Which substance have you cut out to feel better mentally?

If you have ever abstained from one of the following legal substances for an extended time (or have quit altogether), which one did/do you find most beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing?

* No alcohol

* No caffeine

* No sugar

* No meat

* Other

What's the change you've experienced?

(Just asking out of curiosity – there's no project or product in the pipeline.)

Alcohol! (For almost a decade now). The change that I've experience is feeling always very clear headed, and also an inherent confidence in being sociable and engaged in conversations without the need for any "buzz" (something I thought was a must-have for social settings when I was younger). The other bonus is... better skin! :p
Your skin is FIRE!
I don't abstain from it but have found myself eating a lot less meat as I get older. We have purchased local/pasture raised meat for years, so it's not so much an ethical thing but I tend to feel a lot 'lighter' when I eat meat as a treat than as part of a daily meal. And veggies just taste so good!!!
LOVE veggies :D
Two things: alcohol and significantly decreasing my intake of carbohydrates (all sugar are carbs but not all carbs are from sugar). I always thought I was eating “healthy” until I started counting carbs. I started with a low glycemic index diet and now I keep my intake to 80-100 g net carbs/day.I feel so much better, have more energy, less anxiety, need less caffeine and don’t need to nap after eating anymore. It honestly changed my life.
1) Alcohol, for the past 3–4 years. ➕ Being clear-headed, socializing without the buzz (even as someone who's more introverted), and not having to worry about the risk of being taken advantage of. My skin is much better, too—the only acne I regularly experience nowadays is hormonal acne. 2) Intermittent fasting! My eating window is between noon and 8pm. I feel more awake and able to concentrate in the mornings, so my hours before noon are super productive.
I've been doing 2) on and off and fully agree I basically get 90% of the things I want to accomplish between 7 and 11 AM!
I live a 100% drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. I don't know any other way to be! Removing alcohol and sugar goes a long way to being mentally well, since you don't over-produce dopamine and get into unsustainable energetic cycles. You also avoid unnecessary inflammation. I cut out all processed sugar last year, no gluten, and my sources of carbs are real food only (fruits, veggies, 90% dark chocolate). I definitely feel the difference in my productivity and overall wellbeing! I incorporate a lot of probiotics: coconut yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and enjoy juicing (cucumber-celery-lemon is my fav). Minimal PUFAs- only use coconut oil to cook. Tried out a full month with no caffeine and have been a vegetarian and vegan in my past, respectively. Meat-free was a terrible experience, even with "adequate" supplementation. Grass-fed and organic muscle and organ meats (liver, most nutrient-dense especially in iron which women deplete) and wild-caught, low-mercury fish with vitamin D keep me satiated and happy. Highly recommend! Maybe I am not as sensitive to caffeine, but it does wonders for my metabolism especially before athletic activity, though YMMV (check out Alisa Vitti to see if coffee makes sense for you). I have fresh organic coffee (dark roast) every morning and make it bulletproof with ghee and MCT oil. I will add in cinnamon since it lowers triglycerides and raw milk containing live enzymes for a delicious latte. My secret ingredients are 1 tsp maca and 1 tsp organic mushroom extract (lion's mane, reishi, chaga, turkey tail, shiitake, maitake, etc.) for hormonal balance and cognitive and immunity boost. Caffeine can vary by person but unfiltered, organic light roasts like Turkish coffee have been identified as an antioxidant-rich staple in the so-called "Blue Zones" (areas of longevity). Avoiding nutritional deficiencies and eating meat are the key for me. Several meta-studies also show that meat is associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety, and I believe it.
I abstain from alcohol and drugs (CBD very occasionally). i decreased my intake of commercially processed meats significantly (if I do eat meat - I am buying from farms locally - I live in rural PNW).Caffeine is a daily part of my life -- coffee and or tea, but I keep tabs on how much I consume and have greatly reduced the volume I have daily over the last 5 years. I like it before working out and to have a more mindful ritual-like part of my day.I did find that I have not so great emotional regulation and I historically used substances to mask a lot of emotional experiences. Drugs made me less emotionally available and totally interfered with feeling emotions. I never enjoyed either much, but participated to fit in / take the edge off my anxiety (alcohol) & make me more productive at work / feel more in control (various stimulants).I attest to having really good skin (where I am complimented by strangers somewhat often!) to stopping drugs and alcohol relatively early in my adult life.
basically all of the above. If I eat meat, I pick it up from a farm. And sometimes will have fish. I am clearer and way more in tune with my emotions and my nervous system. I have a lot of energy (especially since cutting out sugar).
WOW! How did you go about cutting out alcohol?!
1. When I stopped doing work I hate, I found that I didn’t need it to escape. 2. When you slow down and have more time, you realize that the things you used to do to cope don’t actually fix your depression you start to wonder why you’re doing them.3. When you start being mindful about why you’re having a drink, you do it more intentionally. Didn’t happen over night. It took about 4 or 5 years to take my consumption down to zero (a sip here and there). (Just giving the cold hard truth about my journey. Yours can obviously look different)
Thank you so much for sharing this with me/us! It’s inspiring and definitely a few things to learn and take for my own!
Of course! I'm happy to talk about it more if you ever want to chat about it. Just send me a DM!
I am so impressed to see so many of you who have cut out alcohol!!! I love wine haha but definitely have cut down in terms of consumption mostly because I hate hangovers!And for me it was coffee and cigarettes, my running joke is I traded my pack of cigarettes for running shoes. I have never felt so good!
What helped me cut out alcohol was simply no longer buying it. 🤣 My significant other is Arab Muslim, so having him as an accountabilibuddy helped in that regard, too! A side bonus was realizing how expensive alcohol is, though I'd say I redirected some of those expenditures to skincare. 😁
cigarettes / nicotine is SUPER hard to kick. lots of smokers in my parent's extended families. AND you started running whilst quitting/ after quitting - super impressive! former LD runner here and running is hard enough without quitting cigarettes. you're a superwoman!
OMG @jessicap you are SO sweet! :') made my day!
After a bit of a health scare in 2020 (and with the state of the world) I cut out alcohol. Since then, I’ve tried some of my friends drinks for the taste but have not been flushed/tipsy/drunk, etc. For the first six months it was a hard adjustment because my friends relied on drinking as their primary way to have fun. Though it’s gotten a little better, I’ve made my peace with not always being invited to parties or going to bar hangs. The good news is I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been, and my mood is the most stable it’s been. Drinking really messes with mood, and I didn’t realize how big a toll it took until I cut it out completely. All that being said, after cutting out booze for 1.5 years, I can confidently say that my life is better for it.
If you are ever up to, I'd LOVE to hear more about your journey towards cutting booze out! Drinking definitely messes my mood too, but now in Bschool it's hard not to go to things and not drink (though I definitely put a limit on the number of drinks I consume in any given week)
Always happy to talk about it!
The first time I did a year without alcohol, I experienced a lot of the social pressure and that really annoyed me greatly. At a certain point (pretty quickly, actually) the not drinking alcohol was the easiest part of the endeavor. I definitely needed to refocus my social life a little.I've been back to not drinking alcohol for the past 3 years (with a "drinking break" of a couple of months after an accident when I had red wine instead of taking oxy to be able to sleep despite the pain) and I feel that there are so many more people who don't drink these days. Not much explanation needed – and I definitely don't get excluded from things anymore. I may just choose not to go or leave early if there's too much getting drunk involved.
I have no issues with those who want to drink around me - makes no difference to me! I do find myself occasionally not being invited to certain things, and over time, I am less close with those that feel like ME personally drinking is a pre-requisite for ANY activity or social event. Me drinking a mocktail or soda water at a party doesn't (or shouldn't) make a difference to anyone besides ME. I am extroverted and fun enough without alcohol, haha! Not gonna insinuate you have crappy friends... but... would they not invite a friend with a broken wrist (casted) to a party because they ... I don't know...can't dance with both hands?Never understood people that felt like someone else's choice that doesn't impact the other party at all would be a reason not to spend time with them in any context. To me that's the friend who doesn't want to hang out with you because you make 2x more TC than them. It's not like they're inviting you to marathon long run training where you must keep a sub 8:30 pace or you "ruin" the activity.Over time, being present for myself and others, I rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies who don't invite me to stuff because I won't do exactly what they want. Friends to me are happiest when each other succeed or do positive things for themselves - not exclusionary because you won't consume something. It feels like the situation of that they prefer to keep a group that conforms with their specific lifestyle choices. Idk seems boring to me!People can definitely party without substances - I know a few, including myself. Proud of you for sticking with it!
I quit caffeine. I realised it was giving me heartburn and and anxiety. The first few weeks were hard. I only had 1 strong coffee a day but a lot of tea. I miss the ritual of coffee more than the coffee. I like not trying to trick myself out of tiredness. The physical symptoms are gone now and mostly I sleep better. The only pain points are not everywhere sells a decaf option, and sometimes food contains coffee and it’s not stated on the menu.
I'll have cut out caffeine on my list for a little later. (Right now I'm cutting out sugar.) I've heard from several people now that it helps A LOT with anxiety.
I cut out caffeine and found I had waaaaaay more energy throughout the day. I drink Dandy Blend as a substitute to coffee (yes, tastes like coffee but zero coffee in it). I recently cut out sugar and found I have more clarity and don't feel the 3pm slump.
I just Googled Dandy Blend – I think that's pretty much what was used as "coffee substitute" during World War II. I remember my grandma talking about it :)
No caffeine and no alcohol. Getting very close to becoming a vegetarian - definitely no red meat, I do eat chicken and turkey, but I eat it less and less. I am sparing with sugar, however, dark chocolate is my end of the day treat.
No caffeine. Hands down. Best thing I did for myself at that phase in my life.
None to barely any coffee the past few months. It's been really nice not to be dependent on it