Reduce Anxiety without Alcohol

how to reduce anxiety without alcohol

Today, for Day 5, I wanted to address ways you can reduce anxiety without alcohol. This was a question I received this week from someone doing the 31-day alcohol-free challenge.

“I struggle extremely with anxiety. When I drink the next day, my anxiety is out of control but then when I don’t drink it is also out of control so I don’t know what to do when this happens I know drinking is not the answer and I know that I can stop as I have done so in the past just trying to figure a way to deal with the anxiety. Thanks for listening.”

how to reduce anxiety without alcohol
A print by Positively Present that shows ideas on how you can deal with stress without alcohol.
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Reduce Anxiety Without Alcohol

The first thing I wanted to highlight an important fact stated in the question: that drinking is not the answer.

According to William Porter, “The more we drink, the more pronounced this feeling of nervousness and worry is when the alcohol wears off, and it is quite usual for it to cause full-blown depression. After all, the alcohol will wear off, but the nervous feeling caused by the increased sensitivity and stimulants will remain for some time after.

“All we need to know is that the relaxing effect of a drink is soon replaced by a corresponding feeling of anxiety,” he says.

(I definitely recommend his book if you are looking to change your perspective on alcohol. It’s a book I revisit quite frequently! Here are also ideas for other books I enjoy.)


So, back to the question: Figuring out ways to deal with the anxiety. The good news is that there are so many options. You just have to try and see what works best for you. But I believe the main idea is to find activities that allow you to reconnect with your body, instead of numbing, avoiding, or distracting.

Some ideas on how to reduce anxiety without alcohol:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Maintaining a gratitude journal
  • Reading a daily devotion
  • Exercise
  • Reconnecting with nature
  • Reading a book
  • Calling a friend
  • Aromatherapy or essential oils
  • Breathwork
  • Nutrition
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – consult with a licensed mental health provider to explore options
  • Explore other creative outlets
  • Explore self-care activities

I guess the main idea is to get creative and try to find ways that allow you to reconnect with your body, mind, and spirit. And to remember that alcohol isn’t a solid way to reduce anxiety (in fact, it’s proven to do the exact opposite!).

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