4 Powerful Ways to Tame Alcohol Cravings in 2024

4 Powerful Ways to Tame Alcohol Cravings in 2024

Trying to ignore alcohol cravings only subjects you to its whims. Fighting them head-on can feel like pushing water uphill. Luckily, there are some powerful ways to manage alcohol cravings and tame the urges, allowing you to choose when to feed them, and when to redirect them.

Cravings might not be a need for alcohol specifically. They could be something deeper, whether that be a craving for calmness, flavour, socialising, or a mindset shift. Understanding how cravings work and what might trigger them are covered here.


1. Mindfulness

Familiarise Yourself with You: If you haven’t already, try to recognise when you crave and in what context. You don’t need to be always on guard, but by proactively knowing what triggers you, you can begin to work around those triggers.

Think about Cravings Objectively: Recognising that a craving is simply a reaction in the brain can demystify the feeling. A craving comes from the addiction reward system. Step back and look at cravings as a function of the body - nothing more, nothing less.

Reground in the Present: A quick way to tame the cravings is to guide your thoughts to whatever you’re doing in the present. Whether that be holding a pen, walking in the sun, the words on a page… Detailing everything in the now can occupy your thoughts wholly.

Zen Mastery: Practicing deep breathing exercises, meditating with a group or app, or even journaling can help managing the triggers and cravings.


2. Substitution

Eat Something Good: A craving for alcohol might be sparked from a deeper craving. Alcohol has sugars and carbohydrates, and you might be craving these instead. Eating sweets or your favourite meal stimulates the reward system in your brain. And, you’re less likely to drink if you’re full.

Drink Your Favourite Substitutes: You can also stay full and tame the cravings by drinking. Water, fizzy drinks, tea, coffee. You can meet the urge to drink by drinking anything but alcohol. But what if you’re still looking for that oh-so-loved beer flavour without the downsides?

Create Rituals: An effective way to curb the cravings is to create rituals that occupy the mind. Making tea in a pot can be an incredibly satisfying habit, from choosing the tea to making, pouring and drinking. This can work as an effective replacement therapy practice.

Quick Note: When making substitutes to curb your cravings, try to accept that others may not do the same, but that doesn’t mean you’re being “left out”. Everybody is responsible for themselves. Drinking substitutes can be made even easier with others without missing out on flavour or feel.


3. Build Routines

Keep Busy: Cravings can be managed by giving yourself a list of things you have to do first. This could be meal prep, cleaning the house, gardening, reading, calling family or friends to meet. By the time this list is complete, the cravings might be gone.

Exercise: Sometimes, an alcohol craving can be satisfied with exercise. Hitting the gym, running every day, and swimming are a few options. Social exercise works a charm, such as sports clubs and pilates/yoga.

Build Healthy Habits: Building healthy habits can turn cravings into a smaller and smaller part of your life. Going to meetings, early to bed, early to rise, finding likeminded people, skill-based hobbies, meditation, listening to podcasts… healthy habits are game changing.


4. Reframing

Changing Self-Talk: Simply changing the way you react to cravings can have a powerful effect. Reframing from “I want a drink but can’t” to “I don’t need a drink right now” or "I'll drink something else" might seem small, but it’s far from it. Cravings are an urge, not a need, and urges can be outlasted.

Talk to Others: When we crave, and not just alcohol, it goes against every fibre of our being to want to tell someone. Cravings want to hide and scheme; twist reason and logic. Shine a spotlight on your inner cravings by calling a friend or telling somebody. If you’re alone, post your thoughts onto forums like Reddit’s r/stopdrinking.

Resources: Changing the mentality around cravings can be supported by expert sources. Podcasts like ‘The Naked Mind’, ‘Huberman Lab Podcast’ and other mindfulness experts is an effortless step forward. You can also use a habits tracker on your phone to note down when you crave alcohol and how you reacted to it over time.


One day at a time is the trick.

Managing alcohol cravings is not about suppressing a natural part of us, but about understanding and redirecting it. By first understanding whether you crave alcohol, flavour, socialising, or something else, you can then work through one or all of the above methods to tame the cravings.

Having a supply of non-alcoholic beer can be an easy and crucial part of healthily managing cravings. Get the benefits of Beneficial Beer by clicking below.

Let's raise a glass to a healthier, happier future.


Tame the Cravings

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