Contrary to what previous studies have touted, it turns out no amount of alcohol is good for us after all. While many researchers have attempted to justify our society’s preoccupation with alcohol consumption, the simple fact is that quitting altogether is the best course of action.
Though this applies for even casual drinkers, the benefits of quitting alcohol are even more abundant for heavy drinkers and those who suffer from alcohol dependency. And you might be surprised how serious those benefits are.
If you’re interested in how quitting alcohol could increase your quality of life, keep reading. Here are a few ways getting sober will make your life better.
1. Saving Money
Before trying to appeal to your sense of self-preservation, it might be best to appeal to your wallet. You might think you know how much your alcohol habit costs you, but we’d be willing to bet it’s a lot more than you think it is.
Conservative estimates put the 40-year cost of alcohol expenditure at over $22,000. This is spread out across various demographics in cities with widely varying costs. What that means is that you very likely spend more on alcohol than the national average.
It’s easy to write off alcohol costs when they’re only $20 at a time, but it adds up in a big way. Imagine the things you could do with $22,000. By not drinking, you could set aside a massive chunk of money for a retirement nest egg.
If you’re not the type to consider the bigger picture, even the short term savings are worth it. The $20-30 you would spend on alcohol could go towards an awesome meal, a road trip with friends, or a new outfit. Virtually anything you choose to spend your money on will get you more utility and enjoyment than alcohol.
2. Feeling Better
Savings aside, the mental and physical benefits of quitting alcohol are unbelievably abundant and serious. As touched on earlier, even small amounts of alcohol are bad for you. When you raise that amount, the toll it takes on your body and mind is immense.
The most obvious and well-known physical side-effect of drinking is the increased strain it puts on your liver. Prolonged heavy drinking can lead to full-on liver failure. That said, even the short-term effects on it aren’t great.
On top of the liver working overtime, it also causes your heart and lungs to go into survival mode. Alcohol thins the blood, increases your heart rate, and generally makes your body work extra hard to combat the poison you’ve consumed. Don’t forget that alcohol is quite literally poison.
While your body is doing its best to keep itself from shutting down, your mind is also overexerting itself. Many chronic and binge drinkers regularly drink to the point of “blacking out,” which is when you drink so much that you actually lose all awareness of your actions and behavior. In a very real sense, this is the alcohol doing brain damage.
Even in smaller amounts, drinking kills brain cells. That’s why you get that lightheaded feeling as you begin to catch a buzz. No matter how you cut, alcohol is putting serious dents in your brain’s ability to operate.
After you stop drinking, your body and brain will begin to feel better pretty immediately. If you’re dealing with full-blown alcoholism, this will likely be preceded by withdrawal symptoms, but the relief that comes after is hard to overstate.
Not only will you notice your body feeling more responsive, but your mind will also be in better shape. The memory issues and critical thought impairment that excessive alcohol drinking brings will be a thing of the past. Not to mention, skipping the hangover will make it about a million times easier to start your day.
3. Looking Better
If appealing to your sense of frugality and self-preservation hasn’t worked, maybe appealing to your vanity will. As mentioned several times, alcohol is straight up unhealthy. Beyond being toxic, it also consists of nothing but empty calories, which means that weight gain is one of the most prominent physical side effects of regular alcohol consumption.
Weight loss is one of the first positive benefits you’ll notice after you quit drinking. Especially if you drink a lot of beer, you’re basically ingesting loaves of bread when you go out. Cutting out those useless calories will result in shedding excess weight.
Since drinking is so hard on your body, it also results in premature aging. To put it bluntly, excessive drinking will have you looking like absolute hell.
Luckily, most of these changes are reversible. The human body is resilient, and the healing process will begin very soon after you quit drinking.
Bad skin, wrinkles, and many other undesirable features are common and nearly unavoidable side effects of alcohol consumption, even in what most people consider reasonable amounts. Cutting it out altogether will have you looking better than your peers in no time.
It’s ironic that alcohol is often used as a social tool for meeting people. In actuality, it makes you look and feel so much worse that it actually hurts your chances. If you want to have a leg up in the dating pool, stop drinking and look better than your contemporaries.
The Benefits of Quitting Alcohol are too Numerous to List
While this article covers a handful of points, the benefits of quitting alcohol are actually so abundant that it would be hard to put them in one article. If you get into the science, you could write an entire book about the subject.
But no matter how appealing quitting seems, it’s often easier said than done. Addiction is a powerful thing, and there’s no shame in seeking some outside help when trying to deal with it. If you’re interested in getting some professional help with your alcohol addiction, keep reading.