Liquid Courage Without the Hangover

Liquid Courage Without the Hangover

Alcohol might have the reputation of being liquid courage, but (spoiler alert) it's not actually the booze that gives your confidence a boost

Simply holding a drink – even a nonalc one – triggers a chain of psychological and neurological processes that can help you feel more confident, relaxed, and sociable.

Here are a few psychological and neurological processes at play:

  1. Conditioned Response: Just holding a drink or cigarette can trigger good feelings because your brain associates them with relaxation and sociability.

  2. Endorphin Release: Holding onto a drink or cigarette linked to past happy times can make your brain release feel-good chemicals, even without indulging.

  3. Mirror Neurons: Seeing others enjoy drinks or cigarettes might make you want to join in, thanks to your brain's mirror neurons.

  4. Reduction in Cortisol: Familiar actions like holding a drink can actually help calm you down by reducing stress hormones.

  5. Frontal Lobe and Social Behavior: Holding a drink in a social setting might feel natural because your brain sees it as fitting in with social norms.

  6. Sensory Distraction: Focusing on the sensation of holding a drink can distract your brain from other stressful thoughts.

The takeaway? True confidence and self-esteem don’t come from alcohol.

They come from realizing you’re just as funny, cool and awesome without it, and from empowering yourself to make choices that you can feel good about - one glass at a time.

The good news is by learning this, it gives us options. If I don't need alcohol to truly feel more confident, I can then lean into having a good time with new nonalc alternatives and functional drinks and get the same confidence boosting benefits.