Georgia Foster's Drink helps you take control of your drinking without cutting it out entirely Australians are known the world over for their laidback approach to life, endless summer barbeques, golden tans, long sunny days on the beach and a thirst for all things sport. However, behind this friendly cultural façade lies one of our nation's most prevalent public health challenges: Excessive Drinking. The excessive consumption of alcohol has been the source of public health warnings since the mid-seventies, contributing to our staggering road toll, domestic, social and sexual violence, mental health issues, liver and other organ damage, cancer and alcohol addiction. Despite this, alcohol remains an inherent part of our day to day lives, including milestones, social customs and rituals.
Some alarming statistics:
Apparent alcohol consumption rose for the first time in nine years in 2016
Nearly 1 in 4 Australian women aged between 35 and 59 drinks excessively to dangerous levels
45% of Australian drinkers regularly drink with the intention of getting drunk
Alcohol related hospital admissions for women increased 55% in Victoria in the decade to end of 2015
These findings have prompted well-being professionals to look to new ways to ensure that Australians can consume alcohol in a safe manner. Georgia Foster, world renowned clinical hypnotherapist and best-selling author has pioneered a new approach to problem drinking that uses innovative techniques aimed at significantly reducing alcohol consumption, rather than cutting it out completely – to give readers control over their drinking habits in just seven days.
Georgia Foster's Drink Less in 7 Days program invites readers to discover what motivates them to drink, and how to break this habitual behaviour – allowing them to truly enjoy a drink or two when they choose - without the regret the next day. The Drink Less in 7 Days book empowers readers to snatch back control of their drinking.
According to the Annual Alcohol Poll conducted by the Federation for Alcohol Research and Education, more than 45% of Australian drinkers regularly drink with the intention of getting drunk – up from 35% in 2011 and representing almost 6 million Australians. Although the number of Australians drinking has not increased significantly, the volume of alcohol being consumed by Australians has steadily increased.
Women aged between 35 and 59 are some of the most problematic drinkers with 1 in 4 drinking to dangerous levels on a regular basis, often putting themselves as well as their friends, colleagues and families at risk.
As alcohol consumption increases, the need for innovative approaches to reducing the negative impacts of drinking in Australia has become more important. Georgia Foster's DRINK, LESS, MIND program has helped thousands of people worldwide to reduce their alcohol consumption with 95% of attendees recording a reduction in their alcohol consumption. This program has now been adapted to book format in Georgia Foster's Drink Less in 7 Days.
Click here to purchase Georgia Foster's Drink Less in 7 Days.
Georgia Foster is a renowned Australian hypnotherapist, author, international speaker and creator of life changing programs. Her work covers many areas including assisting people in reducing their drinking habits, quitting smoking, weight loss, boosting self-esteem and more recently, in reducing anxiety levels. Georgia's programs have seen much success and have been featured heavily among the media.
For more information on Georgia Foster, please visit: www.georgiafoster.com
Question: What are the main reasons we should reconsider drinking alcohol, so often?
Georgia Foster: Many people don't consciously plan to drink too much. They do it because it is an emotional habit. Let's face it; nobody likes hangovers and feeling under par the next day, so it is not like people chose to over-drink. Alcohol is a good quick fix to alleviate emotional stresses.
Many people drink too much because they are socially shy, anxious or they find alcohol a great way to stop their busy brains. Alcohol is a great quick fix to calm down and -be in the moment' which a lot of people find hard to do sober. They use alcohol as a way to stop and just -be.'
If a person starts to use alcohol as a way to escape life or to run away from certain vulnerabilities, then over a period of time the mind will learn that this is the preferred method of dealing with life. Which then becomes a learnt behaviour.
Once this habit is in place, attempting to drink less can appear difficult because the mind genuinely thinks it is helping that person cope. It actually thinks it is doing a great job at looking after their wellbeing.
Reducing alcohol consumption is much easier when you give your mind the opportunity to learn healthier sober coping strategies. When this happens, the drinker doesn't have this rush to drink or to drink so quickly because they have found another way to de-stress and cope with life. The pleasure of alcohol can be present without the emotional urgency, so alcohol is consumed much more slowly and in a calmer way.
Question: Why should we all be considering Dry July?
Georgia Foster: I think abstaining for a month is a brilliant idea not just for the liver but for general sober self-esteem. It's a great way to get to know yourself without alcohol in your bloodstream as well as realising life can be fun and interesting without alcohol in it.
The difficulty is when someone decides to go back to drinking in August. They have great plans to drink less than they were before July but alas most of the time the mind will retreat back to old habitual ways. Which is why Drink Less in 7 Days is a perfect tool to show people when July is finished how to create healthier drinking habits.
Question: What motivated you to start a career in hypnotherapy?
Georgia Foster: I, myself had food and alcohol issues for many years, so I do understand the issue. My biggest problem was, I was socially shy and had low self-esteem. I didn't know how to resolve this until I went to California where I studied an amazing psychology about how we internally talk to ourselves.
I then travelled onto London to quality to be a clinical hypnotherapist and lecture on the subject in Universities across the UK for a number of years. While there, I started building my private practice where a number of drinking clients were getting great results with my special approach and word of mouth started to happen. It was then I realised my formula could be emulated into seminars. Then my on-line program 7 Days To Drink Less started to grow as people wanted digital content they could access anytime in the privacy of their own home.
Question: What is classified as drinking excessively?
Georgia Foster: Many people don't know but the standard glass measurement is not based on fact but rather a number that was decided upon between the government and the medical boards around the world. They came to the conclusion that patients typically lied by about 3 times what they would really consume. In light of this statistic, they decided to set a barometer for drinkers at 14 standards glasses of alcohol for women and 21 for men.
Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting people should drink too much. However, this decision for many drinkers has actually had the opposite effect. My clients generally drink a lot more than that, so I encourage them to not worry about this suggested limit but rather set a realistic goal of getting to half of where they are now with their drinking.
I know all too well, suggesting someone should drink a certain amount of alcohol can make them rebel and they end up drinking more. The guilt and sneaky drinking can kick in and then the drinker can start to believe they have a bigger problem than they actually have. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy – which is what I help over-drinkers with.
Question: What inspired the book Drink less in 7 Days?
Georgia Foster: Since 1995 I have been helping people who are worried about their drinking, train their mind and body to drink less. It is the biggest passion in my work and I impart this to as many people as possible. When a publishing house approached me on the back of the success of my on-line program, I saw another way to help those suffering in silence. I've been at the coal face of clinic life for over 22 years and have seen homemakers, lawyers, artists, entrepreneurs who are worried about their drinking. They feel instant relief that I am not shaming them nor making them feel bad about their drinking. I find there are too many people who just don't understand the real issue, which can make a drinker feel misunderstood and ironically drink more.
This book is for those who are secretly worried about how much they drink but just can't seem to cut back. They don't belong in an addictions clinic nor AA. They are what I call heavy and habitual emotional drinkers.
Question: What will readers learn in Drink less in 7 Days?
Georgia Foster: Fortunately, the methods I use have been backed by what the neuroscientists now know, is that the mind is adaptable to change. This is irrespective of how long the unhelpful habit has been there and this includes reducing alcohol consumption.
I share many client stories, so readers can resonate and understand they are by no means alone with their concerns about their drinking.
The psychology section is empowering and inspiring as it gives the reader -real' tools to help them. Firstly, to understand why they drink when they know they don't want to. And secondly, that they have the resources to change their over-drinking habit.
Also included within the book is a website link to access 4 free self-hypnosis recordings. This is fundamentally the most important part of my message. i.e. changing habits consciously is difficult. However, by communicating with the unconscious mind which is where hypnosis comes in, change is really possible and also very quick. The results can actually start straight away and people can experience a difference before 7 days.
Question: What are some of the techniques explained, in the book?
Georgia Foster: I teach people about the different drinking personalities such as the Inner Critic, which is the negative part of the mind. We all have an Inner Critic, but this is the major culprit to regular heavy drinking. What people don't realise is they are drinking to shut down this inner voice, which is supressed when we drink alcohol. People get hooked into this escapism which only works for the moment. Then they wake at 3am with the dry horrors and this negative voice haunting them with guilt about how much they drank. Their best laid plans to not drink, go out the window because this negative voice starts up again, and then the cycle of drinking to run away from it continues.
I help people train their mind to tune out of this negative voice before they drink so they don't need to consume alcohol to run away from it nor from life in general. To get them off this drinking too much hamster wheel.
I also talk quite extensively about client's stories of success, so people can walk in other people's drinking shoes which readers find really supportive. It's a great motivator and encourages them to know there is hope for them too, which there is!
There is a brilliant technique at the end of the book which really helps drinkers trust in their -drink less' future because life is not about being a perfect drinker. It's about getting some emotional balance back into their lives, so their regular drinking is habitually less now and on-going.
Question: Why do you suggest cutting down our alcohol consumption over cutting it out, all together?
Georgia Foster: For many people their biggest fear is that they will have to stop drinking completely because they have tried to reduce before without success. This is not because they can't drink less, but rather their mind doesn't have the right emotional references. The mind habitually works on the history of coping and if alcohol has been the answer, the mind will continue to respond this way, until you change these coping strategies.
I believe the mind when utilised with hypnosis combined with the psychology in the book, people realise that alcohol is not actually the issue. It's the thinking before the drinking that is the problem. When this is dealt with in healthier ways through the recordings reduction is possible.
I might add, some people in particular perfectionist personalities i.e. all or nothing drinkers don't have a lot of trust in their ability to drink less, so they will often stop drinking because it just gets too hard. There is a whole chapter about this personality and how to deal with this while still drinking alcohol.
And there are many people who are just tired of drinking too much and know it takes them to a bad place and just decide it is easier to quit.
Question: How can we drink less in just seven days?
Georgia Foster: My suggestion is to keep an emotional drink diary to understand what drives you to drink when you know you don't want to. A very clear pattern will emerge. Once you can see the triggers, then you can decide to find other ways to deal with these emotions.
Make a commitment to hydrate yourself with lots of water before your first drink, as you may actually be thirsty. So, sculling because of dehydration maybe part of your problem.
Don't tell people you want to drink less unless you know they will be truly helpful. There are many alcohol police in homes everywhere that like to monitor and judge alcohol consumption of a drinker, which can be irritating and can make them nervous. The domino effect is they can often drink quickly because they are aware of being watched and judged. This anxiety may also create sneaky drinking too. As I always say, -choose your audience' because not everybody will understand nor know how to truly support you.
Decide on building social sober self-esteem, with a coffee in your hand rather than that big glass of wine.
Practice DOWO, drink one water one. Hydrate yourself while you drink, so your body can process the alcohol better.
Don't run before you walk. Make a decision to start with one less glass a day rather than restricting too much. If you don't you can set yourself up for failure rather than success.
Imagine before you drink seeing yourself feeling calmer and safer before your first sip of alcohol. Practice methods that help you to relax that don't involve alcohol, so you are not bursting for that drink at the end of the day.
And the most important thing to remember, is your history of drinking is your past. You just need to know how to show your mind better tools and practice is important.
So, use these tools as an opportunity to do things slightly differently which over time will become familiar and comfortable i.e. A habit, so you can enjoy your alcohol without the guilt and the angst!
Interview by Brooke Hunter