We all know how important our health is. Both physical and mental.
The latest trends and new study findings constantly reminding us that we don’t actually have all the facts to make the right decisions when it comes to our health.
The thing that was healthy, is now considered dangerous and vice versa.
Who can actually keep up with that?!
The same goes for one of the oldest, man-made liquids – alcohol.
One minute it’s good for our stress and blood pressure, the next minute we’re told to cut down to 2 units a week.
Do you drink? Are you completely off drinking? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below 🙂
The thing with alcohol is, it’s a stimulant. Just like coffee.
Within the first few moments of having that glass of wine, our body and mind feels happy – serotonin hormones are released.
Because that happens, we tend to think “oh I feel good now. I’ll have another glass.”
Before you know it you’ve had a whole bottle and find yourself sad and questioning your life.
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The Effects of Alcohol on Our Mind + Mental Health
That first drink or first few sips make us feel more relaxed and better, due to the chemical changes that occur in our brain through neurotransmitters.
Alcohol slows your body down and changes the chemical make-up of your brain. As a result, we might feel more confident or less anxious.
All sounds great, but – these effects are short-lived.
As the feelings of happiness and reduced anxiety wear off, if there are underlying issues or we have a history of some depression or anxiety, those issues tend to creep in, sometimes intensified.
This is why it isn’t recommended to have an alcoholic drink if you suffer with depression. It’s a dangerous game and in the long run, it can make stress, anxiety and depression harder to deal with.
Alcohol can affect our mood, energy levels, sleeping patterns, concentration and memory.
If like me, you’re someone who suffers from hormonal changes and mood swings as a result, alcohol consumption can intensify the effect and make you feel much worse and increase the mood swings.
The more we drink in one sitting, it’s more likely that our negative emotions and underlying issues will come up, intensified.
Everything always seems scarier and more intense when alcohol is consumed, ever notice that?
If not, look at people on nights out – ever saw people arguing over something really petty or something they won’t even be bothered about in the morning and will end up apologising for causing a row?
That pretty much sums up too much alcohol – our rational thinking goes out the window, and small, petty disagreements can blow out into a massive argument in front of everybody on the street.
The embarrassment of waking up in the morning and realising what you did, is not the one…
Our mental health is SO important – it goes hand in hand with self-love and self-care. If we truly respect ourselves, we look after our minds and bodies.
Despite it being hard at times, we must always try to respect ourselves and be accepting of who we are.
Ever used alcohol as a punishment?
Hear me out – you have these negative thoughts in your head and you just want to relax and shush them, ignore them, even if there is some truth in them, or need addressing, you choose to have a drink instead.
That never worked for me, intensifying those voices and making me feel even worse and more depressed.
In a way, this is a way of punishing your mind, your inner dialogue that just won’t shush – and guess what, that voice is constant. The best remedy is listening to that voice and recognising when the good voice is speaking, and when the bad voice appears.
Spot the difference and question the voices or speak to them – ok, do I sound a bit mental now?
The inner dialogue and our head voice is most certainly a thing, and rather than trying to shush it with alcohol, we must address and listen to it, and determine whether it’s genuine and where it’s coming from e.g. a situation, your hormonal changes or simply because you had a bad day. ]
Don’t give in to the bad voice, because it isn’t rational, and beating yourself up is not healthy.
Turning to alcohol to relax and numb the pain, makes us more reliant on it.
We can easily get addicted to alcohol, it becomes our go-to on sad days or stressed days.
Not to mention the expense – the amount of money I spent on bottles of wine just to get through the week or celebrate the weekend… Anyone got a time machine?
Anyway, older and wiser moment over here.
There are cheaper, and much healthier alternatives to alcohol that provide a long-term happiness boost and don’t give you a headache the next morning. Win-win, right?
Effect of Alcohol on Our Physical Health
Ever gone for a run after a heavy night of drinking? You may be out of breath quicker or you find that you’re struggling after barely a mile, or you can’t run as fast as you normally do.
Not ideal and then you start to question why you even had a drink in the first place – was it worth it?
Most of the time, the answer is no – you feel achy, suffering from a headache and a craving for greasy fast foods.
If you’re someone who likes to keep fit and active and has a very strict diet or exercise regime, you may have quit drinking because you noticed how it’s impacting and negatively affecting your physical health.
Effects on our physical health from alcohol are:
- Increased blood pressure
- Liver damage
- Decreased fitness level
- Weakened immune system
- Muscle cramps
- Heart damage
Alternatives to Alcohol
We’re all starting to turn to alternatives of alcohol or at least thinking about it.
Alcohol is fun for a short while. Mostly when we’re young or at college/university and are going out with friends who are always drinking too.
At the time it’s fun and you end up playing games, everything seems funnier and you’re able to dance like no one is watching.
There comes a time, when it’s not that much fun anymore.
You’re tired of the cycle of getting drunk, doing something silly, waking up hungover and embarrassed because you took your top off while dancing on the table…
I’m at that stage of life where a glass (erm bottle) of wine on a Friday night, is now a hot chocolate or a cuppa tea.
Then I started exploring some more options.
I thought – there must be an alcohol alternative that is healthy, feels like a special drink or a cocktail, that makes me happy and is good for my mind and body.
This is when I stumbled across the Three Spirit Drink…
Three Spirit Drink – Alternative to Alcohol (Great for Cocktails, yum)
A plant-based alternative to alcohol. The reason why I chose this particular alcohol-free “alcohol”, is because Three Spirit Drink use ingredients that have been used by tribes for centuries during ceremonial celebrations and rituals.
Which is right up my street…
Some of the ingredients within the drinks include:
- Lion’s mane
- Guava leaf
- Green tea
- Maple syrup
And lots more.
To top it off, their packaging is plastic-free and recyclable.
There are 3 potions* – *I mean options – to choose from:
The clue of the effects of each one is in the name. The Livener makes you feel more awake, happier and talkative.
Social Elixir is recommended in social settings, raising your sprints and setting the mood for an awesome night.
While Nightcap is exactly that – a quiet drink to settle down at the end of the night or after your dinner. A calming effect and relaxing effect to wind down after a long day…
I tried the Livener – and here’s how it went:
The Livener – effects and review
I mixed about a single shot (25ml) with a bit of orange juice and cranberry juice and oh my goodness was it refreshing…
It was absolutely delicious – the tang of spice from the ginseng, a touch of sourness and a whole explosion of fruitiness. It was yummmm. And most importantly, it felt like I was nourishing my body while drinking it – rather than punishing it with alcohol.
The ingredients are super healthy so it feels like you’re drinking a freshly squeezed juice oozing with vitamins and nutrients.
And you don’t need to feel guilty about calories or not making the gym the next day. No hangovers with this one, woo!
The effects: it made me feel tingly in my feet – which is my happiness sign, must be the serotonin hormones reaching my feet.
As we sat on the sofa drinking our Livener, we felt giddy, more talkative and relaxed while also happy. It felt good!
And it felt special too! Sometimes you want to reward yourself after a hard week/day with a special concoction of a drink, and this Livener has definitely hit the spot.
Totally, absolutely recommend the Livener.
Three Spirit have a list of cocktail recipes to try – it’s not that nice on its own as it’s concentrated and it’s a rather strong flavour.
More Alcohol Alternatives
If you’re not a fan of a drink anyways, there are of course other ways in which you can stay healthy, reduce your stress and increase happiness. I’ve listed my favourites methods below:
Alcohol Alternaitves for Stress
If you’re turning to alcohol because you’re stressed, I’d recommend the following alternatives which are likely to be free or cheaper than alcohol, and benefit both your physical and mental health too:
Alcohol Alternatives For a Happiness Boost
If you’re drinking alcohol to feel happier and get that happiness boost, the following alternatives are again, free or cheaper than alcohol, and benefit your body and mind:
- Doing something that you love for an hour – a bath, watching a comfort programme, gardening
- Sitting in the sun for 15 minutes
- Going on the swing (my favourite…)
How About You?
Do you have other alternatives to alcohol that you love? Let us know below in the comments 🙂