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The Positive Aspects of Stopping Drinking

Whether you give up drinking for a week, a month, or forever, you will notice tremendous benefits in many areas of your life.

Many people “dry out” in January, and some people decide to make it a permanent choice based on how much better they feel sober. If you have been drinking heavily for an extended period of time, going “cold turkey” can be dangerous and potentially fatal. Consult with your doctor, who may recommend that you quit drinking with medical supervision.

While giving up alcohol can be challenging, many people who do stop drinking find that what they gain in time, money, and health make it very worthwhile. 

Your Wallet and Calendar Will Thank You

It’s no secret that alcohol is expensive, especially if you drink in bars and restaurants. Alcohol has a high mark-up; when you order a $9 glass of wine at a bar or restaurant, you could probably buy the entire bottle at a store for $12. If you are in the habit of stopping in for a drink on your way home from work for two glasses of wine, at $9 per glass, you would spend $90 a week on your wine, not including tax and tip. Add to that you may want to have an appetizer with that wine, which adds to your bill. If you are drinking, you may wisely decide to leave your car in the parking lot and take a Lyft or Uber home, which is an additional cost. And if you were to shop after your two glasses of wine, you may find that your judgment is slightly impaired and that you make purchases that you shouldn’t.

If you stop drinking for a month, for example, you may find that you have more time. If you cut out your Happy Hour habit, you will gain back an hour or two every day that you can use to do something else, quite possibly something that you enjoy more or that is better for you. You will also gain back the time that you spend feeling a little bit under the influence and perhaps tired. If you used to overindulge occasionally, you will now not spend that time recovering from drinking too much the night before.

Your Body Will Thank You

The physical benefits of giving up alcohol are numerous. If you stop drinking, you may find that you lose weight for several reasons. Alcohol is often referred to as “empty” calories, meaning that alcoholic beverages have calories but provide very little nutrition. A twelve-ounce serving of beer has approximately 150 calories and a glass of wine has 120 calories on average. Drinks made with fruit juice or soda typically have more calories. Some people enjoy eating when they are drinking, which adds additional calories, and the food choices that people make when drinking aren’t always the best. Additionally, your body can’t store the calories from alcohol for later. This means that the alcohol calories get used first, so your body might not get around to using the calories from the nachos you ate, never mind the excess that your body has stored as fat.

If you stop drinking you may find that you sleep better. When you are drinking, you may fall asleep easily but find that you wake up during the night. This can interrupt your REM sleep, which leaves your brain sleep deprived. REM cycles of sleep restore your brain. Alcohol can also increase your risk of having sleep apnea, which is more frequent-than-normal pauses in breathing while asleep, or shallow breathing. Sleep apnea can leave you feeling tired during the day and can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease.

Other physical benefits of not drinking include being less accident-prone, improving your digestion, strengthening your immune system, feeling more energetic, staying more hydrated, and having better-looking skin.

Your Brain Will Thank You

The mental benefits of not drinking are numerous. After you stop drinking you may find that you are thinking more clearly, that it’s easier to concentrate and focus, and that your memory improves. If you have issues with anxiety or depression you may find that those conditions improve when you give up drinking. You may also find that your relationships are better and that you feel much more “present” in your life. It may become easier for you to make genuine connections with people. 

If you are ready to embrace a life free of drugs or alcohol and the many benefits associated with a sober lifestyle, the staff at Enlightened Solutions is ready to help you. Enlightened Solutions is located on the south New Jersey shore and is a licensed co-occurring treatment center, meaning that in addition to addiction they can treat the mental health issues that often occur with substance abuse. The staff at Enlightened Solutions develops an individual treatment plan for each patient based on their needs and their goals for recovery. The programs are rooted in the 12-Step philosophy and include traditional talk therapy as well as a range of holistic treatment modalities, including family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic treatment, massage, art and music therapy, and equine therapy. If you are looking for treatment for drug or alcohol abuse call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-5483 today.


4 Physical Benefits of Yoga Practice

Why:

Yoga can be customized to focus on certain areas of the body, especially in Westernized athletic or aerobic yoga style classes. No matter the yoga class, though, the entire body will benefit. Each yoga pose has benefit for the whole body, strengthening, conditioning, and developing muscles, including small and unseen ones.

Strengthen Your Core.

Having a strong core as a human is like having a strong trunk as a tree. Arms and legs are the branches of the human body, as well is the spine and all the other muscles. A weak core makes everything loose and disconnected, allowing injury. Core strength is a focus of yoga as it is seen to be an energetic powerhouse of the body in need of building. The core is built of three layers which all need to be worked on. Yoga works to strengthen all three layers

Why:

A strong core changes walking, sitting, and even sleeping posture to protect the back and other important joints. Yoga poses keep focus on activating the core to allow the rest of the body to lengthen, expand, and strengthen.

Helping Your Muscles Recover.

Muscle recovery is often overlooked. After a particularly strenuous workout or physical activity, most turn straight to relaxation. Few people engage in the physical activity which matters most- stretching and recovery. If there is a fitness goal in mind, it will be better reached by actively practicing yoga as muscle recovery. Even though energy is low and muscles are tired, the day after hard physical engagement, practice yoga.

Why:

Using muscles detoxifies the body and releases lactic acids, which can cause that stiff soreness as well as immobility. Drinking lots of water is helpful for clearing out toxins released by the body. Yoga, however, amplifies the recovery process through stretching and releasing the muscles. Additionally, yoga is focused on the breath, which brings more air to the muscles.

Preventing Muscular Injury.

Muscular injuries are painful. Treating muscular injury can end up taking months of careful and challenging physical therapy. Some injuries to muscles require surgeries for which there is an intensive recovery period. Muscle injury results from not properly taking care of muscles before, after, and during physical activity. Physical activity doesn’t have to mean working out, playing sports, or being active. Without proper muscle care, it is easy to twist, pull, strain, tear, and bruise muscles just in every day activities. For example, not strengthening and conditioning the core can contribute to back injury.

Why:

Yoga is a simultaneous practice of strength building, stretching, and muscle lengthening. Similar to the way a cut is treated with a bandaid to heal and endure ongoing activity, yoga treats the muscles to help them endure and heal.

Develop Underused Muscles.

Not enough exercises focus on the underlying muscles. Many people who regularly workout at the gym are happy with the physical strength and endurance they gain. Most people exercise for artificial purposes such as muscle sculpting and body shape. By constantly doing bicep curls to gain bicep muscles, many other important muscles in the arms and shoulders are ignored. Mistaking bicep strength for over all arm strength, it is easy to damage or injure the body. Yoga as a strength building practice will prevent hyper focused strength.


4 Physical Benefits of Yoga Practice

Why:

Yoga can be customized to focus on certain areas of the body, especially in Westernized athletic or aerobic yoga style classes. No matter the yoga class, though, the entire body will benefit. Each yoga pose has benefit for the whole body, strengthening, conditioning, and developing muscles, including small and unseen ones.

Strengthen Your Core.

Having a strong core as a human is like having a strong trunk as a tree. Arms and legs are the branches of the human body, as well is the spine and all the other muscles. A weak core makes everything loose and disconnected, allowing injury. Core strength is a focus of yoga as it is seen to be an energetic powerhouse of the body in need of building. The core is built of three layers which all need to be worked on. Yoga works to strengthen all three layers

Why:

A strong core changes walking, sitting, and even sleeping posture to protect the back and other important joints. Yoga poses keep focus on activating the core to allow the rest of the body to lengthen, expand, and strengthen.

Helping Your Muscles Recover.

Muscle recovery is often overlooked. After a particularly strenuous workout or physical activity, most turn straight to relaxation. Few people engage in the physical activity which matters most- stretching and recovery. If there is a fitness goal in mind, it will be better reached by actively practicing yoga as muscle recovery. Even though energy is low and muscles are tired, the day after hard physical engagement, practice yoga.

Why:

Using muscles detoxifies the body and releases lactic acids, which can cause that stiff soreness as well as immobility. Drinking lots of water is helpful for clearing out toxins released by the body. Yoga, however, amplifies the recovery process through stretching and releasing the muscles. Additionally, yoga is focused on the breath, which brings more air to the muscles.

Preventing Muscular Injury.

Muscular injuries are painful. Treating muscular injury can end up taking months of careful and challenging physical therapy. Some injuries to muscles require surgeries for which there is an intensive recovery period. Muscle injury results from not properly taking care of muscles before, after, and during physical activity. Physical activity doesn’t have to mean working out, playing sports, or being active. Without proper muscle care, it is easy to twist, pull, strain, tear, and bruise muscles just in every day activities. For example, not strengthening and conditioning the core can contribute to back injury.

Why:

Yoga is a simultaneous practice of strength building, stretching, and muscle lengthening. Similar to the way a cut is treated with a bandaid to heal and endure ongoing activity, yoga treats the muscles to help them endure and heal.

Develop Underused Muscles.

Not enough exercises focus on the underlying muscles. Many people who regularly workout at the gym are happy with the physical strength and endurance they gain. Most people exercise for artificial purposes such as muscle sculpting and body shape. By constantly doing bicep curls to gain bicep muscles, many other important muscles in the arms and shoulders are ignored. Mistaking bicep strength for over all arm strength, it is easy to damage or injure the body. Yoga as a strength building practice will prevent hyper focused strength.