0800 840 1628 • Monday - Friday 9am - 6:30pmContact Us
If you want to stop drinking alcohol in the evening, or at least reduce your intake, you may wonder how to break the cycle of using alcohol as a ‘reward’ or a coping mechanism. In this article, we will provide some top tips, as well as some suggestions for alternative beverages that can still mark the end of the day without harming your health.
If you crave alcohol in the evening, you’re certainly not alone. Some of the most common reasons you might find yourself reaching for the bottle are:
You associate booze with relaxation and pleasure. Drinking alcohol can trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. Over time, your brain may learn to associate alcohol with positive emotions and experiences, resulting in craving it when you want to reward yourself or feel better.
You use alcohol as a way of coping with stress, anxiety or depression. Alcohol can temporarily numb or reduce negative feelings and thoughts, making you feel more relaxed and calm. However, this effect tends to be short-lived and often followed by a rebound effect, where you feel worse than before. Alcohol can also have a detrimental effect on your mental health in the long run by disrupting your brain chemistry and sleep quality.
You find you have become increasingly reliant on alcohol. If you drink frequently or heavily, your body adapts to its presence and require more of it to achieve the same effect. If you stop drinking or reduce your intake, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, anxiety, insomnia, nausea or tremors, which is a result of alcohol dependency. The more you drink, the more dependent you are likely to become, making it harder to quit or cut down.
You are influenced by social or environmental cues. You may crave alcohol more in the evening if you are surrounded by people who drink, places where alcohol is available or advertised, or situations where drinking is expected or encouraged. These cues can trigger memories and associations that make you want to drink.
How to stop drinking alcohol in the evening
If you want to stop drinking alcohol in the evening, here are some strategies that may help:
If you are looking for alternative drinks that can still mark the end of the day without harming your health, here are some options:
If you’re finding it challenging to quit drinking in the evening, LiveWell Dorset is here to help. We offer a free advice and coaching service to help you change your drinking habits, crafting a personalised activity plan tailored to you and your goals.
You can also find lots of useful tools and calculators on our website, including the Habit Hacker quiz designed by our health and psychology experts for people who need a bit of inspiration to improve their lifestyle habits. Register with us today to find out more!
Your search has returned 105 more resultsView all results