After the tumultuous year we've all had, many people are looking for ways to improve their overall health and wellbeing. Whether you are trying to find the best reusable water bottle to stay hydrated or incorporating exercise in your daily routine, there are many small steps that you can take to become a happier, healthier human being.
If you have decided to cut down on drinking, you are not alone. Thousands of people every year decide to forego alcohol in their day-to-day lives, but few realize all the benefits of not drinking alcohol. Hangover myths these aren't—from better overall health to enhanced self-confidence, there are truly good reasons to reduce drinking or quit altogether, whether you decide to try it for a month or ongoing.
In fact, studies have shown (opens in new tab) that people who choose to forego alcohol for just one month can enjoy long-term health benefits, from higher energy levels to improved concentration at work and school.
Five benefits of not drinking alcohol
1. It could lead to weight loss
One health benefit of reduced alcohol consumption is weight loss. Alcohol is high in calories, especially in beverages such as beer and wine. If you cut out those "empty" calories that come from sugary cocktails or sweet wines, you might see some pounds melt away.
The key here is to resist the temptation to switch out the alcoholic beverages for other sugary drinks—choose water instead, and you'll begin to feel the difference in a matter of days and weeks.
2. It might help you sleep better
Many people notice that when they drink, they feel especially lethargic the next day. You could have a hard time concentrating at work or struggle to focus on daily tasks. Since alcohol acts as a diuretic and sweats out of your body during the night, the body becomes dehydrated, functioning at a less-than-optimal level. It is normal to wake up and crave water multiple times during the night, interrupting an otherwise sound sleep.
Drinking may help some people fall asleep faster, and at times, deeper, but the quality of sleep is poor as it impacts REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Drinking before bed can also affect breathing levels and, in severe cases, cause sleep apnea. Cutting out the Cabernet might just be a great solution for how to get better sleep.
3. You could enjoy higher energy levels
Naturally, if you get better sleep, you will probably have better energy during the day. A benefit of quitting drinking can be higher energy levels, partially due to better sleep, but also because alcohol has been said to deplete your body's store of B-vitamins.
So, while it can be tempting to pour a glass of vino at the end of the day, doing without it is probably better in the long run for your energy levels, boosting your performance at work as well. Who needs a three-o-clock slump when you can power through the day with energy to spare?
4. It could give you a sense of self-control
Give yourself grace if you decide to give up alcohol. As with any new diet or lifestyle routine, it can take a while before you really start to notice a positive change. Still, when sustained for an extended period of time, you could reap some serious mental health benefits by quitting drinking, including better self-confidence, a greater sense of self-control, and improved social skills. After all, once you have proven to yourself that you have the power to reshape your lifestyle, anything is possible.
If you notice some withdrawal symptoms or health issues as you go through the process of eliminating alcohol from your diet, consider speaking with your doctor or health practitioner for assistance.
5. You might start to notice better skin
One of the cosmetic benefits of not drinking alcohol is that you'll likely notice smooth, glowing skin. Since alcohol dehydrates the skin, causing signs of premature aging and larger, more visible pores, cutting out wine, beer, and liquor can lead to healthier skin.
Additionally, drinking alcohol has been linked to skin conditions such as rosacea, so if you are dealing with inflammation or other skin issues, consider taking a break from those Friday happy hours with your co-workers. Within a matter of weeks, you could see a drastic improvement in your skin.
Whether you decide to quit drinking alcohol for your mental health, physical wellbeing, or both, you could enjoy a much happier, healthier lifestyle and possibly even discover more to love about yourself in the process.
The My Imperfect Life team is all about helping you navigate your world. We bring you the latest on fashion, beauty, travel and wellness so you can live life on your terms.
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