Using NLP as your No. 1 Tool to help you quit drinkingMar 10, 2022
A gradual realisation that’s something’s not quite right
What image do you have of people who struggle to say “No” to a drink?
I remember vividly the despair I felt as I ran to hide the evidence that I'd been drinking before my husband reached the front door, home for tea. "How can I be doing this?"
I never thought that I was the type of person that would fall into alcohol’s trap and need support because I was ‘normal’. And yet it wasn’t until I tried and failed to cut down countless times that I realised that actually, I might just have a bit pf a problem. A drinking habit crept up on me like the cold that seeps into your body after you lie in the bath too long. One minute it's warm and cosy, the next you've no idea why you're still lying there shivering.
There isn't always a 'rock bottom'
And more often than not, this is what my clients experience too. There is no sudden ‘rock-bottom’, just a gradual realisation that somethings not quite right.
Whether it’s an after work get together, and evening meal or just getting the kids finally into bed, it’s becoming more and more common to fall into the habit of opening a bottle most nights. To relieve the stress of a difficult day, to try to combat rising anxiety, to get to sleep easier, or simply to numb out and forget the pressures of everyday life.
And it’s the people who end up in this grey area - drinking more than they know they should, struggling to quit by themselves, that I now support using a method of coaching layered with NLP lessons, techniques and exercises.
Alcohol is a tricky little molecule!
Alcohol is a tricky little molecule. On one hand it’s welcomed with open arms as lubricating social interactions and being a staple of our lifestyle. Yet on the other, when you break it down, alcohol is ethanol! It’s the same stuff that you put in your petrol tank, use as hand sanitiser against covid, and it’s actually a toxin!
How often do you find you focus on having a healthy lifestyle only to completely ignore any negative effects from alcohol?
It’s great to be exercising, watching calories, avoiding processed sugar and fats, etc, but if your day is always rounded off by a drink to ‘help you relax’, or to ‘help you sleep’, then in the long run you’re kidding yourself about your wellbeing and could be heading for trouble.
Wellness is a big part of quitting alcohol with big benefits of getting fitter, healthier, having better skin, less anxiety, and (my favourite!) sleeping so soundly that you really do have that elusive period of ‘rest and restore’ that your body needs.
It’s not about using willpower alone
Your subconscious mind is incredibly powerful, and it runs 95% of everything that you do and think! The conscious part of you is only the tiny 5% riding on top. So rationally thinking about quitting and using only your rational mind doesn’t work for long. And this is when the tools and strategies from NLP are fundamental in working with the subconscious to get it onboard, create new strategies, ways of thinking and being, and overcoming blocking beliefs to enable a new and healthier lifestyle to become established.
Using NLP Strategies is a foundation to the programme I’ve developed for my clients. Understanding the existing strategies around cravings, routines and the environment, through to how clients identify as a drinker. We update and develop new strategies step by step. This provides a reference framework for the client to use and build on to quickly to form new routines that don’t need alcohol.
Aligning the Conflicting Parts
One of the biggest concerns I hear is that whilst clients really want to cut down or quit, there’s a part of them that just doesn’t want to. “I know I drink too much but part of me thinks I won’t sleep if I don’t”, or “I know I should have a break this week, but I really deserve a reward after that day I’ve had”. There’s so much incongruence in these statements.
And this inner conflict comes from the part of the subconscious that wants to protect you. You might have heard of ‘the wine witch’ and maybe you’re familiar with her whispers too?! That voice in your head that tells you that ‘I know it’s Monday but just one won’t hurt..’! This is your subconscious piping up. It loves routine and stability and will do anything to avoid making a change that makes you feel uncomfortable!
But unfortunately your subconscious only sees short term, not the more important long term. And this is when an NLP Parts Integration exercise can bring alignment back to the client.
A recent client discovered these different parts within her subconscious were willing to negotiate and come together during a Parts Integration session. By gently discussing the intentions and strengths of each part of her subconscious, she was able to find a better solution to relax and socialise than constantly relying on drinking. She lost her worry that quitting drinking would stop her from enjoying time with her friends, and she’s now happily quit drinking knowing that she’s doing the right thing for her health and that she’s still able to relax and have fun.
NLP is a catalyst for change.
Of course, there are many more ways NLP helps.
Each client has their own individual issues and so there isn’t a one solution fits all. NLP is a catalyst for change when used in the right way for the right people.
From using Presuppositions to help in opening up choices, to questioning beliefs around drinking, NLP helps you to understand what better choices and ways of thinking you have, and how any beliefs you might hold about alcohol and what it gives you aren’t necessarily true. In fact, some of the biggest shifts often come during an NLP belief session.
Wellness is a big part of quitting alcohol with big benefits of getting fitter, healthier, having better skin, less anxiety, sleeping so soundly that you really do have that elusive period of ‘rest and restore’ that your body needs.
Making the Magic Happen
I quit back in 2017 and I can honestly say that my life has been getting better and better since. At the time I never dreamed that I’d become an NLP Practitioner and Behaviour Change Coach helping others to find freedom, yet here I am! This is the magic that can happen when you no longer fill your spare time with drinking.
My question for you – what magic could you make happen if you combined all the time that you spent drinking with bundles of energy and a bright outlook?
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