Posts tagged with "stress reliever"

Six Ways to Cut Down on Alcohol

by Tara Yombor, LMHC and clinical director at Pathway to Hope, a Delphi Behavioral Health Group facility.

Social (moderate) drinking, binge drinking, alcoholism, tolerance, and dependence. This is the typical pattern of progression for drinking that leads someone to think of him or herself as needing to cut down on alcohol. Some might think they are prone to alcoholism. Within that progression, the time for someone to cut down on drinking is based on the individual’s idea of what is causing dysfunction and unmanageability in their life.

Why is it so easy for someone to become addicted to alcohol, and what does it mean to have
an alcohol use disorder?

First of all, alcohol does not have an adverse social stigma, which makes the dependence for it more likely, and the consumption of it more acceptable. Alcohol is typically used to celebrate happy events and sooth the sad events in life. Think about a celebration. What do most people imagine? Alcohol, champagne, and a “toast to the New Year!”

During times of mourning or stress, alcohol can be used to ease the emotional pain of a loss or as a stress reliever. Social (or moderate) drinking is seen as a normal and perfectly harmless way of socializing, relaxing, or a form of celebration.

A binge drinker is defined as a man who drinks more than four to six drinks in a two-hour period, and a woman who drinks more than four to five drinks in a two-hour period. Someone with alcohol use disorder is typically a person with a long-term addiction to alcohol. This person is typically unable to control how much they consume or when to stop drinking and spends a lot of time thinking about the next drink.

It can be easy for someone to transition from a social drinker to a binge drinker to having an
alcohol use disorder. A binge drinker is someone who has more than the above allotted
acceptable drinks in a short amount of time.

Someone who is a binge drinker or struggling with heavy alcohol use may find that people close to them begin to notice negative patterns of behavior during times of drinking. Friends and family may start to become worried about the person’s drinking patterns and negative outcomes that have begun to arise from their drinking. A person who begins to engage in
binge drinking may find themselves calling out of work the day after drinking due to a hangover; they may miss important deadlines, get into arguments with their loved ones, or lose track of daily responsibilities.

Tolerance for alcohol means that a person needs more and more alcohol to feel the desired effect than they previously would not have needed. Someone who has a pattern of binge drinking may find themselves drinking even more alcohol in a short time to feel drunk.

Once tolerance increases, the possibility of dependence increases. Dependence can be defined as relying on alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Essentially, a person is controlled by their need to ingest alcohol to feel “normal.”

During any of these stages of alcohol use, someone may feel the need to seek treatment. The need for treatment varies for each person based on how dysfunctional or unmanageable their life has become due to their drinking.

Here are six things you (or anyone) can do to cut down on alcohol. Most of these mean a change in behavior.

1. Acknowledge the problem – in order to stop the behavior, you must first acknowledge what the negative behavior is and make a conscious effort to commit to changing that behavior. Also, put the goal in writing and make a list of reasons why you want to cut back on drinking. For example, if the behavior is drinking too much during celebrations, you have to determine what “too much” means to you and, next, set a goal to decrease the amount you are drinking during celebrations.

2. Set a realistic goal for drinking alcohol – if you struggle with binge drinking, set a realistic, and achievable goal. The next time you’re out during a social event, make it a goal to cut back to three to four drinks in two hours instead of five to six. Or perhaps instead of going to a happy hour on Friday or Saturday night, pick one night to go out and stay in the other night. Cutting back by making realistic and achievable goals will keep you on track and make you feel better about the fact that you are keeping your goals.

3. Write it down – make sure to keep a journal of the times you drink, how much you drink, and any negative outcomes related to the times you drink (for example, drinking and falling down or making an inappropriate comment to a friend). By keeping a journal, you will hopefully be able to see patterns of behavior. You can also share this journal with someone you trust and ask them to look out for any patterns you may have missed.

4. Don’t keep alcohol in your house – it is easier to come home after a long day of work and pour a glass of wine rather than going out to the bar on a Wednesday when you may have other obligations at home such as taking care of a child. When you don’t have alcohol in the house, it eliminates the desire or temptation to drink.

5. Stay busy – by having non-alcohol related activities to engage in, you are more likely to say no to drinking, as you’ll want to be present for the activity. Do things that keep you active, such as riding a bike, hiking, going for a walk as the endorphins from engaging in exercise may eliminate the desire for alcohol.

6. Ask for support/Talk to someone – tell people you trust about your goals and ask them to help keep you accountable during times when you may be struggling or find yourself surrounded by temptation. Also, there are therapists who specialize in alcohol/substance use who you can talk to that can assist you with your goals and process through any underlying emotions that may be related to drinking.

Remember that the above tips may not work for everyone. Some people may be into the stage of alcohol tolerance and dependence. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol dependence, reach out for help from a professional or call a treatment center in your area. Alcoholism and dependence look different for everyone.

Concert Rules To Live By

Photo by Vaughn Lowery

Rules that Concert goers Need to Live By

By Emily John

Music is one of the ways that a person may relieve stress after a long day at work. For some, being able to go see their favorite acts live and in concert is important. The first step to achieving this is finding concert tickets for the acts you want to see. You will have to act quickly to get good seats, which means you will need to take advantage of things like presales. Here are some of the rules that you will need to get familiar with as a concertgoer in order to ensure you have a great time.

1. Review the Band’s Previous Performances
One of the best ways to find out whether or not you want to go see a band live is by reviewing their previous performances. Usually, there will be more than a couple videos on YouTube that you will be able to look over. You will also need to look at their stylist from the previous shows to see if they are playing the songs that you want to hear. By taking the time to do this type of research, you will be able to figure out whether or not it is worth your money to get tickets.
Going on a streaming service like Spotify is a great way to get a look at a band’s complete catalog. Taking the time to listen to all of this music will be worth it. If you are well-versed in a particular band’s music, you will be able to derive much more enjoyment from the concert.

2. Mingling is Great
The next thing that you will need to do in order to have a great concert experience is to get to know your fellow music lovers at the show. In most cases, you will be able to find fan groups on the internet that will allow you to hook up with different people at the show. This is a great way for you to make new friends that are interested in some of the same stuff that you are. Taking the time to get to know some of these people will be worth it when you are able to enjoy the show even more.
Usually, you will be able to find a variety of Facebook groups that are dedicated to the fans of a particular act. Getting in one of these groups is a great way to figure out who will be at the concert and whether or not they are meeting up with other fans before the show. Meeting some new people will make the concert going experience much more enjoyable.

3. Be in the Moment
Among the biggest mistakes that a concert goer will make is trying to film the whole show or take pictures all throughout. The last thing that you want to do is to take away from this experience by trying to play videographer. You need to just enjoy the music and the band that you have come to see. By doing this, you will be able to have a much better experience and will make memories along the way that will last a lifetime.

4. Don’t Forget About Merch
One of the most enjoyable parts of going to a music concert is being able to get the merchandise the band has for sale. Typical this merchandise will not be available anywhere else. Rather than being unable to buy anything due to a lack of preparation, you should make a budget beforehand. Getting an idea of how much you can spend before the concert can help you avoid stress. If you are lucky, you may be able to get a member of the band you are seeing to sign the merchandise you have purchased.
Taking the time to plot out your concert experience will alleviate some of the stress that you may feel in this type of situation.