The Power of Detoxing

I did dry January this year, and in fact I’m carrying on through February and March in the run up to the Brighton marathon at the beginning of April. Not drinking alcohol has helped my training enormously. I’ve been sleeping better and it has made me lighter which makes it much easier to run.

But more than the physical gains I’ve seen from taking some time away from the booze, I’ve really enjoyed the head space not drinking has afforded me. Taking time away from any kind of numbing activity gives you more time to think and feel.

What I’ve noticed a couple of times over the past month is that when I make it through something challenging (speaking to large groups of people, having awkward moments in the doctors surgery), I immediately think about how to escape the feelings that came up in those moments. History has told me that having a glass of wine can really help, but in actual fact the glass of wine (replace with your own way of numbing) takes us away from the opportunity to learn something about ourselves. It takes us away from the opportunity to grow in response to what just happened.

Not drinking over the past month has given me the chance to sit with my emotions rather than suppress them. When I sit with an uncomfortable feeling I find I am actually very resourceful and able to process it. Most often the uncomfortable feelings we experience pass with time anyway. I’ve learnt a number of new things about myself over the past month that had I numbed out to the situation I would have missed altogether.

I must say here I am not advocating giving up alcohol. I am advocating avoiding numbing tactics when we experience uncomfortable feelings. Dealing with uncomfortable feelings tells our subconscious that we are strong, we can deal with stuff. And when you carry that narrative about yourself – I am strong, I can deal with stuff, it becomes easier to take risks in life, to try new things, to explore new territories, to step outside your comfort zone and into a space of immeasurable growth. And you begin to see the benefits of that in the way you lead, work and show up with your family and friends.

So I invite you to look at what you use to numb, and perhaps even just once at this stage, try to sit with an uncomfortable situation rather than reaching for that slice of cake, or that refresh button, or that glass of wine. Be vulnerable, and in turn you’ll see how strong you are.

I’ve shared this Brené Brown video before, but it’s totally worth re-watching.

With love and vulnerability, Hannah x

*Image by Caleb Frith,

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