How to Stop Drinking Out of Boredom Alcohol Addiction Treatment Denver, Chicago, and New Jersey

Learning to identify the triggers to drinking is the first step towards preventing drinking out of boredom. Fried and overly sugary foods will also artificially spike your dopamine levels and cause your brain to overcorrect, leaving you feeling irritable, depressed, and cranky. These are all things you’re trying to overcome from drinking. Early sobriety is a critical period when community and support networks are critical. This can be hard if your social life previously revolved around drinking. It’s even harder if your loved ones don’t support your sobriety.

  • Eating well, staying hydrated, getting physical activity, and not stocking up on alcohol for the winter are other helpful strategies to stop drinking out of boredom.
  • Drinking because of boredom happens because home is where we feel safe, unjudged – it’s where we can relax.
  • The contrast between the heightened emotional state while drinking and the flatness of mood when sober can make everyday life without alcohol seem uninteresting – sometimes unbearably so.

This, in turn, makes you feel more bored more frequently, which reinforces the desire to drink, and round and round you go. The brain has essentially been rewired to find these natural rewards less appealing compared to the artificial high from alcohol. When you drink, it floods your brain with an artificially high amount of dopamine. Chronic alcohol use can dull the brain’s dopamine response. Regular drinking alters the brain’s normal balance of neurotransmitters, chemicals that transmit signals in the brain. Eventually, those activities pale in comparison to the boost that drinking gives you.

Drinking Out of Boredom

When you begin to view your negative thoughts and feelings as problems to be solved rather than the embodiment of who you actually are, you liberate yourself. It also opens up space to approach your internal world differently. One of the biggest impediments to my sobriety during my relapse days was my inability to avoid getting consumed by emotions. So much of this list is not just about finding things to do, but treating the underlying causes of extreme boredom in sobriety.

If you have the time, sign on to a longer-term project like helping with this year’s charity bake sale or the big 5K race your city holds yearly. You’ll get to meet new people and be a part of something positive. But I didn’t know what to do with them besides feel them.

Boredom can be Destructive

Some alternative activities to consider include physical exercise and outdoor activities, creative pursuits and learning new skills, and volunteering and community involvement. Various addiction treatment programs are available for those struggling with alcohol use disorder and boredom drinking. These programs should address substance use and any underlying co-occurring mental health disorders to ensure the most successful outcome. The best approach to treatment includes access to follow-up therapy, management of skills, group or peer support, strategies to prevent relapse and prescribed medications if needed. Such a comprehensive treatment is most effective in achieving recovery. By implementing these strategies, you can effectively overcome boredom drinking and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Things that people do during that day that don’t involve recovering or boozy brunch. But if you can’t or aren’t able to do a group class, at the very least, take a tech-free 30-minute walk every day. I promise it will do wonders for your mental health, which, in turn, will help you feel motivated to do more things. Staying busy is a great way to stave off boredom and create space for healing the parts of your brain that took a walloping from drinking. It’s particularly therapeutic to find something to do with your hands.

Signs of Becoming an Almost Alcoholic

If you’ve created an entire social life around drinking, it is natural to be afraid of life without it. Acute anxiety and depression from the withdrawal process can ease within a few days to a week. But for many people, lingering feelings of anxiety, depression, and general malaise can last weeks, months, or even longer.

  • Understanding this connection is the first step towards breaking the cycle.
  • Try and find ways to build other people into your daily patterns.
  • Bored drinking takes place when people reach for alcohol to kill time, simply because they have nothing else to occupy their minds.
  • Our brain also becomes accustomed to the presence of alcohol and starts to see it as the “new normal.” So when there’s no alcohol, things seem a bit off.
  • We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology.

Therapy and counseling services can provide you with the support and guidance you need, and addiction treatment programs can help you address the underlying causes of your boredom drinking. By exploring new hobbies and interests, you can effectively replace boredom drinking with more fulfilling and enjoyable activities. Stress, anxiety, and loneliness can all be potential triggers for boredom drinking. People may turn to alcohol as a way to cope with these negative emotions, but in doing so, they may be putting their mental health at risk. Many scientific studies have proved a positive relationship between boredom/loneliness and excessive alcohol use.

Identifying Your Boredom Drinking Triggers

Mental health needs as much attention as physical health, so if you are suffering, go and talk to your doctor. If you always have a bottle open when watching TV, then it quickly becomes a very hard habit to break. This is particularly true if you’ve had a hard day at work or with the kids, and you are tired or stressed out.