Find Balance with Mindful Drinking: Controlling Alcohol 2024

Find Balance with Mindful Drinking: Controlling Alcohol 2024

How do you start each day feeling refreshed, energised, and in control? The answer can be one small change.

Mindful drinking is a way to enjoy alcohol, improve your health, and enhance your well-being. The trend towards mindful drinking is growing, and it's not about breaking up with the booze.

But what, then?

How to Practice Mindful Drinking

“Sometimes I don't know when to stop, even when I don't even drink every day”


Our relationship with alcohol can turn unhealthy without us realising it. Have you noticed the amount you’re drinking and want a change? Are the hangovers weighing you down? Maybe it just comes down to taking back your energy...

Substitution is a solution. But you can have a million reasons to cut back on the booze and still be waiting to start.

There is a piece missing from this puzzle.



Mindful Drinking Exercises

Discovering confidence in yourself, having fun, and connecting doesn't require abstinence. Life thrives in the spaces between extremes.

Impulsivity is one of these extremes.

Mindful drinking is recognising and overcoming impulsivity, which comes in three different forms:

  1. Motor (acting without thinking, such as blinking)
  2. Cognitive (making decisions without thinking about consequences, such as jumping to conclusions)
  3. Temporal (preferring instant gratification over delayed rewards - dopamine vs serotonin)


    “It's in responsibility that most people find the meaning that sustains them through life. It's not in happiness. It's not in impulsive pleasure”

    - Jordan Peterson


    By placing more, not less, responsibility around drinking, you can enjoy it more.

    How often do you find yourself drinking out of habit rather than enjoyment?

    Try these exercises below.


    Pay Attention to How You Behave:

    Paying attention to your thoughts is a seemingly simple task. The average person has up to 60,000 thoughts per day. We can’t keep track of that.
    But we can pay attention to feelings.
    Notice how you feel when you’re in a drinking environment. Do you feel pressure? Nervous? Excited?
    Accept them as they are, non-judgmentally. No need to run away from them, just notice them.
    By being aware, you can form a habit of recognising when you start unmindful drinking. It allows you to see what triggers you and your patterns.
    Awareness is the key to mindful drinking.
    Hot Tip: If you do Dry July or Sober October, notice the cravings/impulses that might arise during this time. Can you find healthy ways to replace/fulfil them?

    Mindful Drinking Exercises


    Engage the Senses:

    Mindful drinking can also allow you to appreciate positive feelings.

    You can begin to drink with intent and appreciation.

    When you do drink, turn that drink into an experience. Appreciate every sense that goes into the act of drinking.

    Think about the sweet and tangy flavours, the crisp finish, and the cool condensation on the glass.


    Question Why?:

    When you understand how much you drink, don’t just stop there!

    Ask yourself why you drink:

    • Is it hard to drink less around certain people? Why them?
    • What would happen if you swap out just one alcoholic drink? What about two?
    • Are you bored?
    • Is it a reflex?
    • Is it a habit you’ve associated with something else, like watching TV? (more on that later)
    • Where you are can also be questioned. Why here? Why now?


    “I now plan my nights out ahead of time: what I am going to drink, and what alternatives I want”


    Notice patterns and keep asking why. Being aware and questioning what you do can show the answer.

    Become sober-curious to master impulsivity.

    Sober Curious Mindful Drinking

    Mindful Drinking Practical Tips

    The exercises above are great, but we can go further.

    Sometimes we lose ourselves in the moment and forget. We’re all human after all.

    Luckily there are some things you can do before, during, and after drinking to help.


    1. Consider Affirmations and Meditation

    Stating an affirmation before you go out, meet friends, or drink is a great way to start mindful drinking. You can try something like this:


    I am aware of my impulses that lead to unmindful drinking. I am committed to good health for myself and others by being mindful of my drinks. I am capable of choosing when to drink and when not to.


    Practicing meditation can also help mindful drinking.

    Meditation is about being present and resting in the here and now.

    Why not check out some meditation apps like Headspace, Insight Timer, and Plum Village?

    You could also look into mindfulness retreats and delayed gratification exercises. 

    Mindful Drinking Apps

    2. Before You Drink

    Build small habits with consistency and preparation. 

    Prep Tip #1: If you’re at a bar/pub, place your order first so that you can take control of your first drink.

    Prep Tip #2: Start small. Be mindful and plan your drinking to include less alcohol. Even if it is a few drinks to start.

    Prep Tip #3: Understand the nature of habits. We’re the product of our environments. A great book we’d recommend would be Atomic Habits by James Clear:


    Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. They don't seem like much on any given day, but over the months and years their effects can accumulate to an incredible degree.

    - James Clear


    3. When You Drink

    • Count your drinks: Make active swaps every other drink or at certain times of the week. A great way to make this easier is to start a subscription.
    • Yes and No: Say no to certain types of drinks like pints or shots. You can take a step further and replace it with something else...
    • Fun Replacements: Bring your favourite non-alcoholic drinks. Eat instead. Order water every now and then. Your possibilities are abundant
    • Be Open: Tell those close to you about your goals. When they understand your active choices, they will understand and contribute to them.


    4. After You Drink

    At the end of the night, recall your performance, noting down what you did and why you did it. What gets measured gets managed.

    Here are some best apps for tracking your mindful drinking habits:


    Habitify Goal Map HabitNow


    Going the Extra Mile: Track and show your progress. Build a community that becomes self-supporting. Your efforts might reach and influence more people than you think!

    Join us on Facebook and Instagram and share your journey with us! 

    As they say, your network is your net worth!


    Does Mindful Drinking Affect Meditation? What are the Best Drinks for Mindful Drinking?

    Mindful drinking can complement a meditation practice... but does alcohol affect meditation?

    What are the best substitutes to make for mindful drinking? 

    Beneficial beer gives you the perfect middle ground between a refreshing beer and active mindful drinking.

    Explore our Non-Alcoholic Beer!

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