Thursday, January 18, 2018

There Seems to be a Movement a foot toward "Mindful Drinking"

     One of the hot topics of the people is the concept of “mindful drinking”.    This is a concept of being aware of when and how much you are truly consuming.  It is all about still allowing yourself to consume alcoholic beverages, but limiting it to specific times and places and how much.  It is having the strength to say just water or club soda instead of another cocktail or other adult beverage.   Making sure that you are in control of yourself and not allowing the booze to make your decisions.

     "There are many shades of gray when it comes to alcohol addiction,"and perhaps there can be shades of gray when it comes to sobriety as well."   Off-and-on drinkers can fill their calendars with alcohol-free events.  Others use mindfulness-a focus on the present moment that recent research has found to be effective in helping heavy drinkers cut back-and similar strategies to booze when it suits still be able to say no when it doesn't.

     Groups like CLUB SÖDA are around and aren't necessarily helping people get sober. The founders are careful to state before each event that CLUB SÖDA is not an addiction recovery group, it is estimated that only 30% of attendees never drink. The group isn't even angling for people to drink less, though that's often the result. Instead, it's more about cultivating "mindfulness around drinking, and questioning what effort is actually being put toward bliss in their life.

     "I just got to a place where I wanted to stop having alcohol be such a presence in my life," say some members, that now typically limit drinking to Friday and Saturday nights. "I still like alcohol, but I wanted to bring more control to my life.
     Sarah Bowen, a clinical psychologist who has studied mindfulness and substance abuse at Oregon's Pacific University, says that mindfulness techniques-many of which are secularized interpretations of Buddhist traditions meant to boost internal awareness and clarity-can be tools for helping people avoid problem drinking. In one of Bowen's studies, published in the journal Substance Abuse in 2009, mindful exercises helped people with alcohol dependency avoid relapse longer than standard treatment practices.

      I feel like this is a good practice, because like most things in life, moderation is the real key.  Being aware of what you are doing really make sense, no matter what you are doing.   There is a lot more information out there on line, just Google "Mindful Drinking".