The benefits of no alcohol

It is the alcohol itself that causes harm to our health

Drinking alcohol has been deeply rooted in our culture for already thousands of years. The majority of our society drinks. No less than 80 % of the Dutch population older than 19 drinks. And on an average they drink about 250 ml of alcohol a day. We all have the vague understanding that alcohol can do harm to our health, but hey, we’re having good time so we’ll order some more. But alcohol consumption greatly impacts our health; next to that it increases the risk of developing liver, throat, and mouth cancer. And some studies also show the link between alcohol and rectum, colon and breast cancer.

There is still belief that a single glass of red wine a day is healthy because of the resveratrol in it. But it is the alcohol itself that causes harm to our health. Alcohol is what is called a cocarcinogen, which means that it can boost carcinogenic properties of other chemicals. With the support of alcohol, these chemicals get even more harmful. So if you’re a heavy smoker and a heavy drinker, the chemicals that cause cancer, will strengthen each other.

So of course, when you’re having cancer you shouldn’t drink at all, but also when you’re healed, the benefits of not drinking at all are definitely worth it. I have to admit, I used to drink a glass of red wine now and then. But – and not in the last place because I get drunk very easily – these were just a few occasions during the year and never more than 2 glasses per occasion. But for now I have decided not to drink at all. I have had those periods of no drinking already, varying from 6 months to 2 years. But it can be damn hard sometimes. Especially when you’re the only one not drinking. You kinda lose the connection with the rest of the company when they’ve had at least 3 drinks or more. So let’s take a closer look at the benefits of not drinking, not only for the sake of you, but also as a reminder for myself

Alcohol dehydrates the body, including your skin. When you already drink a few glasses a day, it will deprive the skin of nutrients and vitamins that are essential for cell renewal. When you stop drinking you will notice that the condition of your skin will get better. Hydrated skin makes you look smooth, bright and fresh.

Alcohol has a great impact on your mood. Many of us drink to loosen up and to have fun. But in the long run alcohol disrupts the chemical balance of the brain, which can be responsible for mood swings, agitation, irritability and even developing depression.

A drink at night is mostly associated with relaxation. But alcohol interferes with your sleep cycle. It disrupts your REM sleep (the deepest sleep stage), which can result in feeling tired and groggy in the morning.

Alcohol affects the way we cope with stress. It’s very tempting to poor yourself a glass of booze after a stressful day. But that glass of booze will affect the signals that are received by the brain and interfere with cognitive tasks and break down your motivation. Meditation and deep relaxation are way better tools to cope with stress.

And last but definitely not least: no more hangovers! No more waking up realizing you send some stupid text messages to your ex. No more black holes in your memory. No more recalling how the hell you got home. You will feel fresh and awake and you’ll be loaded with energy to have a fun and joyful day!

I can’t really look myself straight in the eye when I choose to drink. Drinking is pretty destructive and harmful for both body and mind. And I’m at the stage that I only want what’s best for me. In the end, it’s all about love and kindness towards yourself.

Lots of Love, Sophia
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