As a general rule, there is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine with dinner or having a beer during the office holiday party. However, even if you drink in moderation, alcohol could still have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Depending on the type of alcohol that you consume, your drinking habit could also have a negative impact on your finances. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to abstain from consuming beer, wine, or liquor.
1. It Only Takes One Drink to Lose Control
One of the best reasons to stop drinking is that you’ll be in complete control of your actions and emotions. The moment that alcohol enters your bloodstream, you begin to lose the ability to make sound decisions, such as not driving your vehicle or not telling your boss what you really think about his or her performance.
Depending on your weight, gender, and overall tolerance level, you could begin slurring your words, have trouble with balance, or experience other issues after consuming a single drink. This may be especially true if you take medication or drink on an empty stomach.
There is also the possibility that your drink will be laced with other chemicals that may impact your ability to think clearly. In some cases, you may have no recollection of what happened after consuming a contaminated beverage. This may also occur if you consume significant amounts of alcohol over a relatively short period of time.
Memory loss is most common after your blood alcohol content reaches a level between .10% and .20%. An average person’s blood alcohol level will rise .02% after consuming an alcoholic beverage. However, this figure could be higher or lower depending on your tolerance, the types of drinks that you consume, and how quickly the alcohol from a given drink enters your bloodstream.
2. Alcohol Makes It Harder to Feel Physical Pain
Once your blood alcohol level exceeds .20%, it’s less likely that you will feel any type of physical pain. Therefore, you are at risk of ignoring a deep cut, a concussion, or other serious injuries for hours after falling, being involved in a car wreck, or getting into a fight. An increased threshold for pain can be especially dangerous when combined with a reduced ability to predict the negative consequences of your actions.
In an altered state, you may be more likely to take risks that could lead to serious injuries. For instance, you might decide to jump off of a tall building or cut yourself with a sharp object just because someone dared you to do so. By avoiding drinking altogether, you significantly reduce the risk of getting hurt either by your own hand.
3. Staying Sober Allows You to Avoid a Painful Hangover
Going out to the bar or club may seem like a great way to unwind after work or to relax on a night off. However, the morning after a night on the town is often a painful experience. It’s not uncommon for hangover symptoms to include a headache or nausea. You may also be extremely thirsty due to the fact that alcohol is a diuretic. This means that it pulls moisture out of your body, which can leave you severely dehydrated.
4. Alcohol Makes It Harder to Fall or Stay Asleep
It’s not uncommon to feel tired or lethargic after consuming alcohol. It’s also not uncommon to pass out after consuming several drinks in a short period of time. However, there is a significant difference between passing out and actually falling asleep. Generally speaking, losing consciousness is simply a strategy your body uses to protect itself against further damage.
Therefore, you won’t get any of the benefits of sleep, such as the removal of toxins from the brain or consolidation of memories during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In the event that you do fall asleep, the presence of alcohol in your body will make it harder to enter REM sleep or stay there for a significant period of time. Instead, you will likely wake up several times during the night, which can leave you feeling even groggier the next day.
5. Cutting Out Alcohol Can Improve Your Mental Health
In addition to the physical symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption, you may notice that it also has an impact on your mental health. For example, you may feel a higher level of anxiety the day after going out for drinks or drinking at a friend’s house. This is partly because of the way that alcohol alters your body’s chemistry.
However, it is partially because you may not remember what you did while under the influence of alcohol. Alternatively, you may have said or done things that you wouldn’t have while sober. It’s also possible that just the act of drinking more than your body could handle will cause you to feel guilt or shame.
For many people, a feeling of guilt or shame may not subside as quickly as other hangover symptoms. This may be because they feel as if friends, family members, or colleagues are judging them for their alcohol consumption habits. The fact that you drink despite knowing the short and long-term consequences of doing so might also make you feel anxious or scared for your future.
Finally, the fact that you generally don’t sleep well when you’re drunk or hungover can exacerbate your mental health issues. Research has shown that you’re more prone to making mistakes when you are tired, and studies have also shown that you are more vulnerable to mood swings and violent outbursts when you don’t get sufficient sleep each night.
6. You’ll Notice Changes to Your Physical Appearance.
Abstaining from drinking for just a few days can result in clearer skin, healthier hair, and minor weight loss. If you can avoid drinking for several weeks or months, you’ll notice that you smell better, are less bloated, and have more energy.
7. The Financial Benefits of Cutting Alcohol Out of Your Life
It’s not uncommon to spend at least $5 on a domestic light beer at your favorite bar. If you live in a big city, you could easily spend double or triple that amount for a basic beverage. Of course, if you drink wine, liquor, or other expensive beverages, you could potentially spend hundreds of dollars on booze in a single night. Even if you buy your beer, wine, or liquor at the grocery store or discount liquor establishment, you will likely spend hundreds of dollars per month if you are a consistent drinker.
It’s also important to consider the financial impact that a DUI could have on your life. On average, a DUI costs about $10,000 in legal fees, fines, and other costs. If you hurt or kill someone while drunk, you may spend thousands of additional dollars reimbursing a victim for losses that he or she incurred because of your reckless actions.
Therefore, getting alcohol out of your life could allow you to afford a place in a nicer part of town or a reliable automobile. It could also allow you to start putting money into an emergency fund or into a retirement account. As a general rule, financial stability can make it easier to achieve mental stability as you won’t have to worry about keeping the lights on or hoping that your car will start in the morning.
Although it may seem fun and exciting to get drunk with your friends, there are a number of downsides to consuming alcohol. Abstaining from this habit may allow you to get into better physical condition as well as improve your mental and financial health. If you are struggling to quit drinking, it may be in your best interest to talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to talk more about rehab facilities, mental health professionals, or other resources in the area that can put you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.