Every experience we have and every person we interact with has a multitude of facets, like a diamond.
When we do a thing over and over, we tend to notice the same things about it.
Think about your partner if you have one. Like every person on the planet, he or she is incredibly complex. But there’s a good chance that you’ve gotten very skilled at noticing only a few slices of them.
If your relationship isn’t so good, you might be noticing the not-so-great aspects. But remember back to when you were dating – you were seeing and interpreting totally different dimensions of that same person.
Here’s why this matters:
My clients want it to be natural and easy to drink 1-2 drinks at a time, but they really like the feeling they get with 5-6 drinks.
I used to be like that – I loved that feeling. And now I don’t. The feeling is the same.
Until five years ago, I paid selective attention to those dimensions of that big buzz that turned me on. And I was good at ignoring the dimensions that weren’t good. For example, I always disliked that it made me slur my speech, but I used to ignore that aspect of the experience.
Now, I’ve just shifted my focus. I pay more attention to what I don’t like about being drunk. Therefore my overall experience of 5 drinks isn’t pleasant.
The result is I don’t even consider drinking that much, and there’s absolutely no FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) about it.
So if part of your problem is that you really like that big buzz, then work on broadening your attention. Notice the entire experience. Look for ways to shift your focus so you’re more attentive to those not-great aspects of it.
Similarly, broaden your attention to your experience of being straight or having 1 drink. Notice what there is to like about that.
Before long, you won’t even want to have 5 drinks.
People come to me wanting to control their drinking. Of course, I teach them how to do that, but that’s just the beginning. Using tweaks like this, they actually change their brain, so that drinking less comes naturally.