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The benefits of drinking less

Some people can feel unsure about whether they want to change their drinking habits.

One way of helping you to decide is to think about how your life might improve if you're able to drink less. Take a few minutes to try the exercise below.

Think about the following questions

You might want to take a pen and paper and note down your answers:

  • Imagine that you don't drink at the level you do now. Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
  • What might some of the benefits be to your physical health and emotional wellbeing?
  • What about your lifestyle?
  • What about your relationships?

Once you've completed this activity, you'll hopefully see the important ways your life might improve by drinking less.

Some possible benefits

To help you with your answers, here are some ways you could benefit if you drink less, in both the shorter and longer term.

Improve your lifestyle

This could include:

  • Saving money as you'll spend less on taxis and drinks
  • Having more energy for your hobbies and favourite activities
  • Being better able to perform at work: for example, less hangovers may mean better focus

Improve your health

Short-term benefits could include:

  • No more hangovers
  • Feeling more energetic
  • Having better quality sleep
  • Feeling more refreshed in the mornings
  • Having better control of your weight
  • Having an improved libido or sex drive
  • Having a better mood - less likely to feel angry or sad
  • Having improved immunity so you're less likely to catch colds and flu, etc

Long-term benefits could include:

  • Reducing your risk of developing certain diseases and health issues. For example, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancers.
  • Being able to prevent long-term memory loss.

Improve relationships

This could include:

  • Stopping you acting in ways you might not normally. Alcohol can reduce inhibitions. This can lead you to get angry, start fights, take risks and be irresponsible. This can bring problems with loved ones, not to mention the law.
  • Having better control over your behaviour. This could reduce problems with loved ones and mean spending better quality time together.
  • Being a good role model for sensible drinking for others.

Safe sleeping with babies

Never share a bed with your baby if you've had any alcohol, drugs or medication. Get more information on safe sleep for babies.

Get support from others

You now might like to run your ideas past other people you know. They may have some ideas for possible benefits you haven't thought of.

Find out more about the benefits of getting support from others.

What's next

Know your limits - how much alcohol you can drink to pose a low risk to you and your health.

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