The Real Reason Why You Desire Drinking Alcohol
Can you relate to wanting to drink less but not identifying with having a problem?
Maybe you feel like the hangovers are no longer worth it or that it’s just a hassle to drink and deal with the side effects or maybe it’s something else.
But you’re not an alcoholic. You don’t feel powerless over your drinking.
This was me a few years ago.
I’m very familiar with alcohol abuse because my brother died of a drug overdose and my father died from alcoholism. I’ve also done a ton of research on alcoholism and drinking less.
I am not an alcoholic, but a few years ago I wanted to stop drinking because I personally thought I was drinking too much chardonnay.
From my work, I’m pleased to report I no longer desire drinking at all. I’m not counting the days. I’m not avoiding alcohol. I truly just don’t want to drink, so I don’t.
If any of this resonates with you, you might also benefit from doing what I did.
I’ll explain more below, but before I do, click the box below to get exclusive access to my free coaching video and worksheet, which will help you put this information into action right away.
Dealing with the Cause—Not the Symptom
First, and most importantly, my work started by wanting to solve my overdrinking problem once and for all.
To solve any problem, you should find the root cause and fix it. You can’t truly solve a problem by treating the symptom.
So I did not start thinking of ways to cure my hangovers or solve any other consequences of my drinking.
Instead, I wanted to understand why I desired alcohol at all. I researched the brain and alcohol.
The result of my studying was creating a program called Stop Overdrinking, which I offer in Self Coaching Scholars, my monthly coaching program.
Here’s what I learned that helped me develop this program.
How Your Brain Works
The brain is programmed to learn (this is why we evolved as a species).
We don’t come out of the womb knowing how to do things, but we come out programmed to learn. This is how we’ve evolved to modern day.
The learning and programming our brain is so good at is fantastic for things like walking, reading, and driving.
It’s not so great for things like overeating and overdrinking.
In the same way we’ve trained our brains to do everything else, we have trained our brains to overdesire alcohol.
Programming works like this:
- Learn it
- Accomplish it
- Get a reward from it
In modern society, we have taken things that give us a reward and artificially increased the reward, which artificially increases the desire for it.
For example, if you eat a peach, you will get a small dopamine hit, which creates a subtle desire for it. Contrast this with eating a piece of peach pie. The dopamine hit is amplified tremendously. Your brain sees this as a huge reward and thinks it’s very important for you to continue to seek it. This increases your desire.
When this is taken to the extreme, you have a full blown addiction. Substances that create the biggest rewards in our brain include heroin, crack, cocaine, nicotine, sugar, and alcohol. These drugs have been manipulated by humans to increase the reward artificially, so the desire is increased.
Why You Overdesire Alcohol
What happens is that you associate drinking a glass of alcohol with something super important and awesome. The more you do it, the more your brain thinks it matters.
You end up in a pattern because of the intense reward.
This isn’t conscious, of course. You think you’re having a drink because it tastes good or because it relaxes you.
You don’t understand what’s going on in your brain.
But you start to see over time that there’s a negative consequence to all the drinking. So you decide to cut back on it. But then your brain freaks out. Your brain thinks drinking is super important. If you continue to try to cut back, you’re using willpower against your brain to try to stop drinking. The resistance is usually too much and it doesn’t work.
Willpower doesn’t work. It doesn’t solve the cause of the problem, which is desire. I’ve quit drinking for a full year using willpower, but I never lost the desire. I was so glad to go back to drinking after I was done.
How to Unlearn Desiring Alcohol
Because you learned to desire alcohol, the question then becomes, how do you unlearn desiring it?
Once your brain has learned something, it’s programmed, and you no longer have to think about it. Take riding a bike, driving a car, walking, etc. You don’t have to think “lift leg” when you get up in the morning. You’ve programmed your brain to do it (thankfully).
The secret to losing the desire to drink is deconditioning and unlearning.
The way you do this is by allowing the desire to be there (instead of pushing it away) and then not rewarding it.
This is the biggest distinction between my program and a program like Alcoholics Anonymous.
By denying the desire, you’re not addressing the cause of the want of the reward. When you do this, you will always want alcohol.
You have to expose yourself to alcohol, allow the desire, and then not reward it. This is how you reprogram your brain.
Join me right now in this coaching call, where you can download your free worksheet and get a free training on how to stop drinking.
To learn more about my monthly coaching program, visit TheLifeCoachSchool.com/Join/.