Benefits of not drinking alcohol
by Harlan Hubbard
Special to the Gayly
Most people are able to enjoy a couple of beers, cocktails or glasses of wine occasionally with little or no effect, life goes on and all is well. Perhaps life is better while enjoying your favorite alcoholic beverage relaxing after work, having dinner or socializing with a group of co-workers or friends. The case is different for problem drinkers, potential alcoholics and alcoholics. As a recovered alcoholic, I wanted to examine and share the benefits of not drinking alcohol from my own experience.
While this examination uncovered numerous benefits, too lengthy to list, the main benefits fall under three areas.
The Body: The human body is a beautiful instrument. When the body is taken care of properly—nutrition, exercise, and rest—miraculous feats can be accomplished. Not drinking alcohol enables the body to function at higher levels, allows the body to receive benefits of more restful sleep and can even promote weight loss.
No alcohol consumption allows the skin to be better hydrated producing a more youthful, less wrinkled appearance. Not using alcohol makes optimal physical heath more obtainable.
The Mind: The benefits of not drinking alcohol are not limited to physical. Not consuming alcohol also enables us to have a clearer mind. Decision-making is enhanced; therefore, fewer problems come our way. While alcohol in small amounts, for non-alcoholics, helps to relieve stress and relax, for the alcoholic and problem drinker the consumption of alcohol increases stress levels.
Abstaining from alcohol lessens anxiety, promotes better emotional stability and helps to improve relationships. Our ability to remember and recall, from both short-term and long-term memory, is also improved by not drinking alcohol.
The Soul: Can our soul really benefit from not drinking alcohol? Without a doubt. Consumption of alcohol generally raises our heart rate, therefore breathing tends to speed up and we become more anxious.
Peace, calm, and serenity are all benefits of not drinking alcohol. One major benefit in the soul/spirit area is that our overall outlook on life is improved. We have a tendency to stay more positive, upbeat and cheerful when not drinking. We are less agitated and less likely to be angry. Our perspective on life, nature and our fellow man tends to lean toward a more positive and grateful attitude when not consuming alcohol.
Alcohol, for the problem drinker or alcoholic, often seems like a solution. However, when examined closely the benefits of not drinking alcohol far outweigh the short-lived benefits of drinking alcohol. The three main areas of benefit - body, mind and spirit - are only the beginning. If you are curious, the best way to find out is to experiment. Try not drinking for a week, month or even a year. If you do abstain from alcohol take note of how you feel, notice how your body changes and perhaps most importantly notice how you perceive the world.
Make sure to be aware of how your relationships change, how your attitude and life perspective improves. The benefits of not drinking alcohol can blossom and grow in all areas of your life with a little focus and examination.
Harlan Hubbard is a father, husband, business owner and published author. Harlan enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with his family.
The Gayly - 1/18/2016 @ 10:41 a.m. CST