Why We Over Drink

Helllo!  How are you guys?  Hopefully doing amazing – my coach always says amazing.. I mean why not say amazing right? 

Ok – so today we are talking about why we over drink.

First – I want to remind you that in episode 1 I mentioned the work we do here will likely be unlike what you have done in the past.  This work is not about willpower and white knuckling.  It’s about making lasting changes by doing the work – not just listening to my “amazing” voice..lol. but actually taking the info and applying.  That’s when the magic begins. 

Next – all of this work is best done from a curious standpoint.  We are all usually pretty good at beating ourselves up – but that is not allowed here.  When you allow yourself to be curious you become more aware of what is going on.  Btw – how has beating yourself worked so far?  Right?  It’s like we think is necessary but has no upside. Ok -but that I shall save for another podcast.

Back to why we over drink… or maybe, if we are being curious – I wonder if even think you are over drinking?

To be honest when I first started doing all of this work I began using the tools for weight loss.  I didn’t really know if I wanted to drink less.  I didn’t think I was drinking too much.  But, I found myself each morning wanting to be more productive and thinking maybe if I didn’t have that last glass of wine the night before I would’ve felt better. 

I just seemed to keep telling myself I wanted to do more in life.  Now don’t get me wrong – I think I have a really good life – but there was just this voice that kept telling me I wanted to take it to the next level – whatever “it” was. 

So if you are thinking you are not sure about this – I get it.

But I encourage you to ask yourself this – do you like your current results?  If not – let’s dive in and start looking at our drinking thinking.

Here’s the thing – drinking less is not that hard – you just don’t pour the glass of wine.  What comes up when you don’t drink is where all the work is –   It’s all the work between your ears – that my friend is how all this work is different than what you’ve tried before.

We over drink because we over desire alcohol. 

Desire is just a strong feeling of wanting to have something.

We essentially program ourselves to want it.

Here is the good news.

Desire is something we learn and repeat.  

If you learn it – you can unlearn it.

It doesn’t always feel like that though right?  

Sometimes you may feel like you are drinking against your own will, but when you understand desire, you will understand nothing has gone wrong here.

You have trained your brain to do that. You have simply practiced a thought that makes feel desire for the alcohol, and done it enough that it is now a habit. If you are the one that created it, you’re the one that can “uncreate it”.

Now – how do you create it? 

The way you create any feeling – like desire – is with a thought.  For example – when I think of my dog trying to snuggle with me  – I feel so happy.   When I think I think of my dog dying I feel sad – even if he hasn’t died – it’s just the thought of him dying that makes me sad.  We will talk a lot about how our thoughts create our feelings in this podcast – it’s super important to the work we do here so I encourage you to bring that curiosity along with you every week.

When it comes to drinking you may have a thought as simple as – it’s 5 o’clock, or I want a glass of wine, or it’s time to cook dinner, or – this is a big one – I just need to relax.  It doesn’t have to be a deep dark thought – it really can be as simple as I want it.

Now – our brains are designed to work on what is called a Motivational triad.  Simply put our brain wants to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and do it as efficiently as possible.  So let’s say you have a crazy end of quarter – or product launch – or any big project at work.  Lots of stress, and by the end of the day you reach for the glass of wine. 

This Makes total sense – your brain wants to escape the stress, the wine is pleasure, and if you have done this before it is easy for the brain to just go there. 

Can you see how this is just as the brain is supposed to work – avoid pain, seek the pleasure and when we do it long enough it becomes efficient.

Think about this – remember when you first started driving?  It was likely not the smoothest – hahah – hands at 10 and 2 – make sure you were using the blinker and not the wipers.  lol – pay attention to all the signs – lol –

I remember this one time I was driving with my dad early on and as I was going about 55 around a corner he was pointing out the speed limit sign said 45 mph – I clarified for him that that was a “suggested speed” sign b/c it was in yellow.. his reply -I suggest you slow down..hahah..

Ok – but here’s the thing – driving was clunky back then.  Now you can arrive at a location and be like – how did I get here?  Or better yet – or worse yet – you see people driving and doing makeup and reading… it’s crazy.  But it is now an activity that has been moved to the lower brain – doesn’t take much energy because you don’t have to think about it. 

It’s very similar to your drinking.  It has been delegated to the lower brain and is easy to go to. 

Make sense? 

Another aspect to understand is that Concentrated pleasure (alcohol, drugs) creates an artificial dopamine response, and concentrated pleasures lead to bigger dopamine reward, which leads to more intense desire.

Now Our primitive brain – or lower brain – or lizard brain – all the same –  prioritizes activities that create the dopamine response and believes them to be necessary for survival.

So by drinking over and over, we have programmed the brain to believe it is necessary. 

Nothing has gone wrong.

But we also have a more evolved part of our brain.

Our more evolved human part of the brain, the pre-frontal cortex is more powerful.  This is the part we control.  This is the part that we want to bring into the mix when working on un-learning the over desire for the alcohol. 

This week – I encourage you – Before you grab the glass of wine just start paying attention to what the thought is – I want it, it’s time to cook, it’s 5 o’clock.   

Whatever it might be.

Just write them down.

Write all of them down.

It’s important to write them down so you can see what is doing on – when it is on paper it allows you to look at them from a different angle vs just thinking them over and over in your brain.

Notice they are just thoughts.

This will have you interrupt the process for a moment and allow you to become more aware of what is going on.  This activity will give you an idea of where you are starting.  All of this work is a process.  Start where you are.  

Remember – this is not about will power.  We only have so much will power each day and that’s one of the reasons will power doesn’t work long term for most people.

This is about being committed to un learning the over desire pattern.  The clients that see the best results are the ones not “trying” the program – but the ones who are committed to doing the program.  Big difference.

Remember – where you are today didn’t happen over night.  In order to unlearn it you will have to do some work.

And that is perfect.  Because once you start seeing how it works you start realizing how in control you really are.  And that my friend is magic – because then you begin to see how in control of your life you are.

You can tell a different story.

If you want more help with Drinking Less head over to www.mindfulweighs.com/freebie – remember weighs is w-e-i-g-h-s like you are weighing decisions – and there you can download a free guide to get started tonight.  The link will be in the show notes.

Ok – that’s it for today.  So happy you were able to join me and let’s circle back next week – until then – make it a great day – take care!