Is Alcohol affecting your Mood?
Updated: 5 days ago
At the end of an exhausting day who doesn’t enjoy a glass of wine to unwind and de-stress but have you thought ‘is alcohol affecting your mood’?
To shake off the trials and tribulations of modern-day life, many people help themselves to a much-needed drink. But when you can’t get through an evening without that drink it can become a problem.
Alcohol in small amounts can have a relaxing and mood enhancing effect.
One of the reasons that people feel good when they drink is because acute alcohol consumption elevates serotonin levels dramatically. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which influences mood and behaviour and is commonly linked to feeling good. Drinking causes a burst in the amount of serotonin released in the brain which boosts your mood and contributes to alcohol’s rewarding effects.
In the short-term alcohol gives us a euphoric feeling. However, constantly reaching for the bottle to relieve stress and anxiety may not be a good idea. Long term alcohol consumption leads to changes in the brain known as tolerance development. Continuous alcohol exposure results in the modifying of the structure and cells of the brain, which can actually reduce serotonin levels.
Too little serotonin can cause low mood which may lead to further alcohol consumption to counteract this effect. But each time you drink you need to consume a greater quantity of alcohol to achieve that initial feel-good factor. This continuous cycle can often lead to depression and so it would be worth addressing if it is the alcohol affecting your mood?
So, if you suffer from stress or anxiety, using alcohol to medicate this will only make your symptoms worse in the long run. Of course, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a few well-earned drinks from time to time, but if you are consuming alcohol to help you deal with your problems this will impact on your long-term mental health.
You’ll not be surprised to hear there is a wealth of information and apps out there to help you on your health journey. Why not start by giving Dry January a go and you never know you might still be fizz free by Sober October!
A great resource is ‘One Year No Beer’ and on Facebook the ‘Sober AND Curious Community’ with a group of likeminded folk offering support and advice to help kick start you new relationship with alcohol.
And if you wish to address all areas of your nutrition please book a FREE pre-consultation with us.