you of the toxins you consumed. Did we listen in that instance? NO. Up until that point we subconsciously were taught that we need alcohol in order to be a grown up so let's keep trying it until it "works". Now we know that it "worked" until is truthfully doesn't work any more.
Why don't we listen to these warning signs?
(Don't worry, nothing has gone wrong. You have not done anything wrong. Your brain is working exactly as it was designed to do).
We have been conditioned to believe that alcohol is the solution to our feelings. A lot of this information is delivered to us subconsciously. We received messages from our parents. They, perhaps drank at all social situations. They, probably drank to end a hard day at work. We observed this as a way to cope. In our teenage years we began to be curious... what was this magical elixir? Now, as grown ups and parents, our own behavior of continuing to drink is subconsciously teaching our children to drink, too. When will the cycle end?
There is also marketing and advertising that we received even when we don't even know we are receiving it. We have been marketed to believe alcohol is the way to connect with friends, family, and loved ones. We've been lead to believe we need it on vacation, football games, New Years Eve, birthdays, etc. The alcohol industry spends billions of dollars on advertising because we believe in what they are selling us. It's a profitable business. I know it's hard to unbelieve at this very moment, but it can be done. It starts with one small step at a time.
Educate & Decide
How do we make a change when it seems as though everyone around us is drinking? We need to educate ourselves. We need to make conscious decisions. We need to stop numbing our brains and stop following the Pied Piper of advertising and marketing otherwise will succumb to following an unhealthy path. We don't need to hit a rock bottom in order to change. We just need to question our beliefs. We need to learn our why we drink. We need to question what we are trying to solve for.
If we were told all of the negatives of alcohol before we saw an advertisement of the "happiness" alcohol suppositively offers, would we still want to drink? Absolutely not! Where are the lists of side effects on the labels of wine? There aren't any. Not too long ago it was common to smoke. It was touted as good for your health. THEN, we learned of the harms it caused. There were anti-smoking campaigns all around us. Collectively we changed our minds and smoking has been reduced considerably. Will that happen for alcohol? I sure hope so. Whenever there is an article about the benefits of wine, they are shared more than an article about the harms of alcohol. We ourselves are guilty in perpetuating the beliefs that alcohol is good for us.
When I changed my habit I spent a lot of time reading and researching the harms of alcohol to unravel the deep beliefs that I had that alcohol was the solution to my moods. What if you spent just as much time researching the harms as you do planning your next drink? How much time do you spend beating yourself up the day after a night of over drinking? Spend that time learning. Try spending at least 10 minutes a day reading about the side effects of alcohol. That is how you make new beliefs.
Unfortunately, it's hard to not avert our attention to all of the marketing around us. What we have seen, observed and experienced is woven deep into the fabric of our beliefs. That's why it's hard to make a change, BUT it can be done. It is up to you to educate yourself and decide. I'm not saying you have to quit altogether... I'm just urging you to read reports about the harms of alcohol from legitimate sources.
This process needs to be more than just saying no to a drink.
We need to tune into our natural navigation system and listen to our bodies when we over drink. Your hangover is telling you something. It is your internal compass that something you ingested is unhealthy. Don't ignore it. AND don't judge it as something is wrong with you or that you are powerless.
We have been conditioned that we are weak and need something outside of ourselves to help solve for any problem. That notion can't be farther from the truth. Don't forget about your internal compass that gives you warning signs on a daily basis.
You are strong. You are a survivor!
You have already won the race by being here on this earth. The sperm and the egg that created you won out over all the other billions of sperm. You were created in strength and perseverance. Listen to the voice inside of you.
Take a break for a short amount of time and stop dulling your senses. Take a break in order to listen. You can't make a decision if you're feeding your brain and body alcohol and dulling your prefrontal cortex (your human/decision making brain).
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