Check out these 6 lesser known benefits of sobriety
Most people think they understand the expected benefits of quitting drinking and learning to live a sober lifestyle. They immediately associate some of the more obvious sober health benefits, such as improved health and not waking up with a hangover that persists throughout the day. However, there are some lesser known benefits of sobriety you may never have considered. No matter what benefits you seem to think alcohol provides, they pale in comparison to the benefits of sobriety. Here are a few positive effects of sobriety that many people overlook.
It’s common for most alcoholics to have no real idea how much money they spend on their drinking habits until they stop. After all, a night out with friends for a few drinks, plus tips, can really add up fast, especially if you’re drinking cocktails or craft beers.
If you go out a few nights a week for after-work drinks or parties, it’s easy to spend at least a few hundred dollars a month. Then there the cost of the convenient bottles of alcohol stocked up at home to take into account as well.
One of the lesser known benefits of sobriety is just how much money you can save. Water is free and a soda costs much less than an alcoholic drink while you’re at dinner. You’ll soon find it’s much easier to start growing your savings account than ever before.
More Available Time
It’s true. There are still only 24 hours in the day. But when you’re drinking you never really stop to consider just how much time your drinking habits take up.
There’s the time spent thinking about when you’ll be able to have your next drink, more time spent planning where the next drinking opportunity or party or barbecue or social event might be, time spent actually drinking, and time spent recovering after drinking. When you’ve gotten through that day, you get to repeat the process again, usually with a few hours of work or other snippets of life squeezed in between.
Yet when you quit drinking, one of the really unexpected benefits of sobriety is that time seems to somehow expand. You still have the same 24 hours in each day, but you seem to be able to do more with them than when you were drinking.
Suddenly your mornings are free to fill up with enjoyable activities instead of spending them nursing a hangover. Your working days are actually more productive, because you’re not recovering or planning your next drinking session. Your evenings are free to explore new social opportunities or hobbies or interests. Your weekends are free to … well, whatever you want, really.
Better Social Life
When you’re drinking, it’s likely your social life revolved around friends and events that included alcohol. It’s common for many people caught in the grip of an alcohol abuse disorder to plan their entire social lives around drinking patterns. Late brunches with mimosas or Bloody Marys, lunches with a few glasses of wine, dinners and parties and after work drinks.
Let’s face it. Most of us associate socializing with drinking, so there’s an underlying fear that sobriety might mean no one will want to hang out with you anymore.
What you may not have realized is that when drinking habits begin to take control, it’s common for alcoholics to begin isolating instead of socializing. One of the more positive effects of sobriety is that you’re more likely to make new friends at whatever activities you choose to take the place of drinking time.
You’re not constantly slurring your words or feeling guilty or shamed about nursing a hangover from hell, so many of your old friends may be willing to reconnect too. You’re also more likely to turn up for social events you’re invited to once you stop drinking.
You’ll Look Better
One of the more overlooked benefits of sobriety is that you’ll look much better after quitting drinking. When you’re not guzzling 1,400 or 1,500 calories of beer or wine each night, you start losing that puffy, bloated look. Your skin and complexion clear up and your hair isn’t so dry and brittle.
There’s also the inner radiance that comes from not having a hangover every morning. Your sleeping patterns improve, so you wake up feeling refreshed, full of energy, and looking bright and happy.
While vanity might not be the reason you choose to get sober, looking good and receiving compliments from friends about it sure provides added motivation to stay that way.
Many people drink to put distance between themselves and emotions. If they have a stressful day, they have a drink to unwind. If they’re angry, they’ll drink to take the edge off. If they’re sad, they’ll drink to drown their sorrows. If they’re celebrating or socializing or at a party, they’ll have a few drinks to commemorate the occasion.
No matter what the emotion behind the drinking habit might be, the reality remains that alcohol puts distance between you and your emotions. Over time, though, the alcohol tends to keep those emotions at bay almost completely. Alcohol acts like an anesthetic for your emotions.
Yet one of the most unexpected benefits of sobriety is how fresh your emotions begin to feel. You really do start feeling some deep emotions. You no longer have alcohol there to take the edge of stress or dull painful emotions, so you actually start dealing with those things in more positive, healthy ways.
Technically, being healthier isn’t one of the unexpected benefits of sobriety. When you get right down to it, you already knew alcohol is a toxin. When you stop polluting your body, it automatically starts to cleanse itself. Your body begins working more efficiently, so you start to feel better.
Alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. One of the positive effects of sobriety is that your body begins to absorb vitamins and minerals properly again, so you become healthier.
You’re also not dehydrating your system with a constant barrage of more alcohol. Instead, you’re drinking fluids that actually hydrate you, which helps your kidneys and liver function at a much more optimal level.
With so many sober health benefits and other positive effects of sobriety, isn’t it time to regain control over your life again? The benefits of sobriety far outweigh any temporary pleasure alcohol offers, so consider reaching out and asking for help. There are plenty of benefits to sobriety to look forward to.