Being a mindful drinker is about increasing awareness of the effect that alcohol has on us, and recognizing how we use it to relate to the world around us. As mindful drinkers, we pay attention to how we feel after one drink rather than mindlessly plowing on to the next. We notice the effects of alcohol on our physical and our mental well-being. We pay attention to how we react in social situations. Paying attention roots us firmly in the present, the here and now. What matters most is what is happening in this very moment. Once we have started to pay attention, we can begin to change.
The other essential part of mindful drinking is acting and living with intention. An intention, if it’s a term you’ve not yet met, is a mindful state where we commit ourselves to actions—what we want and plan to do. Thinking about the changes we’d like to make help us discover the life that we imagine and the role that we want alcohol to play in it. We come to appreciate our limits.
A drinking life is often an indoor life. Yet, a world awaits outside your windows. Spending just a few hours each week in nature is good for your physical health and is scientifically proven to support your emotional well-being too. Many people report the restorative and energy-giving benefits of being in places where nature reigns and the human world recedes. Time outdoors doesn’t need to involve camping off-grid or weeks of hiking. Your local park is just as good.