Many of my clients, when they first come to see me, use alcohol as an external method of trying to control bad feelings – they feel anxious so have a drink to relax and try and calm their thoughts, they drink a few before meeting up with friends to feel more confident, they need a drink at the end of the working day to unwind and so on.

The problem comes when it isn’t possible to not have a drink, their health starts to suffer, they start forgetting parts of the evening or they find they can no longer go without a drink.

If you want to break this cycle then here are a few starters:

5 Ways to Take Control Over Alcohol

1) Keep a diary – record every drink you have. Know the problem to beat it. If it helps keep track of the cost too.

2) Slow down your drinking. Instead of gulping it down as fast as possible, take the time to taste it and make it last.

3) Mix your drinks – no, not in that way! Make every other one a soft drink or add tonic, cola or something else to your drink to keep the taste and lower the impact.

4) Start dealing with things. Instead of covering up your thoughts and emotions with a bottle, start taking action to solve your problems and direct your life positively.

5) Find other ways to unwind. Change your routines around drinking – go for a walk, take a shower, call a friend or do something else that helps you to shift to feeling calmer and more in control.

Learn to be in control of your drinking to the point where you can take it or leave it and still feel happy and healthy.

Dan Regan