The positive effects of sobriety on your overall mental health

The positive effects of sobriety on your overall mental health

Ever wonder if the grass is greener on the other side? Many sober-curious women contemplate their relationship with alcohol. At some point, you might wonder what it would be like to cut it out of your life partially or totally.

The short answer is sobriety can offer a lot of good. Lessening your reliance on alcohol can impact your mental health for the better.

1. Improved clarity

Some people wonder why they have a bit of brain fog after a night of drinking. Alcohol alters the brain’s line of thinking and memory, which can inhibit your usual cognition. The lack of clarity can make it hard to work or study.

Luckily, being sober can help remove alcohol-induced brain fog. You can think more clearly and dedicate your focus to a specific task. Aside from better productivity, this improved level of clarity can help you enjoy the present.

2. Quality time with people you love

Some people think saying no to alcohol will mean fewer hangouts with the girls. However, having quality time with the people you love while sober can be refreshing. Your friends might even feel the same way, so it’s definitely a conversation worth bringing up!

Try suggesting different activities you can all do together. There are many ways you can have fun without getting intoxicated. For instance, you can have a nice movie night or play board games together. When you want to head out, opt for brunch and shopping.

3. Better management of mental health problems

People increasingly deal with conditions like depression and anxiety. About 20% of U.S. adults have a mental health problem. Managing and working through these circumstances requires a better headspace and time.

Alcohol usually lowers one’s inhibitions, resulting in poor decision-making and mood swings that can hinder your mental health journey. Sticking to sobriety puts your well-being first and helps you navigate your condition more clearly.

4. Healthier coping mechanisms to stress

Many people use drinking to unwind from the stresses of their days. Unfortunately, a study finds women can drink excessively when exposed to pressure. The intoxication impairs their control over consumption. Hence, relying on alcohol can be a little unhealthy.

Getting sober can help you explore coping mechanisms that are better for your mental health. For instance, you can journal your thoughts and emotions.

5. A spark to get back to activities

Sobriety allows you more time and energy to explore new passions and create meaningful friendships. Alternatively, if you used to love swimming or running as a hobby, schedule them on your free days again.

Plus, physical activity is associated with a positive impact on mental health. Exercise can improve one’s self-concept and body image in the long run. Working out can also clear your mind of any troubling thoughts.

6. A good night’s sleep

Getting sober can also improve your sleeping patterns. Alcohol can help you fall asleep quicker, but it will typically unbalance your sleeping cycles and disrupt your overall rest. Not getting enough shuteye can negatively impact your mental health.

If you want to improve your sleep, start with cutting out alcohol. Some people like having tea or warm milk as an alternative before bed.

7. Newfound confidence

People treat alcohol like liquid courage, as it does bring out personality changes like extroversion in some. However, negative emotions like aggression and hostility can also jump out. As a result, some people struggle with their mental health and dislike what drinking turns them into.

There are other ways you can gain self-confidence without alcohol. For instance, maintaining sobriety can improve others’ perceptions of you and provides opportunities for introspection. Take pride in showing off the true you.

8. Zest for life

Aside from personal reflection, you can also do some self-discovery. Being in a good mental state from sobriety can provide you with more excitement about going through life. Allow yourself to figure out your sense of purpose and what you want to prioritise, planning for the future or living in the present more than ever.

Prioritise your mental health

Sobriety can be a great catalyst in your life, so consider the factors above as you work towards putting your mental health first. The process can go as slowly or as quickly as you desire, but know that you can do it.

Written by Mia Barnes

Mia is a freelance writer and researcher with a passion for women’s health and wellness. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the healthy living online publication, Body+Mind Magazine

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