Why Willpower is Harmful When It Comes To Drinking Less

Willpower is in limited supply – there’s only so much of it.  When we use it, it’s like “white knuckling” it.  We are fighting against the desire.  We are resisting it and, ironically, causing the desire to increase even more.  We feel deprived.  And, we feel worse than before.  Once our willpower depletes, we give in and drink, and then we’ve perpetuated the cycle again.  We don’t even realize we’re perpetuating the desire that’s creating the problem in the first place.  We are trying to make progress and take good care of ourselves, but we are creating the direct opposite.

Why is it so important to recognize this pattern within ourselves?

It prevents our forward progress.  We erroneously think if we only had more willpower that we could stop.  Willpower doesn’t work and fails us each time.  Then we feel like we can’t achieve the goal of cutting back or stopping our drinking.  We feel like a failure and give up.  We are constantly “on the wagon” or “off the wagon.”  Truth is: There is no wagon.

We erroneously think if we only had more willpower that we could stop.

Stop relying on willpower to achieve your goal.  It never works.  Not for quitting drinking (weight loss or anything else for that matter).

Learn to cut back without willpower.

As discussed in the previous post, resisting doesn’t allow us to accomplish our goals.  Resisting only intensifies the negative emotions, making it harder to achieve our goals.  We need to allow our negative feelings – as they will come when drinking is decreased.  The fact is your brain has been trained to desire alcohol.  The desire is completely harmless.  It becomes harmful when you obey the desire to drink.

The fact that you have so much desire to drink is not a problem.

That’s why you can turn this around so quickly.  Resisting the desire causes anxiety and this escalates the desire even more.  But allowing the desire to be there without resisting or answering it is the key.  Allow whatever emotion to be there.  It is harmless.  And, given time, the emotion will dissipate.  Our bodies are amazing.  They are so adaptable and trainable.

You just need to know how to get the results you want.

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