Alcohol is a psychoactive drug meaning that it changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition and behaviour. For regular alcohol users and abusers, alcohol consumption and intoxication provides us with a way to escape our reality, to feel ‘out of mind’ or artificially high. The paradox here is that alcohol is a depressant, so although we initially feel a buzz or a high after drinking, we are actually getting pulled down into a much lower level of consciousness, where we ultimately experience low-vibe feelings.
Albert Einstein said it - “Everything in life is vibration”. At Thrivalist, we refer to sobriety as being a high vibrational (high-vibe) way of living. Meaning you can experience a much ‘higher’ high through living a sober life because of our own internal energetic vibration being raised, as opposed to regularly consuming alcohol, which only lowers our vibrational frequency. Our energetic vibration is the frequency at which the atoms in our cells are vibrating and communicating with the particles of source energy that permeate and hold all physical matter together. It sounds really woo-woo, we know, but it really is true.
Essentially, what we believe and have experienced ourselves to be so true, is that by removing alcohol from our lives, we raise our energetic vibrational frequency which in turn raises our consciousness so that we can live a life full of decisions and actions that are much better informed and as a result, we are taking much better care of ourselves and our overall well being. It also means that we can experience the feelings of getting high more often, and without requiring alcohol to get there.
This does not eliminate the fact that alcohol does give us an artificial, albeit short-lived high, which is undoubtedly fun, and hard to replicate in sobriety. From my own personal experience of getting sober, my constant state of feeling higher-vibe means that most of the things I do socially and recreationally, I enjoy so much more than I did when I was drinking. I especially love dancing, exercising, breathwork and meditation. However, for some of my fellow sober community and clients, it can take some time and experimentation to uncover what really gets us high off our own supply.
Below are some ideas to help you uncover what works for you when it comes to raising your own vibrational frequency:
1. Diet & Nutrition
Everything we consume is prana, or life force energy. When we consume foods with nutrient-dense, prana-rich foods, like local and organic fruits and vegetables, our body literally absorbs these things, making us feel lighter, more vibrant, and higher-vibe. Avoid processed, genetically modified, nutrient-deficient foods that make us feel heavier, duller and lower-vibe. Here is a great article about how to increase the amount of high-vibe food in your diet.
We all know that exercise is good for us. Exercising increases endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid. These are all brain chemicals associated with feeling confident, happy, capable, lowering anxiety and increasing our vibrational frequency.
Studies have shown that after becoming accustomed to consistently practicing yoga regularly for a period of time, after practicing, it is common to experience a euphoric feeling or natural high. This is because of a surge in serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins that presents in the body after practicing yoga. Which type of yoga is practiced as well as how well you control your breathing, how deeply you are able to get into the poses and how well you hydrate and feed your body all affects the intensity of the high that you experience.
Dancing is another beautiful and fun way of triggering endorphins to be released in your body. Yum! Whether you just want to turn on the music in your lounge room, head out to a club and go wild, join a local dance club or class, is your choice! There are also organised dance and meditation groups such as 5Ryhthems for a more alternative experience.
According to researchers at McGill University, the act of listening to your favorite track can make you high. Just like taking drugs, listening to music can modulate serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain. These levels fluctuate in two distinct phases: when you anticipate hearing pleasurable music, and when you are consuming it. The hedonic reward systems that are activated in this listening process are tightly linked to those associated with drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
6. Breathwork & Meditation
Breathwork and meditation, makes us feel calm, relaxed and peaceful, yet vibrant and alive at the same time. So how does this work? Slowing down our mind and our thoughts, and focusing on our breath activates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping us let go of the stress and returning us to our natural state of calm. As soon as we begin to observe our breath, our blood pressure lowers and our parasympathetic nervous system naturally begins to slow down and deepen, producing a calm and relaxed feeling in the mind and body and lifting our moods to create a feeling of joy. Some people even report experiencing a more ‘trippy’ high by manipulating the breath, through more intense forms of breathwork such as the O2 Awakening, the Wim Hof Method, or Kundalini Yoga breathing which focuses on moving ‘stuck energy’
7. Being in nature
Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature has been proven to reduce anger, fear, and stress and increases happy hormones and pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
There are good reasons why belting out your favourite tune in the car feels awesome. Singing naturally releases dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins and serotonin, while also lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Singing requires you to breathe more deeply, activating the parasympathetic nervous system as discussed above. You don’t have to be Adele. Regardless of raw talent, anyone can sing and reap the benefits of this natural high.
9. The Big-O
The intense pleasure experienced during orgasm is triggered by the same parts of the brain that produce the high stimulated by opiate drugs. Partner or no partner, if you want a powerful release of feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters, the Big-O is the way to go!
Light up your life with adventurous activities and, for a bigger natural high, throw some risk into the mix. White water rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, sky-diving, or whatever adventure floats your boat, these activities cause all our senses to buzz to life as adrenaline is released, leaving us feeling alive!
The beautiful thing about all these natural highs is that they come without a price tag. No hangover and no stealing of happiness from tomorrow. It may take some experimentation, but you can find practices and hobbies that bring you true joy in sobriety. Good, clean fun that ultimately leads to greater life satisfaction than alcohol could ever offer us.