How to use hypnosis to control alcohol
We know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us. It gives us hangovers, makes us feel tired and does little for our appearance – and that is just the morning afterwards.
Long term, it increases the risk of developing a long list of health conditions including breast cancer, oral cancers, heart disease, strokes and cirrhosis of the liver. Research shows that a high alcohol intake can also damage our mental health, impair memory skills and reduce fertility.
The direct link between alcohol and the liver is well understood – but what about the impact of alcohol on other organs? Numerous heart studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption helps protect against heart disease by raising good cholesterol and stopping the formation of blood clots in the arteries.
Everything in moderation. Alcohol is usually fine if you stick to health guidelines. However, if you find you are struggling to maintain a balance with drinking, there are ways to take back control.
What will I learn in this blog?
• That people use alcohol for a variety of reasons
• Some people are more likely to get addicted to it
• Looking at the cause of an addiction is often useful
• How hypnosis could help you get back in control
How do we get addicted?
According to the NHS (www.nhs.uk), there are lots of reasons why addictions begin. In the case of alcohol, it can affect the way you feel, both physically and mentally. These feelings can be enjoyable and create a powerful urge to use the substances again.
Being addicted to something means that not having it causes withdrawal symptoms, or a “come down”. Because this can be unpleasant, it’s easier to carry on having or doing what you crave, and so the cycle continues.
Often, an addiction gets out of control because you need more and more to satisfy a craving and achieve the “high”.
More often than not, we just get used to the habit of sharing a bottle of wine over dinner, or enjoying a few beers with friends in the pub. (Remember pubs?). And that’s all fine and good, however, sometimes we can use substances like alcohol to mask or dull feelings that are scary to look at, or just to take the edge of a stressful day.
Stress and drinking often go hand in hand. During the first COVID lockdown in the UK, a study reported that 17% of the participants said they were drinking more alcohol than before.
If you feel that you are drinking too much, or you would like to be more in control of your alcohol consumption, there are ways to get back in charge.
How much is too much?
Whilst social drinking is an accepted part of modern society, you may be damaging yourself physically and mentally if you are drinking too much or too often.
You may be misusing alcohol if:
• You feel you should cut down on your drinking
• Other people have been criticising your drinking
• You feel guilty or bad about your drinking
• You need a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover
Someone you know may be misusing alcohol if:
• They regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week
• They’re sometimes unable to remember what happened the night before because of their drinking
• They fail to do what was expected of them as a result of their drinking (for example, missing an appointment or work because they’re drunk or hungover)
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:
• High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
• Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
• Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick.
• Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
• Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
• Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment.
• Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence.
By not drinking too much, you can reduce the risk of these long-term health risks.
What do I do to cut down on my drinking?
According to AlcololTest, there are several ways to cut down if you find yourself drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week:
Take a break – Have 2-3 days off drinking each week.
Hydrate – Alternate alcoholic drinks with water, juice, even a mocktail!
Make a plan – before you start drinking, set a limit.
Share your goal – If you let your friends and family know you’re cutting down and it’s important to you, you could get support from them.
One day at a time – Cut back a little each day, so you can be successful every day.
Make a swap – Cut. Down on strong beer or wine for one with a lower strength.
Do something else – During those times when you might usually drink, try doing something else – take up a hobby, begin an exercise program, spend more time with your family.
Say no – Not everyone drinks alcohol, and it’s fine to say no. Say it quickly and firmly – don’t give yourself time to change your mind.
Pace yourself – Enjoy each drink slowly, and avoid rounds – remember that you don’t have to join in every time someone else decides to drink.
OK – How does hypnotherapy help me to cut down?
Hypnotherapy works from 2 different directions, firstly to look and see what has actually caused you to feel you need more alcohol, and then to give you the tools you need to be able to fight that addiction by increasing your willpower, resolve and determination.
For example, if you feel your work stress makes you reach for the bottle, hypnotherapy can help to increase your ability to cope with the challenges of work so that you don’t feel the need to compensate for a stressful day.
It can help you with your resolve too, and help your mind to be calm and your body relax whilst you acclimatise to having less to drink.
It’s important to find a therapist that respects your confidentiality, so that you feel comfortable telling them all about your issues.
What did I learn here?
That our relationship with alcohol can be challenging, however, even serious addictions can be cured.
Sometimes people feel that their addictions are simple, or silly, or not worth bothering anyone with, however, if it’s something that’s taking over your life, it really can be stopped.
If you’d like to find out more about how hypnosis can help you to be free of addiction, have a look at our website.
We offer a free initial consultation, either by a Telehealth video link or at our clinic in Novena Medical Centre. Or call us personally for a chat on 6397 6073.