Published On: May 24, 2018531 words2.8 min read

Do you know the one thing that holds so many people back from ditching the drink and choosing a more healthy lifestyle?

It’s the “what will people say?” syndrome. As human beings we are sociable creatures and we like to “fit in”. If we decide to stop drinking alcohol then we are peeling off from “the pack” and making ourselves vulnerable. Alcohol has become so normalised in our society that we take the risk of being singled out and called “boring”.

It takes courage and confidence to be different to everyone else. Maybe it’s time to reframe things a bit – maybe it’s time to be a rebel and not a sheep!

You may think that “everyone drinks” but in fact when you stop drinking you start to notice other people who don’t drink – and guess what – they are usually quite interesting people who do their own thing rather than follow the crowd.

If your main leisure activity for years has been “socialising” (ie drinking with friends) then you may need to make a few lifestyle changes. You will need to find other ways to get that buzz – exercising is an obvious one and exploring your creativity will give you a natural high. Get in touch with your spiritual side by journalling, mindfullness and meditation.

We often drink to quell social anxiety and give ourselves a “lift” if we are feeling down – but you know what – drinking alcohol is just about the worst thing you can do if you are feeling anxious or depressed. Drinking daily (just a couple of glasses of wine a night) will put us into a state of “withdrawal” the next day – that withdrawal feels like “mild anxiety” so no wonder that first glass of wine at 6pm tastes so good!

If you want to improve your mental health then chosing an alcohol free life is a no-brainer.

Those of us that developed a “problem” are often sociable types that felt that they were connecting deeply with their drinking buddies. A period of sobriety will enable you to see just how superficial that connection is – especially when you hear “that story” repeated again – and again…

In fact as the fabulous Johann Hari has taught us “addiction is the opposite of connection”…

So if you are ready to make a change then take a temporary break from those drinking buddies and build a new tribe. Try to connect with people on the same path as you – people who are also taking a break from alcohol. People who will share their journey openly – their experiences – their ups as well as their downs. Participating in these groups will enable you to stay strong and keep going. You will find people like you who may be struggling with the same difficulties. Listen, learn and connect with these people on a deep level.

Finding a support group used to mean going to AA but these days there are many alternative ways to get sober these days.

At Tribe Sober we have have a subscription membership programme which includes a lively WhatsApp group as well as many other benefits.

So just click here to join and begin your life-changing journey!

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