An interesting study by Hertfordshire University recently discovered that talking about your cravings can actually reduce their power over you.
Although they used chocolate, not alcohol, the principle is exactly the same. The test subjects who were encouraged to talk about their desire for chocolate subsequently ate 50% less than those who were told not to talk about it beforehand.
If you try to ignore your cravings, or suppress them and pretend they’re not happening, then you can end up drinking even more. So if you want to beat your cravings for alcohol, just acknowledge them and talk about it with someone who is supportive.
Work is often the biggest source of stress in our lives, and people sometimes end up using alcohol to relax and deal with that stress.
The result is often that your work performance suffers because of your hangovers. This makes it hard to concentrate, so you might well be feeling guilty.
Perhaps you’re also worried that your colleagues suspect you have a drink problem – can they smell it on your breath perhaps? So this creates even more stress.
Have you got to the stage where you feel the urge to have a little drink at lunchtime, just to calm your nerves? Or at the end of the day, are you watching the clock in the office, thinking about that first drink you can have once you leave work?
For some unfortunate people, alcohol becomes a part of their job – people in the promotions business, or staff in pubs, bars or restaurants for example. Then the two issues can be even more complicated. Business meetings at lunchtime or Friday afternoons can often involve a drink, it can be a source of bonding with your colleagues, or an important part of relationship building with a client.
So what can you do, if drinking is part of your work culture?
Is there any way your job situation could be improved so it’s not so stressful? Or is there perhaps another way to deal with that stress that doesn’t make the situation worse, like drinking does?
Give us your suggestions:
UPDATE – We’ve now opened the forum – please feel free to use it if you might need support with an alcohol problem.
We’re thinking about starting a free support forum for people with alcohol problems, where members can write about what’s happening to them or offer words of advice for other members.
But what we need to do first is find out how much demand there is for this – there’s plenty of people posting comments on the site, and getting support from other readers already, but a proper forum would no doubt work better for developing a real community feel.
We asked people to vote for whether they would use a forum like this or not. The poll is now closed, but here’s how they voted over a two week period:
Yes – 96% (49 votes)
No – 2% (1 vote)
Maybe – 2% (1 vote)