Beer is consumed in mass quantities throughout the world. In fact, many in Russia consider beer a soft drink. Those who drink beer or wine often mistakenly believe this means they do not have a drinking problem or are not alcoholics. The truth is, drinking beer (or wine) in excess or for the wrong reasons is just as problematic as drinking anything else.
There are many problems related to excessive drinking. Among these are the effects of alcohol on your life: relationships, work, physical health, mental health, parenting, financial, legal, etc.. In essence, anyone who consistently drinks to escape the reality of his or her life is a problem drinker. Likewise, anyone whose drinking is negatively affecting any area of life may be considered a problem drinker. It is less about how much or often you drink, and more about why you drink – and what you are willing to risk to have your beer whenever you want it.
Two common reasons people give for drinking beer:
Rest and Relaxation – We all like to rest and relax after a long day or hard week. The problem with popping a top most evenings and weekends is your method for getting some R&R can also cause health and mental problems.
Take the Edge Off – Everyone these days seems to have more stress than they can manage. Overloaded schedules, competing priorities and a frantic pace throughout the day leave us feeling like a hamster on a wheel going nowhere fast. Everyone has to find their own way to balance their lives. Taking the edge off after a stressful day or week often means zoning out in front of the television with a few beers.
How to change old patterns:
If you find that you drink beer most days for any of the reasons cited here, you might be wondering what to do instead. There are other articles on our site that address these questions in detail.
Meanwhile, here are some ideas for changing old patterns.
- Recognize that beer drinking can be just as problematic as drinking liquor if it is affecting your life in a negative way, being used as a coping strategy for dealing with life’s stress or your primary form of relaxation.
- Be honest about the health and mental effects of drinking heavily, binge drinking or drinking daily.
- Talk to your doctor or a counselor about other ways of coping with stress or anxiety, depression or other things bothering you.
- Find things to do that you enjoy and try doing them without any beer or alcohol.
- If being in crowds is difficult for you, try meeting with a smaller group of friends at home or in the park instead of a noisy, crowded bar or restaurant.
- Find an activity you enjoy and get more active. Shoot basketball, throw a baseball, go for a walk, get a new bike and go riding or start skiing. Getting more active will help with stress and give you a new way to relax.
- Take up a hobby. Try photography, model cars or planes, collecting, fishing, hiking, etc.
- Become a volunteer. Most cities have Volunteer Match, a program where local non-profits list their needs for volunteers and match people according to their interests. There are more needs than there are people and you may find a way to spend your free time helping others that will meet many of the needs out there.
How to Stop Drinking:
You can stop drinking beer, or use it more moderately, and we can help with our Give Up Alcohol Course . Check it out to see how others have benefitted from this resource.