Not everyone who drinks has a problem with alcohol. Lots of people can enjoy a drink without negative consequences. However, there is a line, and it’s not always clear that you’re drinking too often. Whether you’re concerned about your drinking or thinking about cutting back, it’s a good idea to check in with yourself.
These signs suggest you should cut back. They don’t mean you’re an alcoholic (although if you’re very concerned, you should seek addiction treatment), but could mean that your physical and mental health would benefit from you drinking less.
- You’re waking up with a hangover more often. Being hungover occasionally is fine and usually no reason to worry. However, if hangovers are becoming a pattern for you, or you’re noticing how often you don’t feel well in the morning, you might want to reconsider how much you’re drinking.
- You feel less energetic than you used to. Alcohol can put your body under additional stress, and contribute to feeling worse overall. If you have noticed that your energy levels have dropped and you drink often, alcohol could be the cause.
- You feel sluggish or are less effective at work. Alcohol slows you down physically, and it also can give you a feeling of brain fog. Do you find it hard to concentrate after a night out? Do you feel less productive? Cutting back on the amount you drink could sharpen your mind again and help you concentrate.
- You find yourself craving alcohol. This is a common early sign of a problem with alcohol. It might not mean that you have an alcohol use disorder, but if you find yourself thinking about alcohol a lot or really looking forward to drinking, this could be a warning sign that it’s time to change your drinking habits.
- You make risky decisions when you’ve been drinking. It’s normal to make the occasional error of judgment, but if you take risks when you drink that would frighten you if you were sober, like driving drunk, getting into fights, or having unprotected sex, cutting back could be important for your own safety.
- You forget what you did while you were drunk. From minor gaps in your memory to complete blackouts, this can be a frightening thing to experience when you wake up in the morning. This can happen to people who aren’t alcoholics, but it’s another good reason to think about drinking less.
- You feel an increase in anxiety or stress. This can be a harder one to work out, especially if you’re going through stressful times anyway. Do you feel more anxious because you are drinking too much, or because of challenging life circumstances? The answer to this is actually simpler than you’d think. No matter what is actually causing your anxiety or stress, alcohol has a chemical effect on your brain that will both things feel much worse. As tempting as turning to a drink while you’re stressed can be, in difficult times, less is more when it comes to alcohol.
Image Credits: Alexas_Fotos