Author: John Carter

How to Stop Drinking Out of Boredom: Tips and Advice for a Sober Life in 2024 Lantana Recovery: Addiction Treatment Rehab Center

drinking out of boredom

By becoming more involved in your community, you can effectively replace boredom drinking with meaningful connections and activities that improve your overall mental health and well-being. In addition to alcohol addiction, alcohol can also increase symptoms that may have initially driven the person to start drinking. Over 20% of people with anxiety disorders report that their symptoms worsen significantly after drinking any alcohol.

Boredom and binge drinking often go hand-in-hand, as drinking alcohol to pass the time and relieve boredom is a common occurrence. For other people, drinking alcohol out of boredom is a much more active choice – they drink to cope with negative feelings like anxiety or loneliness. Many people say that they drink alcohol to manage anxiety – to numb it or take the edge off difficult feelings. Drinking to combat boredom can be problematic, but you can prevent long-term consequences if you identify it early. Many people use alcoholic beverages to enhance experiences.

  1. Here are some tips to stop drinking alcohol out of boredom.
  2. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your doctor may even recommend medication to help treat depression and anxiety.
  3. Reflect on your drinking patterns and keep track of them to identify your boredom drinking triggers.
  4. If you are still in the flirtation stage of drinking out of boredom, it’s a great time to intervene and make a concerted effort to handle boredom in healthier ways.
  5. It’s also a common reason many become dependent on substances.
  6. You feel like an automaton simulating a life, but not finding any real purpose, joy, or meaning.

Eventually, this leads to an unhealthy pattern of emotional drinking that is much harder to quit. But the thing is, drinking out of boredom is a type of drinking that can quickly spiral out of control if you aren’t careful. Feeling bored is a natural part of life, but how you choose to cope with it can have a major impact on your well-being. There are healthy ways to deal with boredom and then there are the other options – the things we do to escape it entirely. But I PROMISE you, if you keep moving forward, things in your brain will start to click. And one day, it will occur to you that you’re actually happy and enjoying your life.

Recently I spotted an interesting comment on my blog about feeling bored.

Studies have shown that easily bored people are at higher risk of anxiety, depression, drug addiction, alcohol misuse, anger, and a number of other issues. Boredom can unexpectedly become a cue for sensation-seeking behavior. The current pandemic has highlighted how boredom can trigger the misuse of substances, particularly alcohol. In fact, alcohol sales outside of bars and restaurants surged 24% shortly after stay-at-home orders began. When feeling bored, many people turn to drinking alcohol as a way to enhance their experience and provide an enjoyable sensation. However, this can often lead to overindulgence, resulting in numerous health risks.

Sometimes we would watch a show, but even that become untenable for me after a couple of drinks because I did not have the attention span for it. When I drank alcohol, I could (and did) sit and do nothing for hours. It all felt normal, even the terrible parts like awful hangovers and hangxiety.

drinking out of boredom

I found myself planning little outings when I got sober because I needed to figure out what it meant to have fun again. If you have a willing friend or family member, take them along. Choosing a new hobby to occupy your time is not always easy.

“I’m Bored… And Drinking Gives Me Something To Do.”

Everyone reacts to boredom differently, but the way we react is vital to our health and well-being. Discover the solutions you’ve been seeking with this new guide to living free of alcohol. Studies have shown that the average adult faces over 130 days of boredom every year.

drinking out of boredom

But also, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get involved in activities around your community. But it’s comforting to know that you don’t have figure it out on your own. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your doctor may even recommend medication to help treat depression and anxiety. A therapist can help treat the underlying symptoms through therapeutic modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or trauma-processing techniques. It’s not as simple as “getting out there” and “trying something new.” It’s hard to do that when you suffer from extreme depression and anhedonia.

The Sober School

It’s particularly therapeutic to find something to do with your hands. Right now, you’re doing a very hard thing, and sometimes hard things feel lonely. Fortunately, there are more ways than ever to connect with like-minded people who are fellow travelers on this path. So many people quit drinking and end up walking around in a dopamine deficit state, struggling to find joy in anything. Now that you know the chemical reason for your boredom, let’s explore additional factors that might be contributing to these feelings.

Pick hobbies that you like, and hobbies that promote the behavior that you are trying to obtain. Alcohol Use Disorder is not just the stereotypical guy who is struggling to keep a job and living on the streets because of their addiction. High-functioning alcoholism is very real and pervasive in today’s culture. It causes familial stress, health issues, and alcohol-related deaths are one of the highest causes of death currently recorded. While you may have solved one problem, you’ve only added a much more real problem to your life in a very serious way. Self-medicating with substances instead of other cures for boredom is a quick recipe for addiction.

I’ve been where you are, as have thousands of other sober people who had to learn to have a life again after sobriety. Alcohol’s reinforcing effects can be attributed to the way cortisol interacts with the brain’s reward system, causing a person to feel pleasure and therefore reach for more of it when stressed. Make a commitment to allocate alcohol-free days and stick to them, keep alcohol and substances out of your home, make a schedule to structure your day, and connect with a supportive group regularly. 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. Soon it can seem weird NOT to have a glass in your hand, even if the rest of you is thinking about something else (or not thinking about very much at all).

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. Alcohol addiction rehab programs should address substance use as well as any underlying co-occurring mental health disorders.

The longer you stay away from alcohol and give your brain some much-needed TLC, the less you’ll feel like life is dull and uninteresting. Dopamine is another neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness. It is also responsible for regulating movement and emotional response. Dopamine depletion can cause apathy, boredom, and lack of motivation. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of happiness, well-being, and pleasure. Serotonin depletion can cause major mood swings and feelings of sadness, anxiety, and irritability.

Learning to identify the triggers to drinking is the first step towards preventing drinking out of boredom. Remember that one of the things we’re attempting to do is not only get out there and experience fun activities that don’t involve alcohol but also heal the underlying damage in our brain 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.

There’s a very fine line between social drinking and problematic drinking, and one could easily lead to the other and cause serious health implications. Talking with a trained therapist, especially one who understands substance abuse, is important. They can give you tools and resources for navigating everything you’re feeling (or not feeling) right now.