There’s no doubt that alcohol plays a powerful role in society. While you will still see plenty of drinks in people’s hands, there is an increasing chance those drinks won’t contain alcohol. That’s because of the new movement called sober curiosity.
Sober curiosity is where you limiting alcohol consumption or eliminating it all together. It goes a little beyond abstaining from alcohol and making things black and white; it revolves around being conscious about what makes you drink alcohol and how alcohol makes you feel.
Is Alcohol on the Decline?
A 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found 86.4% of people have drank alcohol at some point in their life and 56% drank in the past month. It may not seem like it but alcohol has been on a decline since then. A big reason as to why is the wellness movement.
More and more people are cleaning up their diet, exercising, and removing anything toxic from their life. People are realizing they don’t feel as good when they drink alcohol. Not only is alcohol inflammatory, it has a lot of calories that can easily add up on a night out. With the new wellness movement people don’t want all these extra calories.
In the last few years, beer companies have been coming out with 0.0% ABV in hopes of appealing to sober curious individuals. It seems to be the right idea as beer sales are down and in the past two years alcohol-free sales have grown at nearly twice the rate of regular beer. This all stems from people being more conscious about what’s going into their bodies.
Perhaps the most popular name attached to this movement is Ruby Warrington. She is a journalist who became sober-curious about 8 years ago and since has felt the health benefits. What she is best known for is the book she released at the end of 2018 called Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol. Like the title suggests, it’s about the benefits of being sober curious.
Her book came out just as sober curiosity was really gaining momentum so many people exploring the trend use her story and book to help them become sober curious. She says becoming sober curious made her realize how much alcohol touched every area of her life. Subtracting alcohol from the equation brought her clarity, confidence, and connection.
Looking to Start Your Sober Curious Journey?
Warrington recommends telling someone about your journey or finding someone to join you. It’s important to have someone supporting you to make sure you commit. When you commit, she says to aim for one to three months at first and write down reasons why you want to be sober curious.
You will find that after a month you will feel a lot better and realize the impact alcohol had on your body. A 2016 study by de Visser, RO., Robinson, E., and Bond, R. for the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex tested the benefits received from a month away from alcohol. Of the 850 men and women who volunteered, 82% said they felt a sense of achievement, 62% said they received better sleep, and 49% said they lost weight. It goes to show just how much alcohol impacts our bodies and minds.
If you are trying to become sober curious remember that it isn’t all or nothing. Taking breaks from alcohol works on our discipline and attachment to alcohol. A lot of times we drink because social situations pressure us to. Many bars now offer alcohol free beer and mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) to help people who don’t want to drink but still want the effect of holding a drink.
This is even true for Las Vegas, a city where alcohol is considered a must. Juyoung Kang, a bartender at Dorsey in the Venetian, noticed people ordering non-alcoholic drinks and have since started adding mocktails. The owner of Rebar in downtown Las Vegas, Derek Stonebarger, has also noticed the trend. He offers all his drinks without alcohol and has a variety of alcohol free beers. Stonebarger says people like to come to his bar for the alcohol-free drinks because they feel they can hang out with their friends who do like to drink.
Another big benefit of being sober curious is weight loss. It’s obvious drinking adds a lot of empty calories to your day, but since people don’t typically drink every day, or they have one or two drinks a day, it doesn’t seem like it’s adding much. However, it plays a big factor when it comes to weight. Like mentioned earlier, just one month away from alcohol saw weight reduction in half of the participants. Imagine if the study was longer than a month. Most likely more participants would notice weight loss and over time that weight loss will be significant. So try the trend today!
Sober curiosity is a new trend that’s here to stay. In fact, it’s only going to become more popular with the wellness movement becoming a huge trend. Whether you drink often or just once a week, almost everyone can benefit from sober curiosity. Remember, it isn’t about simply quitting alcohol, but questioning your relationship with alcohol to help you become more energized and enjoy life in general.