Living in a place like Boulder, CO, I find it’s more common than not for people on a night out to be sober. Some call us the “conscious capital” of the US, but I find it’s a trend that’s actually catching on for millennials worldwide.
Sober dance parties like DayBreaker are becoming the new rage, inviting guests to “DOSE” on all-natural chemicals like Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins before heading out for a work day.
For millennials today, it’s become somewhat of a faux pas to drink. While our parents’ generation considered booze cool, we think it the opposite. Instead, connection, authenticity, and mindfulness are what’s catching on, and as a result, producing many benefits.
If you haven’t yet caught onto this generational shift, here are ten reasons why you might want to consider it.
1. You can experience more connection. Whether we’re meeting someone for the first time or we’re out with friends, we desire relational closeness that is facilitated by sobriety. Brady Hedlund, the founder and CEO of Life Before Work, says, “I find I can’t really relate to people that drink now. Most of the conversations are very surface level and it’s difficult to have a meaningful connection when alcohol is involved.”
2. You can live in alignment with your values. For millennials, how we view ourselves is more important to us than how others view us. We prefer to be in integrity with ourselves than to please other people or try to fit in. While we grew up in a world where alcohol was cool, we’ve shifted the culture towards sobriety now through willing to go against the grain and stand for our values. According to Eventbrite, only one in ten millennials today see getting drunk as “cool.”
3. You can confront conflict sustainably. Silvia Christmann, a growth expert who advises entrepreneurs, organizations, and CEOs, says, “Most of us have learned that we need a substance to take the edge off or check out for awhile as a coping mechanism for life. In my own business and client work I introduced sober living as a daily practice to establish sustainable problem-solving over substance abuse, inviting coworkers and clients into a life where they don’t feel the need to escape or avoid problems in the first place.”
4. You can get more in touch with your body. Justin Faerman, the co-founder of The Flow Consciousness Institute, says, “No longer relying on alcohol as a crutch has lead to a profoundly deep relationship with my body. Nourishing myself with a piece of chocolate or with superfoods produces a noticeable mood lift that you would just never be able to notice if you are used to the extreme effects of alcohol and drugs.”
5. You can experience more productivity. According to the HBR, millennials are “workaholics” who work harder and longer than preceding generations. Regular alcohol use can sabotage productivity. Sam Skelly, the founder of Hungry For Happiness, says, “Alcohol fogs my creative ability and stops me from working in an effective way. Because my energy is my greatest asset, I’ve nearly completely stopped drinking alcohol as the negative effects dramatically outweigh the positive.”
6. You can access deeper presence. Nadav Wilf, a nationally renowned speaker and the founder of Lifestyle Perfected, says, “I decided to take 3 weeks of sobriety which turned into 12 months. I learned what it was like to be fully present in this time and had a major upgrade energetically of being able to feel good in any social situation. I also raised $1M for my startup during this year.”
7. You can step into a healthier lifestyle. Long-term alcohol use is associated with a host of negative health effects. Millennials prioritize their well-being so that they can show up powerfully to their personal and professional lives. Mel Wells, bestselling Hay House author and the UK’s leading eating psychology coach, says, “We really care about nourishing our bodies and minds, being fit and well, and thriving in this world. We know we can make a difference when we start with ourselves.”
8. You can experience an elevated mood state. Alcohol is a depressant. Though it initially acts as a stimulant, when it tapers off it acts as a sedative, inducing a depressed mood state. Dmitriy Kozlov, the founder of Influex, says, “Drinking less and being conscious of what I put in my body directly helps me live a happier life.
9. You can become more socially adept. Studies show alcohol impairs our ability to assess and respond to social cues; for the networking savvy millennial, this is a problem. Darrah Brustein, the founder of Network Under 40, says, “I want to be sharp so that as I continue to build relationships, I can remember the details of what we discussed. When I’m not drinking, I can easily feel when there is a chemistry that can turn into connection with someone.”
10. You can get ‘high’ naturally. Kozlov says, “The way I mostly get “high” these days is through meditation, yoga, and exercise. I find these experiences can bring me to an even greater “altered state” than drugs or alcohol, while also improving the rest of my life short term and long term.”
By Jules Schroeder