Living Sober

Covid and the situation we were living in has led to many people re-evaluating their priorities. For many reasons an increasing number of people are choosing a sober life

Most of us know the effects of having ‘too much’ to drink and vow to ‘never drink again’ but with the pressures of society, work and social lives we find it difficult to really cut out alcohol.

The benefits of cutting down or quitting alcohol are heavily documented from weight loss, better sleep patterns, and reducing the risk of cancer and other alcohol-related diseases. It’s an undisputed fact that the less you drink the less risk there is to your long-term health.

Established in 2015, OYNB (which stands for One Year No Beer) is an award-winning behaviour change programme and online toolkit for surviving modern society alcohol-free, aimed at anyone drinking more than 3 glasses of wine a week. 

The business was founded by Ruari Fairbairns, who found alcohol was negatively affecting his life while working as an oil trader. He set out to give up alcohol for 90 days, carried on and ended up writing a book about his experience, which led to him starting One Year No Beer. He describes it: “As a toolkit for surviving modern society alcohol-free” and has recruited more than 90,000 members in 90 countries.

With a member base of over 90,000 they believe that having a community is crucial to making a positive lifestyle change, and so the founders are constantly finding new and exciting ways to provide this support.

OYNB is not an abstinence programme, it is not about eliminating alcohol entirely. It’s about empowering people to break down old habits and build new ones, creating a positive mind-set that lets the individual take back control and make clear-sighted decisions. 

One of the strongest triggers for having a drink is to distress. We have all become so familiar with using alcohol this way that many of us have forgotten about all of the other great and much more natural ways to relax without alcohol. Drinking alcohol does make you feel relaxed, but other activities such as exercise, meditation, yoga and giving to charity also release natural chemicals in your brains which make you more relaxed and less anxious.

The OYNB members say that they never realised that it was actually the behaviours connected with drinking alcohol that made them feel like they needed a drink and, also, they found themselves in a vicious cycle. Taking a break from this cycle enables you to relax and unwind naturally and this should hopefully be the starting point for developing new and healthier habits that will replace old ones.

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Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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