resilience experiments

Cut Out Alcohol – 30 Days

This experiment involves cutting out all alcohol for 30 days.

Alcohol has multiple detrimental effects in the brain, despite the short-term feel good effects on brain chemicals like dopamine (the reward chemical) GABA (what makes us feel warm and relaxed) and brain opioid system (pleasure and decreased feelings of pain including emotional pain). That’s why it’s such an enticing way to ‘unwind’ in the evenings after a long stressful day. However, after the initial burst of feel good chemicals, alcohol has many downsides in the brain and for resilience. It can increase anxiety, especially if you are a wound up warrior, increase chronic fatigue and depress immune function (exhausted warriors), worsens low moods and motivation (moody warriors) and impairs cognition (ie thinking clearly) and problems solving as well as mental clarity (scattered warriors). It also disturbs sleep in 2 ways- it decreases REM dreaming phase sleep and it also decreases your total sleep time. REM sleep is important for helping consolidate and process the events of the day and is important for mental wellbeing. Total sleep time is a big factor for feeling rested in the morning.

Recently, scientists have discovered ways to mimic the nice effects of alcohol without the actual alcohol by using compounds that affect GABA, our calming, chilled and relaxed neurotransmitter. These GABA drinks are now available in the UK and US.

note: if you are worried you may have alcohol dependance seek professional help to help cut down and quit safely