Benefits of an Alcohol Free Life
I live in Ireland where we have a long association with alcohol and high levels of alcohol use is tolerated here daily. Most people drink alcohol and it is rare to find people who choose to abstain, but living a life free of alcohol comes with many benefits. I will describe the main ones below.
From the very first 'sip' alcohol starts to affect our body and mind and it is said that there is no 'safe' amount of alcohol to drink and the risk of damage to your health increases directly with the amount of alcohol consumed.
The WHO states that the harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in over 200 diseases and injury conditions. That is a huge number that can be reduced just by eliminating it altogether.
Alcohol can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease and certain cancers and many other serious illnesses and mental health conditions. It is seen as a class 1 carcinogen and is a factor in certain cancers, particularly breast cancer, liver, bowel, larynx, mouth and oesophagus.
The risk increases in direct proportion to the amount of alcohol consumed.
The consumption of just 1 drink per day can increase the risk of cancer by 9%.
When we drink alcohol we are less likely to make healthy choices which can have a consequence for our health.
We can drink alcohol when we are stressed to help us feel more relaxed but did you know that alcohol actually increases stress levels long term and also makes it more difficult for us to cope with stressful situations.
In relation to mental health, people who drink alcohol heavily are said to have an increased risk of mental health problems and alcohol is a factor in over half of all suicides in Ireland.
Actually dealing with our stress and learning ways to cope in this world is far more effective and doesn't bring any negative health risks.
Like with stress, alcohol is used to help us sleep better but it is actually a sleep disruptor. It makes us woozy in the short term and can put us to sleep but it affects our REM sleep which is the restorative phase of sleep. Having a herbal tea to relax can do far more to an overall good nights sleep than some alcohol.