top of page

DEBUNKED: Alcohol Helps Slow Down My Thoughts

Sad woman looking out of a window

One of the reasons I used to turn to alcohol is that I believed alcohol helped slow down the rush of thoughts in my brain. This was especially true after work, as the day’s activities and remaining tasks flooded me with worries and stress. And this was incredibly appealing as a form of relief, even fleeting, from stress and anxiety, so unless I found a way to disprove this belief or transform it into a new, more empowering thought, I knew I would be stuck in this cycle.

To do this, I created a method based on Byron Katie’s The Work, which I call RAISE. The goal of this method is to identify our ingrained beliefs, consider how they are impacting us or potentially holding us back, and replace them with beliefs that lift us up instead.

Step 1. Recognize The Belief

I’ve already done the first step- Recognize the belief, which is that alcohol helps to slow down my mind. Next, we move on to Analyze.

Step 2. Analyze The Belief

With the belief identified, I then turned to asking whether the belief is scientifically true. And in this case actually yes, it is true that alcohol impairs cognitive thought. Alcohol, according to extensive research, acts as a central nervous system depressant that can dull the sharpness of our minds, often leading to dangerous situations when we can’t access our full faculties.

Also, since alcohol shuts down the reasoning part of my brain, the thoughts that did manage to filter through often weren’t my best. This is why after a few drinks, you and I ignore our meal plan and the fact that we have work in the morning in favor of french fries and late nights.

It’s also a temporary fix; those thoughts are certain to come flooding back in the early hours of the morning, accompanied by even more negative thoughts chastising me for drinking more than I planned, for doing or saying something I regret, or simply worries about all that awaits me in the day ahead.

Step 3. Inquire About The Impact

Next, I questioned how this belief around alcohol was affecting me. Believing that alcohol is the best or only way to slow down my racing thoughts makes me feel reliant on alcohol to get the relief I want. This was rather unnerving, because if I didn’t have alcohol available to me, how would I escape or resolve the problem?

The fact that alcohol is so prevalent in our society creates a trap of dependence because I don’t need to explore other (perhaps better or healthier) means of achieving the same goal. Having never explored any alternate solutions, I felt powerless to resolve it on my own.

Step 4. Seek Alternative Beliefs

As I moved forward on my journey with RAISE, I experimented with alternative beliefs. Sometimes this is as simple as turning a belief on its head, i.e. alcohol does not slow down my thinking. However, this doesn’t ring true to me, because I’ve found that it does in fact slow my thinking temporarily, albeit with a host of unintended consequences.

Instead, I could choose to adopt the belief that there are better, more effective, and healthier ways to slow down my mind and relieve stress that do not involve poisoning myself. For example, meditation has been widely touted for its unparalleled benefits in reducing stress levels with minimal energy required. Even exercise can help reduce my stress and calm my thoughts- because it’s hard to think of anything else when you’re really pushing your body!

Step 5. Embrace New Narratives

Although sometimes with the RAISE method it can seem as if a light switch had been flipped, in other cases, it can take a little time to fully replace an old belief with a new one. Remind yourself of the evidence you discovered about whether this belief is scientifically true or not, as well as how this belief makes you feel. Also, consider whether there are solid arguments of credibility for this new belief over the old one. Can you find at least three ways this new belief is truer than your original belief?

For me, I began to recognize the lasting peace and calmness I found after an evening yoga nidra practice. The undeniable tranquility I felt after each session seemed to last longer, leaving me not only calmer but also proud of my journey towards self-care. I also didn’t experience the negative aftereffects like I did with alcohol, where those racing thoughts returned with a vengeance in the early morning hours. Finally, as a lifelong learner, knowing the damage alcohol was causing to my cognitive abilities made it much less desirable for me.

Next Steps

What about you? Do you believe that alcohol helps relax you by slowing down your thoughts, or perhaps carry another belief around alcohol that isn’t serving you well? Remember, change begins with awareness. Allow yourself to question – that’s the beginning of growth. So take a moment and honestly ask yourself, “Is there a belief or thought I need to RAISE?”

Questioning societal norms and deeply entrenched beliefs isn’t easy, and it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers right now. It’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to choose your own path. Embarking on the RAISE journey can be both challenging and rewarding, but I’ve found working alongside a compassionate coach truly enhances the experience. As a personal companion on your voyage of self-discovery, a coach will provide you with unwavering support, encouragement, and genuine insights.

So let’s embark on this journey together, shall we? If you feel aligned with the idea of unraveling the role of alcohol in your life, I’d be honored to support you in your quest for truth and authenticity. As someone who has walked the same path, I genuinely understand the challenges and the potential rewards that await you. And by signing up for a free discovery call with me, you’ll get a no-obligation opportunity to explore whether coaching is the right path for you.

Don’t hesitate to take the first step towards self-discovery. Click here to sign up for your free discovery call now, and we’ll embark on this empowering and exciting adventure together!


Commenting has been turned off.

Ready to find freedom from alcohol?
I've created a free guide with my 5 best tips to set you up for success
before you ever start trying to change your behavior.

I am a Certified Success Coach and I am passionate about helping women let go of limiting beliefs around alcohol and themselves so that they can create the lives they’ve always dreamed of.

Marci Rossi

Hi ! I'm Marci


Never miss a post! Enter your email to get the latest articles delivered right to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page