Alcohol alternatives are mindfulness methods that can assist with recovery from alcohol addiction. Such methods include meditation, acupuncture, yoga, nutritional counseling, and light therapy. These techniques do not have proven health effects, but are activities that can improve one’s mental state.
Alcoholism is a very common addiction, referring of course to the consumption of alcohol. Unfortunately, this condition has very negative effects not only on the abuser themselves, but also on their loved ones — alcoholism is a deadly disease, that can tear families and relationships apart. Furthermore, alcohol dependency can also trigger myriad health-related issues, including mental illness and compulsive behavior.
One can opt for either “cold turkey” or gradually diminishing their daily alcohol intake. Traditionally, alcoholics are admitted to a rehab center where they can receive professional treatment or join a support group. The doctor often prescribes the suitable medication to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and cope with side effects of drinking mouthwash or any other unhealthy alcohol replacement.
Nowadays, however, people have a choice between various—and sometimes unconventional—alternatives in order to boost their alcohol recovery. Some of these alcohol alternatives include:
- Nutritional counseling
- Light therapy
It is a well-known fact that detoxification from alcohol requires an immense amount of self-control and discipline. Because people often view alcohol as a means to escape from their daily struggles, they have to find other coping mechanisms to fill their time with, and essentially find an adequate replacement. This is where meditation comes in.
Meditation can last as short as ten minutes or for as long as an hour. Essentially, it helps you stop alcohol cravings and focus on positive thoughts—you may even chant a few encouraging phrases (repeat them as often as you wish), such as “I am on the path to living a better life.” Another great form of meditation is visualization—imagining how you will feel, look, and behave once you have achieved your goal.
Although it has not been scientifically proven that acupuncture can “heal” alcoholism, people still opt for it as an alcohol alternative. The insertion of small needles into the body purportedly helps to restore balance, and allows the alcoholic to take his/her mind off of alcohol.
Alcohol dependency can cause you to feel out of balance in every sense of the word. Yoga is another great alcohol alternative, which can help you take your mind off of drinks and instead can make you feel relaxed and centered.
You can choose from various types of Yoga, such as slower-paced Hatha yoga or Power yoga. This form of gentle exercise has been designed to help you make a mind-body connection, and get in tune with your body.
Nutritional counseling is another great alcohol alternative, which can help you bring your life back on the right track. According to research, most alcoholics suffer from malnutrition, which causes them to feel weak and unable to perform various physical as well as intellectual tasks. Proper nutrition is one of the keys to withstand alcohol abuse triggers.
According to research from Boston University, light therapy has been shown to be a great alcohol alternative. Light therapy consists of exposing people to bright artificial lights during waking hours. The main benefits of bright light exposure are decreased levels of depression and better-quality sleep. Many alcoholics struggle with insomnia, and end up drinking to help fall asleep.
Anecdotally, people find that alcohol alternatives are very effective and can help an alcoholic to overcome their addiction. Medical experts, however, often caution their patients that there is no researched-based evidence that can prove that these alternative methods truly work; what they do stress, however, is that these various alcohol rehab centers are simply adjunctive treatments that go well alongside hospital-based therapy and 12-step meetings. These meetings are available for different needs, for example fetal alcohol syndrome support groups open their doors for the adult children of alcoholics.
Thus, with this in mind, alcohol alternatives are a great addition to one’s alcohol recovery and a great boost for one’s journey towards a better, healthier life.