EP #101

The Power of the Pause in Changing Your Drinking

alcoholic minimalist podcast

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In this episode of the Alcohol Minimalist podcast, Molly discusses the power of mindful drinking, introduces a tool called “PB and J” to navigate urges to drink, and encourages listeners to consider joining her in a sober October challenge. She also highlights the benefits of Sunnyside, an app focused on creating a mindful relationship with alcohol, and offers insights into dealing with grief without resorting to destructive behaviors. Molly introduces her online course, Step One, designed to help individuals change their drinking habits, offering lifetime access to course materials, one-on-one coaching, and a supportive community. The episode concludes with a reminder that transformation is possible, empowering individuals to change their relationship with alcohol.

Hey, it’s Molly from alcohol minimalist. What do you do in this October? I would love to have you join me in my more sober October challenge. What do I mean by more sober October, it simply means that we’re going to add in more alcohol free days than you currently been doing, whether that’s one or two or 31. It’s up to you, you get to set your own goal and that’s why it’s more sober October, you can check it out and learn more at get got sunnyside.co/molly It’s totally free. I’ve got grises I’m going to be going live every week to announce the prize winners. And it’s just going to be an awesome event. So I would love to have you join me. You can learn more at get.sunnyside.co/molly and you can get registered today. Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I’m your host Molly watts. If you want to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, you’re in the right place. This podcast explores the strategies I use to overcome a lifetime of family alcohol abuse, more than 30 years of anxiety and worry about my own drinking, and what felt like an unbreakable daily drinking habit. Becoming an alcohol minimalist means removing excess alcohol from your life. So it doesn’t remove you from life. It means being able to take alcohol or leave it without feeling deprived. It means to live peacefully, being able to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and without needing to finish the bottle. With Science on our side will shatter your past patterns and eliminate your excuses. Changing your relationship with alcohol is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello and welcome or welcome back to the alcohol minimalist podcast with me your host Molly Watts coming to you from a very cold Oregon this morning. It’s clear this morning. But over the weekend, we got a little bit of snow still on the rooftops a little bit I can see but nothing to impact life too much. I’m one of those weird people I like the snow we don’t get it often enough here in Oregon to make it terrible or treacherous or when it really impacts things. In fact, it impacts it in a way that basically shuts the city down for a day or two, which I kind of like right, and everybody sits around, we laugh about the fact that you can watch 24 hour newscasts of the snow events in Oregon when it’s like two inches on the ground. And people out in the Midwest and out east would laugh at us. They probably I’m sure they do laugh at us. But anyway, it’s not sticking that much. It’s not here that much yet. But let’s keep our fingers crossed, right, it’s early December has just started. So you know, there’s there’s hope for some snow, right? At least that’s the way I look at it. So welcome. And this week before we get started, I do have a prize winner. If you would like to be entered into a drawing for some alcohol, minimalist swag, all you got to do is go leave a review of the podcast or the book anywhere you listen to podcasts, anywhere you might have read the book, and I will find you when you leave a review of the podcast. It really helps other people who might be searching this content find us. And so it’s really just a way of helping support the show without without really making it too hard on you. And if you do that, and if you write something and you leave your you know up something that I can see we put you into a drawing and you may get entered to win some alcohol. I mean, you will get entered to win. I always say it that way, you will get entered to win, you may win actually. And this podcast review came from I don’t know how to say this. I’m going to just read the letters J A ETHZ M. So that’s J A ETHCM. If you are J A ETHCM. Please email me Molly at Molly watts.com. Let me know that you are the winner. And here is what this person said. This podcast has helped me on so many levels. Mindful drinking is something I’ve never attempted until I learned Molly’s techniques which are easy to use and remove the stress out of all the thoughts surrounding alcohol in our society. Her research simply makes sense and the guests she has on the show are fascinating, confirming her spot on tools and tips. As an added bonus, this podcast is about so much more than alcohol. It addresses the everyday habits we often fall victim to which is something that Anyone could benefit from? Oh, thank you so very much J A ETHCM. I appreciate that. Because I agree with you. This is a podcast that is about a lot more than just changing your relationship with alcohol. I always say it, it is a meta skill. If you can master the behavior, map results cycle and really understand how your thoughts create your feelings which drive your actions which create the results that you have in your life. You can change any habit that doesn’t serve you. And for me, and for many people who are listening, alcohol was just the first one we needed to address. It certainly was for me, so thank you, je. And please email me and let me send you out some alcohol, minimalist swag. All right. Another piece of housekeeping here before we get started. Step one is open for registration for January. Step one is my hybrid online course and coaching program. It is really a unique opportunity, something that nobody else is doing. And this January, you get some great bonuses, if you sign up to go through it with me. Now the first one is that you get the extra dry premium membership for dry you Arey through moderation management. So that now is a $25 value. That is 30 days of support for doing dry January in January. And even if you’re not planning on doing the whole month, though, I would highly encourage it, it would be great to add in and try to just increase more alcohol free days. And this is a way of getting support on a daily basis to help you stick to those goals. And so you get that membership into the premium membership, which includes a free Facebook group, it includes the free the emails, it includes group coaching through that that program at moderation. So I would love to have you be a part of step one and get that program for free. Alright, so if you register for step one, you get the premium dry you weary.org membership for the month of January, you also get free, a free 90 day trial to Sunnyside that’s a 90 day trial, something they are doing exclusively for me. And so that is a $30 value. The whole program for step one is $249. And for $249, you get lifetime access to the course materials, you get a 50 minute one on one coaching session with me to get you started and to get you set up so that you’re we’re customizing the approach for what your specific challenges are, you get access ongoing to my coaching calendar, which only students of step one and proof positive do. And so it’s $249 really for the rest of your life to be able to come back in, I’m constantly and we’ll be continually adding content to the core curriculum. So when you, you know buy it, now you get it for the rest of your life. And you can always dip back in. And as je mentioned, this is about so much more than alcohol. This is about changing habits that don’t serve you and everything that I teach you in step one, you can apply to any habit that doesn’t serve you. So if you celebrate the holidays in any way, this is a great time to give yourself a gift $249 We get started in January and it is open for registration. Now there is a I have a limited number of spots, because quite honestly, I just don’t have the bandwidth, I don’t have enough time to be able to do the one on one coaching sessions. So this will be a limited offer for a limited number of people. You can sign up now go to www dot Molly watts.com/step. One that’s Ste p o n e altogether, get signed up. And we will get started here at the end of December right before going into January. All right. If you have any questions, hey, feel free to email me Molly at Molly watts.com. And I’m happy to I’m happy to talk with you. So this episode, I have called the power of the pause in changing your drinking. And while I have been processing and attending to all the details of my dad’s passing, I have been reading the book, maybe you should talk to someone by Dr. Laurie Gottlieb. It’s a great book, one that I am adding to my recommended reading list, which if you’d like a copy of that list is available in the show notes of this episode. If you’ve read my book, I include many of those books in the recommended resources there as well, but I’ve updated it since I wrote the book. So Now I’ve got additional titles that I’ve included. And you can download the PDF from the show notes on this episode. It’s also available as a file in my private Facebook group. So if you want to join us there, you can easily grab it there as well. No matter how you do it, whether you read physical books, or you read on an e reader, your phone or if you listen to audiobooks, like I like to, I want to encourage you to make reading a priority in your life. This is a public service announcement. Yes, I read every day. And Scientifically speaking, it has been proven to improve brain connectivity, increase your vocabulary and comprehension. empower you to empathize with other people aid in sleep readiness, reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, fight depression symptoms, and prevent cognitive decline as you age. So reading is an important way that I keep my brain healthier, and how when you have a better, happier, not a bit happier brain bit a better, more prepared brain. It enables you to become and work on these skills, becoming a better thinker, which is really what I talk about all the time. So there’s my PSA. It doesn’t have to be a self help book, right? It can be anything but this book that I’m reading right now, maybe you should talk to someone is highly regarded. Here is the description on it from Amazon. From a New York Times bestselling author, psychotherapist and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought provoking and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapists world where her patients are looking for answers. And so as she maybe you should talk to someone is revolutionary in its candor, offering a deeply personal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds in providing the rarest of gifts, boldly revealing portrait of what it means to be human. And a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them. It was a Time Magazine must read book of the year, and NPR favorite book of the year, and Amazon 10 best books of the year, a USA Today, Best Book of the Year, a Goodreads choice finalist for Best Book of the Year. And the Harvard Business School must read book of the year. So it really runs the gamut. It’s highly like I said, highly acclaimed has like 22,000 reviews on Amazon. You may have heard about it already. Right? And the book shares a lot of different elements of clinical psychology from Gottlieb’s perspective as both a therapist herself and through her own journey of therapy, which she shares as a patient throughout this book. Hey everyone, just a quick break to talk with you about Sunnyside. Now you’ve heard me mentioned Sunnyside many times before you’ve heard me talk with Nick and Ian, the founders of sunny side. And I just want to share with you why I am so passionate about this company. They are way more than just a drink tracking app. They are really about helping people create a mindful relationship with alcohol and they stand for a life that is about having more, not less. Right. There are more rested mornings more days when you’re feeling your absolute best when you have more energy and positivity. Sunnyside is not there to tell you to never go out to never drink but they are there to help you enjoy your life and to wake up and be ready to be your shining best. It is not an all or nothing approach. It is friendly. It is approachable, and it is absolutely judgment free. They want to be a solution that fits into your unique lifestyle. And I think that’s exactly what they’ve created. You can register for a free 15 day trial. Go to www.sunnyside.co/minimalist to get started. That’s www.sunnyside.co/minimalist to try Sunnyside today and I was reminded when I was reading the book of the work of Viktor Frankl it’s brought up in the book and one of his most powerful quotes which I love. It is between stimulus and response there is a space in that space is is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Now, I have a tool I share in my book that I call the PB and J. and I first created it as a way to navigate the urge to drink. And the pee in the PD and j stands for pause and ponder. The pause is the first and most important step because it helps us create the space to ponder to think, in that space is our power to choose our response. Pausing actually helps us home our lower primitive brains, which can go into a reactive response of fight, flight or freeze right. Now as a reminder, our lower brains are motivated to seek pleasure, avoid pain and conserve energy. And while our prehistoric ancestors depended on these reactions to help them survive, we aren’t in that type of survival mode in our modern lives anymore. We no longer live in jungles, we are not facing saber toothed Tigers or dinosaurs. Our lower primitive brains, however, are still wired for those threats, and they react to perceived threats as if they were real. Rick Hanson and neuro psychologist calls it paper tiger paranoia. Many threats, says Hansen are to our self concept and not physical threats of survival. However, the brain does not know this difference and acts as if the boss who is bullying us is a saber toothed Tiger. And we are a gazelle fighting for our life. Our self concepts are our views about ourselves as kind, generous, thrifty, smart, patient, compassionate a good parent and so on. When someone threatens this self concept, we get triggered and provoked. And if we do not pause, we will go into primitive strategies of our lower brains. So we might either attack, the person that we have believed is giving us a perceived threat. Or we might shift to people pleasing, or run away entirely from the conflict. Or we could cause some self injury by shaming ourselves. Now, none of these will work in the short term or the long term. So in this space in the space, we can pause, we can slow things down, we can take deep breaths, which by the way, is what the B stands for in PB and J and my PB and J. So P stands for pause and ponder, breathe. B stands for breathe, right. So breathe take deep and deep breaths, it’s actually been shown again to be physiologically beneficial for our autonomic nervous system for that lower brain. It helps calm us down and allows us to engage our pre frontal cortex, that larger, bigger area part of the brain, and more logical right that’s concerned with our future and concerned with our goals. Once we have taken the time to pause and create a space between ourselves and what is happening to us, then we can access our power to choose our response, instead of just allowing our lower brains to react. And the J by the way, which I in again, really envisioned my PB and J for allowing an urge to drink to pass that was kind of what I created it for. But it it’s really just a manifestation of Victor Frankel’s the power of the pause. And the j stands for just 10 minutes. So P is pause and ponder, B is breathe, and J is just 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes is a great way to enforce the power of the pause in your life, no matter whether you’re navigating the urge to drink, or how you will respond to a perceived threat to your character. Now, in addition to visualizing a PB and J sandwich, would I which I think is just comforting. I’d like you to encourage you to visualize Frankel’s quote to when we see it and remember it visually. The space itself becomes tangible. And we can begin to sense that we can lengthen this space. The more we practice mindfulness, between stimulus and response, there is a space in that space is our power to choose our response by being in the present moment meant we can notice the stimulus and our initial response in our bodies. But instead of being swept away by that automatic response, we begin to learn to notice the stimulus and instead choose to pause, even briefly, and choose our response. When we make a little space, we make room for compassion and clarity, for ourselves and for others, then we can choose our response and those choices, as Frankel explains, lead to our growth, and indeed, our freedom. In the pause, we can ask ourselves better questions. I’m always telling you ask yourself better questions, we can remind ourselves what we truly want, we can ask ourselves, what else is true? Now, I’ve been doing a lot of introspection over the last 10 days. And I’m sure I’ll share more as I gain a little distance from my loss of my dad. But I want to reiterate right now, how relieved I am by the fact that I haven’t been tempted to buffer away my feelings of grief, with alcohol with food, with really any destructive behaviors. I’m taking time to be gentle with myself for sure. But I really believe that doing this work to change my relationship with alcohol, and mastering the behavior map results cycle, and continuing to work on it and continuing to do the work of becoming a better thinker. Pairing for my brain with positive habits like journaling and reading. It has built my emotional resilience. And this is why I always say you just have to keep going. This is not the way that I would have handled loss and did not handle loss back in early 2019. I can tell you that in February of 2019, when I was just beginning this work on my own drinking habits, I had to put down my beloved dog Trudy on Valentine’s Day, and I purposefully bought a six pack of IPAs and a huge box of Hot Tamales. That was my coping strategy. Now, that was almost four years ago now. And what a difference those years have made. You can do this too, you can become more emotionally resilient, you can become a better thinker, and you can change your relationship with alcohol. This week, cry the power of the pause and memorize the quote so you can see it. See it in your mind. between stimulus and response, there is a space in that space is our power to choose our response. And in our response lies our growth and our freedom. That is all I have for you this week, my friends. For more information or to join me in January in step one, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com/step one and until next time, choose peace. Thank you for listening to the alcohol minimalist podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Use something you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible you have the power to change your relationship with alcohol now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com