In a number of movies and tv shows, a character is shown in a social setting, nervous about doing something like talking to a person they’re interested in. In order to muster up that courage, they shoot back a shot or quickly down the rest of their drink before making a move. This has pushed the idea of “liquid courage” into the media and minds of countless people. But does alcohol actually make a person more confident, or is there something deeper at play? Learn more with Banyan Palm Springs.
Lowered Inhibitions and False Courage
While many drinkers report feeling better after a few cold ones or glasses of wine, the reality is that these pleasurable feelings are only temporary. Drinking alcohol is responsible for flooding the brain with dopamine, a chemical associated with feelings of pleasure. It also plays a role in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for operating that inhibition. Inhibition refers to the thoughts and feelings that normally hold a person back from acting on their impulses.
This explains why people who are drunk may do things that they wouldn’t even consider while sober. What is important to remember is that although drinking may reduce feelings of worry and stress on a short-term basis, these sensations will almost always come back swinging once the effects have worn off. In fact, it can come back even worse than before. This is referred to as hangxiety.
The Hangxiety Is Real
Waking up in the morning after a night of drinking is infamous for uncomfortable physical symptoms like severe headaches, nausea, and exhaustion. But there are also heavy emotions that can arise as the body and mind readjust to the lack of alcohol. Hangxiety often occurs because of alcohol’s impact on GABA activity in the drinker’s brain. This is a neurotransmitter that decreases said activity, which means that when the alcohol wears off, many negative feelings can come intensely flooding back.
Hangxiety is also common when the drinkers begin to recall their actions while enjoying the liquid courage that they relied on the night prior. Regret about how one acts in front of others can have an intense effect on how a person views themselves. It can also possibly convince that person that the only way for them to experience confidence is by drinking. This is what can result in an alcohol addiction, which can escalate to the point of needing treatment like that found at our Southern California rehab.
How to Be Confident Without Alcohol
Alcohol is a huge part of many cultures, accepted as a fun pastime instead of the mind-altering drug that it is. If you are struggling to feel good without the presence of a drink, it could be a sign that a deeper issue is at play. Luckily, there are steps that can be taken to remedy this situation. Being intentional about why you are going out is a good first step. Make sure you are with friends that have your best interest in mind or like-minded individuals who understand your hesitation around drinking. Do your best to not worry about what others, especially strangers, think about you.
If you still find yourself struggling to control binges and drinking, our California detox center offers alcohol withdrawal programs that can help you rid the toxins in your system and get a fresh start. Not only is there so much more to life without drinking, but there is so much more to who we are as people when we aren’t drunk.
If you want to take the first step towards ridding yourself of alcohol in your life, call Banyan Treatment Center’s Palm Springs rehab at 888-280-4763 for more information today.