Anxiety and Alcohol Use
As psychotherapists who specialize in anxiety, we often see a correlation between alcohol use and anxiety in our clients. While some people turn to alcohol as a way to cope with anxiety, the truth is that alcohol can actually make anxiety worse in the long run.
Alcohol is a depressant that can slow down the central nervous system, initially creating feelings of relaxation. However, as the effects of alcohol wear off, it can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and depression. This can create a vicious cycle of dependence, where alcohol use becomes a way to temporarily alleviate anxiety, but ultimately ends up exacerbating it.
Furthermore, alcohol can interfere with the quality of sleep, leading to feelings of fatigue and increased anxiety the following day. In addition to causing dehydration and headaches, alcohol can also cause heart palpitations and shortness of breath, which can mimic anxiety symptoms.
If you struggle with anxiety and alcohol use, it’s important to seek help from a licensed mental health professional. At AMR Therapy, we offer evidence-based treatments for anxiety, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based therapies. Our therapists can work with you to develop coping strategies to manage anxiety without turning to alcohol.
Here are some tips for reducing anxiety without alcohol:
Exercise regularly – Exercise releases endorphins, which can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
Practice mindfulness meditation – Mindfulness meditation can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings and help you develop a sense of calmness and relaxation.
Develop a sleep routine – Creating a consistent sleep routine can help improve the quality of your sleep, which in turn can reduce feelings of anxiety.
Practice self-care – Taking care of yourself is important for managing anxiety. This can include taking a bath, reading a book, or doing any activity that brings you joy.
Seek social support – Spending time with loved ones can help reduce feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
If you’re struggling with anxiety and alcohol use, remember that you are not alone. Seeking help from a licensed mental health professional can help you develop the coping skills you need to manage your anxiety without turning to alcohol. At AMR Therapy, we are here to support you on your journey to recovery.
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