Often when I teach alcohol education classes I like to ask my students, "Have you sensed whether alcohol is affects your mood?" I hope to address how alcohol and drinking can have a great impact on your mood. I'll also show you some real world examples of the way alcoholic beverages play a pivotal role in your mood.

Usually the first thing that happens when I ask these questions is people are irritated. Few of my students believe alcohol is affecting their mood and thus their happiness. We're not talking about their mood when drinking but at all times even when they are not drinking. A particular student of my joked, "booze is my good mood food," which brought lots of laughter to the group. She was definitely referring to an advertising campaign by Arby's restaurant. But all joking aside, alcohol most definitely is a “mood food.”

A Good Mood Food?

But it's true that alcohol can be a “good mood food.” The feelings you had when you started your drinking have a real impact on your mood and behavior during and after your drinking. If you’re in a mood for fun, alcohol can continue that good mood.

However, just because you felt awesome when you began drinking alcohol, doesn’t mean that alcohol will always help you have that feeling. It's very possible for your mood will completely flip. At one moment you are completely joyful and the next you are bitter and angry. You could feel really sad when you start and three drinks later you are ticked off.

The Capriciousness of Booze

When I conduct my alcohol education groups, there is one tried-and-true fact that all students realize about how alcohol will affect how they feel. They can't predict it. Some people find that alcohol makes the, feel hostile and dark. Sometimes these people are called "angry drunks." For others, only a certain type of alcohol triggers this response. For example wine mike make them angry or perhaps tequilla or sugary drinks.

The effect of Alcohol’s on your mood can turn around as often of the direction of desert winds! There is no time which you can guarantee a happy binge. You can be in exactly the same situation on day and the same situation the next with the same friends and yet have an entirely different experience. That’s because there are tons of factors including hormonal levels and stress external to your social environment, all affecting your mood, and ultimately your experience.

Alcohol Will Wear Down Your Mood

I have seen many of these "angry drunks" over the years, and almost universally, their earliest memories of alcohol was a positive happy one. This group also had been drinking fairly regularly for at least a decade. Another factor in common with this group – most were moodier than they remember being 10 years ago. Most saw their personality had become more temperamental over the years.

Prolonged use of alcohol changes the chemical balance in your body, and these hormonal levels affect your mood, and ultimately your happiness.

A World Less Joyful

From my years of counseling students in alcohol awareness classes I have come to recognize a general feeling of sadness among long-term heavy drinkers. I recognize the same feelings among my students who suffer from long-term drug addictions, including marijuana.

The majority of this group of alcohol and drug abusers admit they feel they do not
laugh as much as others. They see others laughing out loud and realize that somewhere, somehow, that laughter has dimmed, or even died, in them.

One reflection they have when they see someone laughing out loud, or really rejoicing in life is “that person is sober, or else totally ****** up!” What is important here is the recognition, perhaps even subconsciously, that you can enjoy life more when you are sober. Digest that for a second!

Their addiction may take over, trying to console the inner self that sees happiness and sobriety as a conjugal relationship. Addiction is like the little devil on John Belushi’s shoulder in the movie “Animal House,” urging you, convincing you, that you should continue your problematic drinking behavior.

In closing, I encourage each of you who are heavy drinkers (regularly having three or more alcoholic beverages in a drinking episode) to quit drinking for 30 days. See if you feel better. Be aware of your moods, good and bad (there may be some doozies at the beginning if you are a heavy drinker). I really believe that after two weeks your mood will be improved!

Author's Bio: 

Mike Miller is the Education Director at Online Alcohol Class, a website specializing on alcohol awareness classes and minor in possession classes. You can visit his site at http://onlinealcoholclass.com