Stepping away from alcohol for just 30 days could provide some surprising benefits. Although alcohol incites feelings of euphoria and relaxation, it’s actually a powerful toxin that undermines the health and functioning of your liver, your kidneys, your heart, and your immune system. Just a short respite from alcohol use can have a significant impact on your look, feel, and performance.
While regular alcohol use doesn’t always mean that a person is struggling with addiction, it still takes both a short and long-term toll on their health. Quitting alcohol today can limit your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease. It can also make you more energetic, robust, and resilient right now.
There Are Many Benefits to Quitting Drinking
There are several good reasons to quit drinking if you’ve been indulging far more than normal in recent months. To start, limiting your alcohol use will give your brain and body the chance to resume normal functioning. When alcohol use is both regular and excessive, gradual changes in a person’s brain chemistry set the stage for addiction. People who drink often and heavily can also contend with many embarrassing legal, financial, and social problems. With lowered inhibitions and impaired judgment, regular drinkers frequently make choices that they eventually regret.
So, What Happens When You Quit Drinking?
Even if your drinking isn’t impacting your career or your personal relationships in negative ways, taking a break from drinking can still be advantageous. The following are seven reasons why.
1. Drop Excess Weight
If you’re unhappy with your current body weight, quitting drinking is a quick and easy way to get rid of extra, unnecessary, and ultimately empty calories. Many alcoholic beverages add a lot of excess sugar to the diet. This leads to disproportionate fat storage at the mid-section and an unhealthy body composition overall. Quitting drinking without making any other dietary or lifestyle changes will often lead to several pounds of weight loss within just one month.
2. Improve Your Liver Health
Most people don’t think about their liver health until this organ becomes inflamed, painful, or outright diseased. When the liver is constantly being tasked with the job of breaking down alcohol, it doesn’t have the opportunity to focus on other forms of toxin removal. Thus, even if you’re liver isn’t bothering you right now, overwhelming this filter organ with toxins could be affecting your physical appearance. You might have dark, dull eyes, dull, dry skin, hair, and nails, more wrinkles than normal, or an all-around aged appearance. Spending one month alcohol-free will make you both look and feel younger.
3. Sleep Better
Drinking alcohol is something that people often do when they have difficulty falling asleep or staying that way. Although this is an incredibly common form of self-treatment for insomnia, it’s hardly effective. Regular alcohol use can actually be a cause of insomnia. Although you might eventually drift off after one or two drinks, you’ll be far more likely to suffer from multiple sleep interruptions. If you drink too much alcohol when self-treating insomnia, you may even wake up feeling hungover. It’s far healthier and infinitely more effective to work with a medical doctor to get a sustainable treatment for this and other sleep disorders.
4. Enjoy Mood Balance
People also drink to combat feelings of anxiety and depression. Given that alcohol is a depressant, using it to achieve mood balance is actually counterproductive. Self-treating anxiety or depression with alcohol also sets the stage for alcohol use disorder. When people contend with:
- General anxiety disorder
- Major depressive disorder
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
or any other mental health issues, it’s always best to have these things properly diagnosed and professionally treated. Much like using alcohol as an insomnia treatment, using alcohol to create mood balance is neither effective nor sustainable.
5. Think Clearly
One of the most surprising effects of heavy, long-term alcohol use is brain damage. Few heavy drinkers are aware that short-term, long-term, and even permanent brain damage are all possible consequences of regular alcohol use. Quitting alcohol for just one month will allow you to think clearly. It can also foster improvements in memory and in other aspects of your cognitive functioning. If you’ve been feeling groggy, forgetful, or out-of-sorts as the result of drinking, stopping today will allow your brain and body to reverse many of the damages that have already been sustained.
6. Experience Less Gastric Distress
Drinking fermented beverages like wine, beer, and other forms of alcohol can leave you feeling bloated, gassy, and downright uncomfortable. When you stop drinking, your digestive system will work better. You’ll be far less likely to deal with problems like acid reflux, diarrhea, nausea, and even stomach ulcers. If your belly has been bothering you in recent months, abstaining from alcohol for several weeks could make all the difference.
7. Enjoy Good Hydration
Not drinking alcohol can have a near-immediate impact on your looks. That’s because it’s infinitely easier to keep your body hydrated when you aren’t constantly bombarding it with liquid toxins. Your skin and hair will look healthier, your eyes will be brighter, and you’ll have noticeably higher levels of energy.
It’s also important to note that alcohol is a diuretic. Thus, even if you’re good about drinking plenty of water when you aren’t consuming alcohol, just a few cocktails are guaranteed to flush all of this water out. Abstinence will restore normal kidney and liver functioning, and boost your overall sense of well-being
Taking a break from alcohol can benefit your physical, mental, and emotional health in a vast range of ways. However, if you drink both heavily and regularly, you might want to attempt this period of abstinence in a safe, controlled, and medically monitored environment.
At Mississippi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, we offer medically supervised detox services. We also offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab for those in need of long-term support. Call us today to learn more about our programs and to find the best treatment option for you.