“The science of altruism shows that generosity is not only pleasurable but may lengthen our lives”
Many people baulk at the thought of an alcohol free lifestyle as they have become hooked on the buzz – that dopamine release which alcohol provides – the quick fix that only a drug can provide.
That buzz is due to a dopamine release – dopamine is best described as a major neurotransmitter that provides your zest for life.
“How can I have fun without alcohol?” is the plaintive cry we hear often at our workshops.
If you are a regular drinker then your body gets lazy – and will begin to rely on alcohol to stimulate that dopamine release.
So if you stop drinking your dopamine levels will drop, leaving you feeling rather miserable as your subconscious mind absorbs the information that “sobriety sucks”.
Here’s the thing – if you sacrifice those chemical highs from alcohol then you must replace it with things that will give you a natural high.
Things like exercise (obviously), eating chocolate (yay!), getting a massage, playing with the dog, listening to music will all give you a natural high aka dopamine rush.
Another way to get that natural high that you may not have thought of is giving. Think about the pleasure you took in selecting the perfect gifts for your loved ones this festive season and your excitement as they opened it. Helping others is good for your heart and your health. A growing body of research shows that giving a gift, as well as volunteering or donating to charities, has a positive impact on your physical and mental health and can contribute to a longer life.
In fact making charitable donations engages the same reward pathways in the brain as sex, drugs, (including alcohol of course) and food – who knew?
We tend to underestimate just how pleasurable giving can be. We know that we will enjoy that bottle of wine but we are less confident that giving to people we don’t know personally will bring us pleasure.
We need to know that we are helping an individual in need – rather than donating money to a faceless organisation.
We need to know that our contribution will make a difference and that what we give will be used well.
If these criteria are in place then the satisfaction and purpose we derive from it are a gift to ourselves.
SIGN UP FOR OUR DRY JANUARY CHALLENGE!
Which brings me nicely to our sixth Annual Fundraiser which has been designed to meet the criteria to ensure you get that dopamine high!
We invite you to take one month off alcohol and divert the money you would have spent to the Earthchild Project
R250 (£12/$16) will provide one under-privileged child with a whole year of yoga/lifeskills lessons – read more about the project HERE
The donation page is HERE – as soon as we receive your donation we will email you and ask you which date you would like to start your alcohol free month.
We will support you by emailing you tips, tools and inspiration every day and invite you to join our Fundraiser WhatsApp group so you can connect with other challengers.