How A Sober Lifestyle Can Improve Creativity

How a Sober Lifestyle Can Improve Creativity

For anyone wanting to live their best life without alcohol, blogger Alex Perry has just written a fantastic article about how sobriety aids in the creative process, and it has tons of insights on why living a sober life is the best option you can choose.

In 2020 Perry gave a talk at a conference hosted by the American Institute for Graphic Design. Prior to her speech, she researched sobriety and did a bit of self-reflection on her own creative journey. As a result, she is unwavering in her belief that the physical and emotional benefits of sobriety lead to a heightened sense of creativity. What follows are the most relevant and pertinent aspects of her talk in regard to sobriety.

Better Health Through Sobriety

Perry gets right to the point with her listing of the amazing health benefits that come with sobriety:

Glowing Skin: According to the International Council on Active Aging, alcohol actually accelerates the aging process. “Alcohol dehydrates the entire body, and that includes your skin. It makes you age faster by causing wrinkles, loss of collagen, and reduced elasticity.”

Better Sleep: According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Alcohol helps induce sleep. However, it seriously disrupts your rest by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.”

Fewer Sugar Cravings: Sobriety has been linked to a decrease in sugar cravings. Why? Alcohol has a yo-yo effect on blood sugar. For instance, even moderate amounts of alcohol cause blood sugar to rise; after your body processes the alcohol, blood sugar levels drop dramatically leading to sugar cravings.

Saved Money: According to Perry, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that “Americans spend about 2 percent of their gross annual income on alcohol.” Wouldn’t you rather spend that on stuff that makes you feel happy and fulfilled?

If you need a few more reasons to stay sober, Perry provides some hard science to back up her argument. She notes that according to the American Addiction Centers Survey, “Alcohol is the third most addictive substance after cocaine.” She also reminds us that alcohol is a form of ethanol, a substance that can cause violent and serious illness leading her to ask, “Why are we consuming something our bodies literally want to purge?”

Emotional Benefits of Sobriety

To this point, we’ve mainly looked at the physical health benefits of sobriety. There are also tons of emotional benefits to living an alcohol-free lifestyle. In short, here is the list of emotional benefits to sobriety that Perry provides:

  • Self Belief
  • Self Love
  • Stronger Relationships
  • Stress Management
  • Better Mood

As Perry wisely points out, if you’re human, you’ve experienced some form or type of trauma. In order to truly and fully heal from past trauma, we must be able to get in touch with our emotions. Alcohol serves to numb feelings of hurt and it complicates our ability to recognize when we are hurt, thus limiting our ability to undertake the journey to healing.

Creativity and Sobriety

Sobriety can also boost creativity. According to Perry, when you drink alcohol it impairs the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s judgment center, significantly. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that helps you decide when to say yes or no. Perry believes that unresolved trauma and faulty cognitions can sabotage creativity and alcohol does nothing to improve this.

It’s true that alcohol may make negative self-talk disappear in the short run. For instance, when you’re under the influence you may think that unresolved hurt is insignificant or somehow absent. However, in the long run, all that alcohol accomplishes in this instance is to stunt the healing process.

Drawbacks to Sobriety

While it’s easy to come up with a long list of the benefits that come with sobriety, it’s also natural to worry and wonder about the drawbacks of a sober lifestyle. Perry addresses this normal reaction with a list of what sobriety doesn’t mean:

  • It doesn’t mean you can’t go out on the weekends
  • It doesn’t mean you’ll lose all your friends
  • It doesn’t mean you can’t network at happy hour; order a mocktail!

When Perry says she truly believes that a sober lifestyle will help you to, “experience both the physical and emotional benefits and step into your creative potential,” she knows from experience this is true. After all, she asks, “What do you have to lose?” Instead, you may find that you’ve gained so much more—”Maybe you’ll notice that you finally start to sleep better, or crave sugar less frequently, or have more money in the bank?”

Next Steps

Starbent Recovery understands how creativity can be impacted by substance use disorders. People suffering from SUDs, trauma, and any other co-occurring issues can thrive in the right environment and rekindle their creative spark. Our professional, dedicated staff have the understanding, experience, and compassion necessary to support each resident’s personal recovery goals.

Lifelong recovery is possible, all you need to do is reach out. Starbent Recovery’s safe, peer residence offers luxury amenities and is located in the heart of upscale Tribeca close to multiple subway lines and surrounded by trendy dining and shopping. To learn more about our premier women’s recovery residence, call us at (800) 673-0176.

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