How safely drinking alcohol can lower your stress
Many people turn to alcohol as a stress-reliever without knowing the positive and adverse affects behind it.
It is true that alcohol in small, safe amounts can reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, it has similar effects as anxiety medication. However the common misconception is that the more alcohol you consume, the less stressed you must feel. This is incorrect. Drinking too much alcohol while you are stressed can actually trigger your brain to binge drink and shows that men and women who do, actually have higher stress levels.
Here’s how to safely take the edge off with a small drink after a long day.
The stress-reducing effect of alcohol
The endocrine system in our bodies works hard to cope with stress by creating homeostasis. Consuming alcohol irresponsibly can create a physiological imbalance that throws off homeostasis and increases stress. However consuming some alcohol can have the following benefits:
- Positive feelings and relaxation
- Reduce fears
- Take mind off troubles
- Help you feel less shy
- Alcohol acts as a sedative and depressant
The perfect amount
The key to utilizing alcohol as a stress-reliever after a long day is consuming the perfect amount. There is a certain ‘golden number’ of drinks that even a doctor may recommend to reduce stress. Typically this number is no more than 1-2 drinks on occasion, and not daily. If you want to reap the stress-relieving benefits of alcohol, the key is not to build a tolerance. Once tolerance is built, it will require more drinks to reduce your stress, and in turn will not have stress-reducing, but stress-increasing effects instead.
Wine about it
Wine lovers rejoice. Wine is typically recommended more than any other alcohol as a stress-reliever. Although wine is still alcohol, a glass or two with dinner is said to effectively take the edge off. Wine like other alcohol acts as an effective depressant, which is why a glass with dinner is stress-relieving. However, consume more than a reasonable glass or two and wine can cause sleep impairments, increasing stress.
Like everything else in life, alcohol can be used in moderation. If you follow these guidelines, you might just have a greater relationship with alcohol and experience life a little less stressfully.
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