According to Tempestboard member Ruby Mehta, LCSW, drinking causes a gradual decline in serotoninlevels in the brain. When you stop drinking, your body has the chance toproduce more serotonin without depleting it, which could eventually make youhappier. Even with practice, you will re-discover joy and contentment. Yoursober life can still be exciting and fun.
Life is meant to beenjoyed, and in my experience, the joy in recovery is frequently more enduringand significant than the joy I ever had while I was intoxicated. I'm on mythird real attempt at AF, and it's no accident that, no matter what's going onin my life, I'm happy not to drink.
One of the mostunexpected effects of quitting drinking or considerably cutting back is animprovement in one's mood, according to many Daybreak members. Following abreak from their regular habit of one or two glasses of wine, members who hadstopped drinking merely for health and weight concerns are frequently startledto discover themselves calmer, more tolerant, and, shockingly, happier.
Although the effectsof alcohol on our mood and general mental health are becoming more widelyrecognized, long-term drinkers may not fully understand these effects sincethey may not have had the chance to abstain from alcohol for an extendedperiod.
Alcohol is frequentlyingrained in daily routines and social gatherings to the point where it becomesas "necessary" to a household as milk and bread. As a result, peoplemay unwittingly start drinking regularly out of habit rather than because of astrong desire.
The notion thatalcohol might be detracting from our general mood can be extremely upsettingbecause we typically equate it with slowing down and relaxing, celebrating, andperking us up.
The physics behindthis is simple; when we consume alcohol, our brains release severalneurotransmitters that give us a calm and euphoric feeling. But because this isactively altering our brain chemistry, our brains have to work extra hard tore-calibrate before we can fall asleep.
We can wake up feelingflat and unmotivated (due to less dopamine), nervous and jittery (thanks to toomuch of the chemical glutamate), or even plain fatigued and foggy. Thisfrequently results in an overabundance of some hormones and a shortage inothers (because, of course, alcohol also stops us from getting that deep,restorative REM sleep).
You may recall thatwhen you first started drinking, the consequences of alcohol the next day werequite obvious; you might wake up feeling awful and find it difficult tofunction. However, there also appears to be a tendency for habitual, dailydrinkers to build a tolerance to these symptoms.
Of course, this dependson how much alcohol you drank the previous night. Even one or two glasses ofwine might cause people to experience problems with their sleep and mood thenext day, but if this is their "normal," no other options are everconsidered.
Only after abstainingfrom alcohol for a few days will they likely start to feel their"fog" lifting and their energy levels returning as their sleepimproves and the effects of alcohol on the brain start to wear off.
This is not true foreveryone, and some people, cutting back or eliminating drinking may not have avisible effect on their mood. However, in general, these people would probablyexperience additional compelling benefits to their wellbeing that you might nothave predicted, such as improved digestion as a result of consuming lessalcohol or a clearer mind as a result of having more sleep.
Our Daybreak memberswho have abstained from alcohol generally do perceive an improvement in theirdaily quality of life, however, this can mean various things to differentpeople. For some people, giving up daily drinking and taking a break can evenfeel rather freeing. This is because it gives them a sense of accomplishmentand gives them hope for a healthier future.
We advise installingthe Daybreak app and seeking support if this sounds like it might apply to you.Before making any changes, you can perform a self-assessment to determinewhether you should see your doctor (as it can be dangerous to stop drinkingsuddenly if you have been drinking daily for some time).
Moving away fromeveryday drinking can be the beginning of significant changes for you sinceyou'll probably see improvements in mood, sleep, and general health. The otherDaybreak members will be able to provide guidance and support on how to getthere.
Because alcohol hassuch a significant impact on your mood, quitting drinking has a lot of negativeside effects. Dr. Willeumier claims that drinking alcohol is associated withcognitive, emotional, and behavioral deficits.
"Alcohol containsethanol, a substance that works to lower brain activity. While at first, it canhelp you unwind and feel better, it can also result in a hangover, fatigue, ordespair." Alcohol also affects how well you think.
"Neuroadaptationsin the brain brought on by prolonged use can result in addiction. Alcoholaffects how information is processed, which can lead to increased impulsivity(such as hostility, violence, and risk-taking behaviors) and motor controlimpairment (such as slurred speech, slower reflexes, balance problems, and gaitabnormalities) "Dr. Willeumier explains.
"Numerouscognitive processing characteristics, including attention, working memory,conflict resolution, and judgment, are also impacted by alcohol. Alcoholconsumption can affect brain structure and function over time, diminish thebrain's volume, and increase the risk of dementia and mild cognitiveimpairment."
Alcohol is frequentlyused to improve our moods, therefore quitting can force you to face theemotions you were previously numb to. Adopting a brain-healthy lifestyle is oneof the best methods to control your emotions after drinking, according to her.
Consuming nourishing,brain-healthy foods like wild salmon, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries,kale, spinach, broccoli, walnuts, almonds, avocado, dark chocolate, and greentea are also important. Men should drink 3.7 liters of fluids per day, whilewomen should drink 2.7 liters. Additionally, she suggests increasing yourintake of omega-3 fatty acids by eating more fatty fish, algae, seaweed, walnuts,almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and olive oil. Omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin Dsupplementation are also beneficial.