4 Signs Alcohol is Becoming a Problem For You*

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*This is a collaborative post*

Alcohol is a big part of life for many of us, especially here in the UK. We have, for a long time, perpetuate a culture of binge drinking for its own sake. As a nation we don’t drink with the same restraint and savouring that we see from our continental cousins. We don’t drink to elevate the taste of our food or to appreciate the subtle nuances of flavour. We drink as if we’re locked in an ancient rite of competition. Sometimes we can find ourselves drinking as though we are carrying out some sort of national duty to get as inebriated as possible as quickly as possible. While few of us think of ourselves as binge drinkers, our culture has normalised alcohol consumption to such an extent that we can forget that whatever else alcohol may be, it’s also a drug.

As such, if we’re to take our general health seriously, we should always be somewhat self aware when it comes to our alcohol consumption. You might not need to check into an alcohol rehab centre, but it’s always important to check for signs that your relationship with alcohol has become problematic. Signs like...

Almost all of your social plans involve drinking

An active and varied social life is a hugely important part of maintaining peak mental health. While solitude can be important for all of us, most of our best memories are made when we’re surrounded by the people closest to us. However, if all of your social plans involve drinking this may not be healthy. Make sure you mix it up and incorporate lots of teetotal activities, too!

You’re not seeing the results you expect from your workouts

Alcohol can really throw a spanner in the works when it comes to pursuing the perfect summer body. Not only are most alcoholic drinks filled with empty calories, alcohol dehydrates your body and slows your metabolism. This can be an unholy trinity when it comes to shifting stubborn belly fat or putting on lean muscle mass.

Your friends comment on how well you can “handle” your drink

This may seem like a compliment, but it should actually give you pause. If friends frequently comment on your ability to handle your drink it could be that you’re building up a tolerance to alcohol. And this by itself is a compelling sign that you may be drinking too much.

You find yourself thinking “I need a drink” way more often than you’re comfortable with

Finally, alcohol can become a crutch that guides us through troublesome times. In times of stress we can find ourselves needing a drink. In times of sadness we can find ourselves needing a drink. In times of anxiety we can find ourselves needing a drink. Suddenly alcohol can seem like the solutions to all of our problems, yet it can create far more problems than it solves.

Find healthier and more productive ways to relieve stress like yoga, punching the heck out of a bag or heading upstairs for an “early night” with your significant other.

*Contributed by Sam Jones*

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