Four perks of sobriety to consider

a graphic that details four perks of sobriety

I believe anyone can benefit from taking a break from drinking alcohol. It’s motivating to see how many other facets improve when you remove just one thing from your life.

a man recently shared some “unexpected perks” that were beginning to emerge in his new AF (alcohol free) life. I’m sharing with you today in hopes I can provide inspiration to someone who needs it.

a graphic that details four perks of sobriety

Four perks of sobriety to consider

His words describing the perks of sobriety are included in quotes below.

a pinterest graphic of the four perks of sobriety

Sobriety Perk #1 – Reduced levels of stress and anxiety

According to Healthline, alcohol changes levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. Changing levels can worsen anxiety after the effects of alcohol wears off.

Of course, we’ve been conditioned to turn to alcohol to deal with stress. In reality, there are just so many more avenues we can take to truly relax. Examples include yoga poses, exercise, prayer, meditation and so much more.

“I was very cynical that being AF would actually reduce stress and anxiety since I always looked to alcohol to cope with those things. I’ve read about this benefit in a lot of places, but I just didn’t believe it….seemed counter-intuitive to me. So far, I can definitely say that both my stress and anxiety levels are significantly lower! I’ll leave it to people much smarter than me to explain why this happens, but it is great!”

Sobriety Perk #2 – A renewed interest in spirituality and faith

In a blog post where I share how alcohol negatively affected eight areas of my life, I talk about my faith. For years I have wanted to grow spiritually. But when I was drinking wine every night I could never get my kids to church on Sundays. I always felt tired and blah and found it difficult to find motivation to read my morning devotionals.

I made excuses every Sunday. And I know the way alcohol was making me feel was contributing to the choices I made.

Total side note: I have finally gotten in the habit each morning of:

  • reading Jesus Calling
  • writing out my goals for the day
  • journaling what I’m grateful for
  • and we’ve made it to church most Sundays!

It’s progress for sure.

I really didn’t expect this one at all, but I’m starting to re-open my thoughts on spirituality and faith. I had drifted away from organized religion many years ago, but I’m starting to find myself drawn back towards it and I’m excited about that.

Sobriety Perk #3 – Worrying less about what others think

I’ve wasted so much time worrying about what others think of me. And I’ve come to realize that people don’t actually think of me as much as I think they do! When I was bashful about the fact that I wanted to quit drinking, I felt as if I entered every room with a big neon sign blinking over me: SOBER, SOBER, SOBER, SOBER!

Over time, I’ve accepted that people will think whatever they want to think. And I don’t need to shrink to try to reduce reactions to what I’m doing. Now I’m proud that I’m setting a good example for my children by taking steps to live a heathy (ish!) lifestyle. It’s my hope you can get to the place where you put a priority over the decisions that make you content and at peace over worrying about how they may affect others.

I’m starting to get over that “hump” of worrying about what people think about me not drinking at social events and stuff. Honestly, I think I’ve been worrying about “what will they think” more than I needed to…or maybe I’m just building more self-confidence. Sure, not everyone around me is completely supportive (who cares what they think anyway?), but it is true that most people don’t even notice that I’m not drinking at parties (or, at least, they don’t seem to raise any issue with it)…and I can still have lots of fun!

Sobriety Perk #4 – Snack less, eat better

I have to admit that I didn’t eat better as soon as I stopped drinking every night. I used my not drinking alcohol as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. “Well, I’m not drinking a bottle of wine so I may as well eat my weight in pumpkin bread!” (TRUE STORY). But my sugar cravings have definitely subsided and I have found myself considering what I put into my body much more than I ever have. I’m not perfect, of course. But I have seen improvement.

I snack less and eat better. Besides all the nonsense of waking up wondering if I said or did something stupid (and dealing with gross hangovers), I used to also wake up realizing that I ate all sorts of junk food and that just added to the bloating and generally feeling like garbage. Of course, I love waking up not hungover, but I didn’t think about the great feeling waking up not having stuffed my face all night!

No doubt…I still have long road ahead and there will be (sometimes big) challenges. But, I’m happy with where this is going!