Choose a sober lifestyle: for good health
Article revised on 24 January 2019
With the imminent cannabis legalization, Internet addiction issues constantly in the news, choosing sobriety, i.e. controlled and moderate alcohol consumption, is a good way to prevent dependency and the problems associated with it. What are the benefits? How do you maintain moderation? There are a few practices that you can integrate into your lifestyle.
What is sobriety?
Choosing sobriety does not mean observing abstinence. Rather, it means moderating your consumption. When you demonstrate sobriety in your consumption choices, whether they apply to food, alcohol, drugs or gaming, you are more likely to avoid becoming dependent and experiencing the often disastrous consequences that go along with it: consequences that affect your personal and professional life and your physical and mental health.
Advantages of sobriety
Drinking in moderation is a matter of physical and mental health. By observing moderation, you stay away from excess and remain in control. Some advantages of a sober lifestyle:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Better weight control
- Better sleep quality
- Well-being, at work and at home
- Financial savings
- Improved environmental quality
- Feeling of accomplishment
Food for thought
A good way to avoid slipping back toward dependencies is to reflect on the consumption choices you make. Here are a few questions* to help guide your thoughts about your consumption and lifestyle habits.
- Are there any negative consequences on my health due to my consumption or habits?
- Am I able to stay in control with regard to my consumption or bad habits?
- Do I think obsessively about the subject?
- Do these habits cause me to isolate myself and miss out on opportunities to socialize?
- Do I have any guilt feelings about my consumption?
- Do I lie to myself or others about my consumption or bad habits?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be on a slippery slope. Careful though: Dependency or moderation do not only concern consumption frequency or quantity. There are other aspects, as well, such as the consequences that consumption can have on your life, your behaviours and your ability to live a fulfilled life.
Do you have a problem of dependency?
If you have a consumption problem that is interfering with your quality of life, just remember that help is available to you. Talk about it to a trusted friend or family member, or reach out to one of the following resources:
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Addictions/Substance Abuse
- Your integrated health and social services centre (Use this tool to find the centre closest to you)
- Associations that help people fight different dependencies: Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous,
Achieving moderation and balance through sobriety allows you to have the best in life: improved physical health, better interpersonal relations, enjoyment of life and pleasure. It’s a great gift to give yourself!
*Please note that the answers to these questions are only indicators and do not suggest a final diagnosis.
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