From an early age, society has viewed alcohol in a negative light, discouraging those who take part in too many alcohol-involved activities, worried about the long-term effects on health, and the risk of addiction. What they may not think about are the pros of socially enjoying alcoholic beverages in moderation and the positive effects that it can bring to our mental health.
Covid’s Toll on Mental Health
As businesses slowly start to reopen in the aftermath of the pandemic, people have begun to emerge out of their isolated, awkward hole that they’ve been stuck in for the last year. Now we face the future of awkward get-togethers, uncomfortable in-work meetings, and after-hours fun at the bar that just doesn’t feel right. In fact, most of us don’t even remember the last time we were out with friends that didn’t involve masks. Scientists tracking Covid’s mental health found that “More than 42% of people surveyed by the US Census Bureau in December reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in December, an increase from 11% the previous year.” Now more than ever is it important for people to get out and be social with others. We’ve been trapped in isolation for the last year and many of us have forgotten how to be social, or even worse, become comfortable with the idea of being home in isolation.
Relax and Unwind
Social gatherings or interactions are such an important part of our mental health. When we interact with others, we release dopamine (neurotransmitter) and oxytocin (hormone) that gives our body the happy, calm, comforting feeling we love so much. One might also feel the same when they consume alcohol, which too, causes the release of dopamine. Contributing writer of Verywell Mind, Sheryl Ankrom states, “When someone first has a drink of alcohol, it often has a sedative effect. It can produce a sense of euphoria and decrease a person's inhibition. These effects can make it seem like drinking alcohol is providing the person with relief from their anxiety.”
Positive Brain Boosters
One of the best things about being an adult is having the ability to go out with friends after a long day at work or to celebrate an occasion and have a few drinks. The aspect of being around people we love and letting our body unwind sends positive mood boosters to our brain, releasing oxytocin. A study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh researchers proved this theory to be true, based on the results of the enhanced positive moods of 720 male and female participants. It was concluded that “alcohol stimulates social bonding, increases the amount of time people spend talking to one another and reduces displays of negative emotions.”
With alcohol, people feel more open to one another and are able to bond. Friendships can be made, partnerships develop, and what seem like genius ideas’ (at least while inebriated) are created. It is not to say that anyone has to drink alcohol to socialize or have a good time, but there are pros to drinking adult beverages while in a social setting for our mental health. Just like most things, alcohol should be consumed in moderation and followed with lots of water or other hydration methods, such as Drinklyte, that will rehydrate and replace electrolytes quickly. There are many ways to socialize with those we love, and unwinding with friends and family over drinks is a modern way of living that we shouldn’t feel guilty about so long as you’re keeping your health in mind.Author : Jennifer Dutton, Blog Writer, DrinkLyte Co. "Helping Grow CPG Brands Beyond Their Potential"