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Ways to Feel Better Without Alcohol

Three top tips to resist the urge

As you cut down on alcohol, there will be times when you feel the urge to drink. These urges are often triggered by thoughts or emotions. We don’t always recognise these straight away, although sometimes they are obvious (“I’ve had a bad day, so I want a drink”). Either way, dealing with these feelings differently will help you to build a healthier relationship with alcohol. Here are some ideas to help set you on the right path.

Distract yourself

Alcohol may be your go-to remedy for feeling stressed, anxious or low, but simple distraction can help you overcome this. Your brain can’t focus on two things at once, so if you get into doing something you enjoy, the urge to drink will soon disappear. Think about the fun, healthy alternatives you can try, such as calling a friend, learning to cook, lifting weights to music, taking a walk or dancing around the kitchen to your favourite song.

Rediscover what you love

As you make a positive lifestyle change, there’s no better time to fall back in love with old hobbies and interests. When you rely on drink to make you feel happy, you forget how good other things can make you feel. Try getting back into a sport you used to love and prioritise keeping fit, re-connect with an old friend or take up a class in a subject you liked at school.

Boost your wellbeing

Doing things that make us feel good leads to an upward cycle of making positive choices and feeling happier & healthier. The Five Ways to Wellbeing offer further inspiration about ways to feel good without alcohol: 

  • Connect: connecting with other people is vital to wellness, whether this be friends, family or people in our local community.
  • Be active: this releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, especially if done outdoors. This includes walking, dancing, sports, gym activities and anything else that gets you moving.
  • Keep learning: learning is one of the things that makes us tick and gives us a sense of being good at something. Take an evening class, read non-fiction or simply ask a colleague to teach you something new.
  • Give: helping others makes us feel we’re doing good in the world. This can be anything from volunteering at a charity to doing a favour for a friend to smiling at someone in the corridor.
  • Take notice: noticing the good stuff, like natural beauty or someone being kind, will make you feel good. Becoming more aware of your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations can help you feel more present in life, which is also good for wellbeing.

You can read more about the Five Ways to Wellbeing here.

We're here to help

If you’d like some support with cutting down on alcohol, get in touch to find out how our friendly Wellness Coaches could help.



How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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