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10 Mental Physical Changes That Occur When You Quit Drinking

a person with a duct taped mouth holds up a wine glass and palm signalling "stop"

In 2019, over five percent of people over the age of 12 suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder; also known as an alcohol addiction.

If you or a loved one suffers from AUD, it can be hard to find the reason to quit drinking. Right now, alcohol is the crutch, but do you know all the amazing benefits you can experience when you quit drinking alcohol?

Even if you don’t have an alcohol problem, when you see this list of benefits of quitting drinking, you may just decide that quitting is worth it.

Physical Health Improvements

People like proof that they can see. If you’re worried that sobriety will only bring you mental benefits that are hard to confirm as real. 

Luckily, there are many physical changes that you’ll experience as well. And when you experience those, you’ll be able to point at them and see how far you’ve come. Here are just some of the ways your physical health will improve when you quit drinking. 

Improved Sleep

Within a week to a month of quitting alcohol, you’ll see your sleep patterns improve. You’ll be able to fall asleep faster and experience fewer sleep disruptions during the night. When you’re sleep improves, everything else does as well.

You’ll have more energy to do the things you love and experience a more positive outlook on life.

Weight Loss

It’s no secret that alcohol is full of sugar. All those alcoholic beverages that you find yourself emotionally relying on are increasing your weight every day by filling you with sugar that you don’t need.

Just by cutting out alcohol, you can lose weight and experience all the added benefits of weight loss. Fat will also decrease in the liver.

Reduced Blood Pressure and Improved Cardiovascular Health

About 3-4 weeks after quitting drinking, you may discover an improved blood pressure – especially if alcohol was contributing to an unhealthy blood pressure before. In general, your cardiovascular system will function more properly, and you can have this benefit confirmed by your doctor.

Increased Energy

Due to better cardiovascular health, better sleep, and weight loss, you’ll find that your energy levels are much higher once you’ve been off alcohol for a while. You may find that you can walk for longer periods of time, stay out later, take up physical activities that felt daunting before, and spend more time with the people you love.

Better Sexual Function

Many heavy drinkers experience some form of sexual disfunction from premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and genital dryness. These problems are often completely reversed when you take alcohol out of the picture. You’ll also enjoy sex more when you have it sober as sober sex can bring you closer to your partner and the moment.

Decreased Risk of Cancer

Heavy alcohol consumption increases your risk of cancer of the mouth, breast, throat, voice box, digestive system, and stomach. While the damage you may have done to your body will never go away completely, you can significantly reduce your risks and prevent them from growing larger if you quit alcohol.

Mental Health Improvements

Many of the mental health improvements that you’ll experience after you stop drinking will be as a result of your physical improvements. Increased energy and improved sleep can do wonders for your mental health. By having the energy to do the things you love, you’ll find that life has more meaning and is more enjoyable.

You’ll also find that your interpersonal relationships improve when you are no longer under the influence of alcohol. You’ll be better equipped to give and receive love. You’ll also be able to focus on your work more which can also improve your self-esteem and anxiety levels.

When you’re functioning at your best, you and everyone around you are happier.

How to Quit Drinking

The best way to quit drinking is to seek out professional help. We’ll outline some of the best practices here, but ultimately you need to know about the alcohol treatment centers San Diego has where you can receive outpatient treatment. Quitting isn’t easy and it can have some risks during withdrawal, but the right team of professionals can make it better.

If you want to begin the process of weaning yourself off alcohol (especially if you’d like to quit but don’t think you have an addiction), you should outline these for yourself.

What Are Your Goals?

You need to determine why you are quitting drinking in no uncertain terms. Know what and who you are doing this for. Think about the emotional and physical areas of your life that you’d like to improve.

What Are Your Triggers?

Whether you’re facing a full-on addiction or not, there are bound to be people and places that make you want to drink. Think about the times you most often drink, and why you choose to do it. Triggers could be social settings where other people are drinking, stressful days at work, difficult family members, or anything else that makes you want to pick up a bottle.

When you identify these you can make a plan for how to avoid your triggers, work through them without alcohol when they can’t be avoided, and understand where your desire to drink stems from.

What Is Your Game Plan?

You can achieve anything without a plan to make it happen. And quitting alcohol is a huge achievement. Identify which triggers are avoidable and which need coping mechanisms.

Consider giving yourself a reward for times you don’t drink. Make a list of your support system and make preparations to reach out to professional help. Remember, there are rehab centers in San Diego who can be part of your support system.

Quit Drinking For Good

When you finally quit drinking, you’ll wonder what took you so long. You’ll feel more at home and at peace in your body when you start losing weight, sleeping better, and functioning better overall. Your relationships and work will improve. 

Ready to start your alcohol recovery journey? Take a look at our San Diego Alcohol Rehabilitation CenterscheckArticle ApprovedSound Bath Therapy 101: What Is and How Can It Help You?

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