What do you do if you are ‘down in the dumps’? Sobbing could help for a little while. Going for a jog? Exercise is a good idea as it improves the release of happy brain chemicals. Then again many people turn to alcohol to help get a pick up whenever they’re feeling low. The truth is this is often a indicator that a person is self-medicating for depression. Exactly how does alcohol help to drown your sorrows? Quite simply, alcohol activates the release of the happy brain chemical, known as serotonin. Therefore while under the influence of alcohol, you will get a break from your stress or signs of depression and you feel happy. However, this is not a permanent remedy because by the next day, the happy brain chemicals plummet to an all time low. Actually the level is way lower than before the drinking binge began the previous night! You are faced with a choice of two solutions Bad Solution!The bad remedy is to have another drink! One more drink will fix up the serotonin levels to keep up a degree of happiness. But this particular happiness often comes with a price. Without knowing it, booze simply adds to the stress you are already going through. Excessive drinking alters the personality as we see so clearly in a person that’s drunk. This further worsens relationships particularly in a family unit. Children that live with a family where alcohol is abused frequently find themselves, as adults, struggling with a syndrome commonly known as Adult Children of Alcoholics. One individual’s stress has ripple effects. If excessive drinking is the way you cope with stress now could be the the perfect time to re-assess your way of life and find a better remedy. Better Remedy! A much better solution is to evaluate what is happening in your daily life and then work out a healthier way of managing the stress you are confronting. What is causing you stress? Booze is really a very bad type of self-medication so you must find other methods of coping with stress. We all feel down in the dumps and stressed at times but if it persists for longer than ‘normal’ you may be experiencing depression. Stress triggers your ‘happy brain chemicals’ to get depleted and in this way, stress is really a direct root cause of depression. The very best solution would be to find out healthier ways of coping with stress. Believe me, you truly do not want to be coping with the joint problem of depression and alcoholism! Handling stress Believe it or not, stress is actually not the consequence of something which happens to us. Yes, you read that right! Stress is the result of the way we see an event, the interpretation we give to something that has happened to us. Ever thought about exactly how two people respond in such different ways faced with the identical situation? The main difference is in the interpretation they give to what is going on. Some of our thinking can definitely make us susceptible to stress and so to reduce stress it is much more beneficial to take a look at changing the way you think. Is it possible to change the way I think? We’ve all heard the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. This is just not the case! We change our minds all the time. We’re regularly changing our minds about what to do, what transport to make use of, which clothes to wear. I could make an extremely long list! The thing is that we’re not aware of all the times we do change our minds as it is automatic. In a like manner, you almost certainly have set ways of dealing with stress. With a bit of practice you can discover tips about how to change the manner in which you think so you become more aware of the consequences of your thinking. It does need practice. Resist alcohol as a means of handling stress. There are definitely better solutions!