A decade after Januarys were explored to be as dry a start as possible to the many a years passing through, this awareness in cutting off alcohol from one’s life, or at least downsizing the impact of it continues to be no any less relevant. Doing a Dry January or chipping in with a Sober October instead might be something we allow ourselves the challenge of upholding in all their veritable essence as more a trend than a lifestyle choice. But at the core of these and such other similar assertions of winding down on the amount of alcohol that we thought we could not do without are more legit concerns that tend towards such explorations of a healthy and holistic living as encapsulated by the concept of mindful drinking.
The premises upon which this considerate adherence to drinking entails indeed is nothing very profound in that it simply attempts to make habitual or big drinkers realise the unappealing pursuit of their alcoholic tendencies as concerns their long term health and longevity and persuade them by that account to cut down considerably on their copious gulps of the booze. As a practice that asks one to be aware of the whys and how muches of their alcohol addiction, mindful drinking tends to promote a healthy, sustainable in fact relationship with alcohol rather than cutting it off altogether. Clear in its vision but not unnecessarily restricting the access to something very much a driver of social life as well as of personal leanings is this concept in comparative sobriety that seeks to evoke the power of the mind in influencing one’s own decisions as regards to their status of alcoholism. And while mindful drinking works also across certain elements that have been determining of the Dry January or likewise phenomena, it is a more recent stemming and also one somewhat more aware of the feasibility of what it asks for.
In its more evocative nomenclature as well, mindful drinking tries to stay true to the concern it envisaged to address in the first place. While Dry January and Sober October tends to be quirky enough a play of their names to necessarily have folks seeking them out for all the cool fun evident in it, mindful drinking calls for more aware a response to personal behavior as far as alcohol dependency is concerned. In entailing instead the immense influence of the mind to prod people on to reflect and dwell on their consumption of all that booze, mindful drinking is more ‘sober’ an exploration itself of what it takes to be wholly responsible for one’s personal relation with the drinks. Imbued therefore with more intention arising out of a poignant realisation spanning own tendencies in intoxication as a part of the life we live everyday, mindful drinking imbibes indeed its essence in name and in spirit, aiming to be a long term, meaningful tryst with alcohol in as optimal limits of it as possible.
By some degree of contrasts, the many a month or time specific campaigns seeking to limit the rampant overconsumption of alcohol in as much goodwill of course falls back by quite some mile both in their premise and in ‘passion’. As resolute commitments to pass off an entire month high and dry or fully sober, Dry Januarys and Sober Octobers bear greater possibility of being completely shunned once the calendar turns on a new leaf. This in fact triggers the really harmful tendency to binge drink and in copious amounts of it as well to perhaps compensate or even celebrate an entire time span of their persistence in total abstinence. It’s almost as if providing the impetus to further the alcohol relation to as extremes as possible guided by such misguided prospects in their own faulty awareness of ‘effectively tackling’ their end of the problem. And while both these lines of thought that govern individually both the aforementioned concepts in alcoholism, one as a part time shun of the booze and the other in restricted allowance to it, stem from their own novel ideas of what can probably effect a shift in making the whole alcohol allure more sustainable a culture in part customs, part indulgence, the definite approaches that shape them up tend to be not as universal an exploration of them as per expectations. But in assigning the meditative notion of mindfulness to the latter concept of the drinking behavior needed to be pursued in moderation, mindful drinking manages to eke out more responsive an awareness of the same.
In fact, so evidently practical are the considerations across which mindful drinking present itself as a case in the universal dynamics of alcohol and its associated ism, that the practice has found translation also in the associated sober curious movement. Stemming from the attitude of mindful drinking arising from the awareness of an optimal quality of life being derivable from optimal association with alcohol among other factors is the living of that realisation as a sober curious individual. And it’s also not always about dependence and addiction that needs to be compulsively addressed but rather a greater realisation or even a desire to cut down on or perhaps quit alcohol altogether by own reflections on the effects a drink too many might have upon their health and life in the long run. It therefore needs no reiteration indeed of the many benefits that characterise an adherence to the ‘ideals’ of mindful drinking as it is in the very recognition of these positives that leads one to commit themselves to this healthy way of living in the first place.
And sober curious only carries forward that pursuance of the desire in greater practicality of assertion and in good reason as well. Both mindful drinking and sober curious present themselves as parallel strands of living, complementing and furthering the essence of either, by at first laying bare the reality of what one’s personal relation with alcohol is in fact like. Driving thus upon that realisation most often of striking magnitude, the many a health conscious people make their own informed choice as to the level of mindfulness they would need or want to exercise upon their drinking routine, setting for themselves a limit acceptable enough in its healthiness. Curiously questioning one’s own reasons for drinking and the numbers of peg they down as well and choosing to constrict the ambits of both in all consciousness and not pursue the fancies as societally expected from them is what shapes the sober curious frame across which drinking sits in its most mindful exploration.
Drinking mindfully and in moderation because one is aware of the effects of it all upon their mind and body and choosing therefore to dwell in that state of relative soberness incited into by own curious meanderings across the reasons of them are what guides the simultaneous approaches to making alcohol less hazardous the ‘tonic’ to life than what it tends to be. As adaptive, aware choices that individuals can chart out to pursue their life the way they want to, all in greater awareness and responsibility to exist as largely sober individuals unyielding to cultural notions of how alcohol accords one a social status as well as moving away considerably from their own beliefs in such adherence, the mindful explorations of drinking in all curiosity is finding greater acceptance in a world where raising glasses has been the way to foster ties and further life’s pursuits. Dry Januarys and the like might still be all cool and stuff but that signals again a playing to the many a societal connotations of acceptability and validation, that perhaps prevents them from being as effective a exercise in what they were intended to be. There’s of course no shunning of trends and fads but to focus instead on techniques and obligations of the healthy life over a cool one are such entailings needing more conscious working out across such spheres that conform to notions in hearty individuality.