Everything You Need To Know About Wine Therapy

Wine plays an important role in religious, cultural, and social events all over the world. For some, it is a symbol of status and luxury. For others, wine is for relaxing after a long day. Whatever meaning you associate with wine, this particular drink can surely bring positive feelings.

Did you know that drinking wine can be beneficial for your body? Researchers have extensively studied wine for its health benefits. And by health benefits, we mean for your physical and mental well-being. Studies suggest that wine is beneficial for you, both physically and mentally. 

If you’re curious how wine can do all these, read on everything you need to know about wine therapy.

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Drinking Wine For Physical And Mental Wellness

Wine is made from fermenting crushed grapes. This particular fruit is rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent chronic illnesses. Antioxidants work by fighting off free radicals that bring damage to our cells and organs. In addition, wine can help lower blood cholesterol, and thus, keep your heart healthy. It can also assist in lowering your blood sugar and reducing the risk of cancer. To top it all off, wine can even prevent obesity due to its ability to support weight loss.

Research also shows that wine contains nutrients that can address some ailments. Drinking wine can even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, wine can help keep your memory sharp and your brain healthy. 

It has also been found that people who drink wine are less likely to be depressed than people who don’t. Depression is a serious disorder that can affect your life. It can change the way you think and go about your daily activities. Wine helps fight depression with Resveratrol, a compound found in grapes. 

Overall, wine can help boost your body’s defenses. With its myriad physical and mental benefits, drinking wine can be a therapy of its own. However, keep in mind that you should still keep track of your alcohol consumption.

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How Much Wine You Can Drink

Challenges in life can sometimes lead a person to drink. Some people may turn to alcohol to avoid problems, such as bullying, financial troubles, relationship issues, and more. In the LGBTQ+ community, alcoholism is a serious problem. 

People may think that drowning their sorrows in alcohol can help dull the pain. However, high alcohol dependency does more harm than good. As beneficial as wine is, excessive consumption is still harmful. 

Too much alcohol in your body can lead to alcohol poisoning. Without immediate medical attention, it can lead to pressing medical conditions. Excessive drinking can also weaken your immune system. You may develop ailments, such as 

  • high blood pressure, 
  • cancer, 
  • heart disease, and 
  • liver problems. 

It can also lead to behavioral problems, such as 

  • violence, 
  • slurred speech, 
  • poor memory, and 
  • unstable moods.

To reap the good benefits of drinking wine, you should enjoy it as a recreational activity. If you wish to incorporate wine into your daily routine, a glass or two is the best amount for drinking consumption. 

As you can see, there are good and bad consequences. As long as you keep your consumption to a healthy amount, there’s nothing to worry about. So, take note of how many glasses you drink!

Now, let’s talk about the external benefits of wine—specifically, the benefits of wine for your skin. Read on to find out how wine can affect your skin.

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Wine As A Form Of Therapy

Wine therapy is formally known as vinotherapy. It is a beauty treatment that highlights wine-based products. This procedure mainly targets the skin. Nowadays, vinotherapy is becoming a popular form of treatment. Currently, many spas and establishments now offer this service.

Vinotherapy uses grape seeds, pips, and juice to cleanse and nourish the skin. Grapes are known to have anti-aging benefits. By infusing wine products during treatments, your skin can benefit from the nutrients found in these items. Among these effects include 

  • improving skin elasticity, 
  • boosting capillary health, and 
  • quelling inflammation. 

Overall, wine therapy can assist in maintaining your skin’s health and youth. 

How Vinotherapy Works

Spas offer vinotherapy in different ways. Depending on their specializations, your wine therapy experience may differ from place to place. But they still follow the same principles.

The treatment will usually start with exfoliation. Using crushed grape seed extract, your therapist will perform a body exfoliation. Through this, your skin will be rid of the built-up dead cells. This will help soften the skin. Exfoliation will also prep your skin to absorb the next products in the treatment better.

Next, your therapist may lead you to a bath. For the next half hour or so, you can enjoy a bath filled with grape pulp, grape-seed extract, and other nourishing products. Since your skin is newly exfoliated, it can soak in active nutrients and vitamins much faster. You can even sit back and relax with a glass of the drink while you’re technically bathing in wine. 

After rinsing, your therapist may indulge you with a body massage. It is the ultimate form of relaxation. Another option you may encounter is a body wrap. This is a body mask made from grapes. The body wrap assists in boosting collagen responsible for the elasticity in your body.

Oxidation and sun damage are the top causes of skin aging. If you notice your skin becoming drier, try pampering yourself with vinotherapy. This procedure reinvigorates, revitalizes, and ultimately reveals supple and young-looking skin. It is completely satisfying to treat your skin from time to time.

To Wrap Up

Wine is a drink that our bodies can benefit from inside and out. There’s nothing better than feeling your best, physically and mentally. Even more, it’s always nice when you look your best. 

Drinking wine can definitely help you look and feel good. With just the right amount of wine consumption, all the good benefits are for you to enjoy. You reap what you sow. In this case, the amount of wine you drink and use will reflect on your health.

If you’re still hesitant to try out wine therapy, you can start by exploring grape-based products at home. You can test out wine-infused beauty products, like oils, moisturizers, lotions, and more. Once you see how your skin benefits from these products, consider stepping up a notch and indulging in vinotherapy. 

The Role Of Therapy In Overcoming Alcohol Addiction

It’s hard to overcome an addiction to alcohol. After all, it’s not a simple case of wanting a bottle of beer or two to ease your worries away. Instead, addiction entails drinking so much to the point where your brain chemistry changes.

Drinking affects the dopamine activity in your brain. When you consume so much alcohol, your brain’s reward center becomes flooded with feel-good hormones. This change causes you to experience a euphoric feeling, something your body would always want to chase. The sensation makes you want to drink more often, regardless of the consequences.

Over time, these pleasurable feelings fade, but you’re still left constantly drinking to prevent withdrawal symptoms. These include sleep disturbance, low energy, and even depression. But to avoid those adverse effects, you become dependent on alcohol. It’s a repetitive cycle.

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Seeing a therapist will help you in your journey to overcome your alcohol addiction. But it won’t be easy. Sometimes, even if you’re aware you should cut off the unhealthy substance, it’s still difficult to follow through. But with your willingness and perseverance, you can start your journey forward with the help of therapy.

Getting To The Root Of Your Unhealthy Alcohol Use

Unhealthy alcohol use may stem from peer pressure, financial problems, family arguments, or relationship conflicts. It may also be caused by stress, low self-esteem, mental health problems, or regular binge drinking.

You don’t need to be at your lowest point in life to develop an addiction to alcohol. Alcoholism may be caused by growing up with family members who exhibit unhealthy alcohol use. Or, you may have picked it up in an environment that tolerates and encourages excessive drinking. Anyone can become addicted. So, you should know that you’re not alone in your journey. 

Getting to the root of your addiction will help you figure out where to start. You may talk to your therapist about your experiences, so they could help you point out factors that trigger your addiction. By pinpointing those events, you can figure out influences in your life that you need to cut off.

Sometimes, it may hurt to let go of people or places that have impacted you so much. However, your therapist will help you process and understand the effects these things had on you. Therapy will also aid you in learning how to make healthy decisions for yourself. You must be aware of your behavior and take responsibility for your actions. Then, you can begin developing and sticking to good habits. 

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Building A Healthy Lifestyle

It’s essential to build a healthy lifestyle, especially for those struggling with alcohol addiction. After all, alcohol detoxification may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. It may also induce cravings, especially if you’ve been dependent on alcohol for a long time.

To address those adverse effects, your therapist may suggest some lifestyle changes. These shifts may include avoiding triggers like drinking establishments or people who drink excessively. They may also advise you to have a more balanced diet, build healthy sleeping habits, and exercise regularly.

Exercise counteracts the effects of excessive alcohol on your body. Substance abuse weakens your muscles, slows down your metabolism, and causes fatigue. Overall, these effects contribute to a lower quality of life. Thankfully, movement can help you reverse these consequences. 

In addition to promoting physical strength, exercise is also beneficial for your journey to mental well-being. When you work out, your body releases endorphins or happiness hormones. These help you deal with stress and regulate your mood.

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Preventing Relapse

Overcoming alcohol addiction is not a one-step process that you complete after you decide not to drink. After all, detoxification often comes with withdrawal symptoms. For many, these symptoms are not easy to fight off.

Your therapist may suggest multiple ways that could prevent you from relapsing. For one, they may recommend you to attend sessions with support groups. Unhealthy alcohol use often causes emotional and mental trauma and, sometimes, even a feeling of isolation. Meeting with people who’ve had the same experience may help you heal from emotional pain. 

Alcohol addiction may also come with mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Your therapist will help you address these concerns for your psychological well-being. If needed, they may recommend you to professionals who can give you medication to help with your healing process.

Therapy can also help you work on healthy coping mechanisms. With your therapist’s guide, you can find activities that would help you in your journey. You can try picking up a hobby, discover new interests, or engage in meditation. It’s up to you.

Repairing And Cultivating Relationships

Unhealthy alcohol use has a lot of consequences. Often, these effects may extend to your loved ones. You might develop behavior or anger issues because of your alcohol addiction. Sometimes, it could result in neglecting yourself and others.

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With therapy’s aid, you can control your life again. Your therapist will support you in taking responsibility for your actions and repairing your relationships. Your situation may have damaged some bonds and friendships, but therapy can assist you in mending them.

The goal of your therapist is to help you feel better and achieve a good quality of life. That’s not limited to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also extends to all aspects of your life, including your social relationships.

To Wrap Up

It’s not easy to overcome an alcohol addiction because of how it affects your body and mind. If you stop, you’ll often experience withdrawal symptoms, making it harder to let go of the substance. Becoming alcohol-free will be a tedious process. But remember that your therapist will be with you every step of the way.

They’ll help you get to the bottom of your unhealthy alcohol use to pinpoint where to start. Your therapist may suggest you cut off triggers, like people, events, or environments. Then, they will guide you towards positive influences. Therapy will also aid you in building a healthy lifestyle, both to provide you with direction and prevent relapse. Lastly, your therapist will be there with you to help you mend relationships.

It’s going to be a challenging journey. But with your effort and determination, the support of people with the same experience, and your therapist’s guidance, you can achieve sobriety. When times get tough, remember all the time and effort you put in will pay off in time.

How Working At A Vineyard Has Started My Journey To Counseling

Journey Counseling Is Best Done When You Are In A Vineyard

Having Italian immigrants as parents in Napa Valley practically meant that I grew up in a vineyard. This fact used to make a lot of kids in high school go, “Wow! You must have tasted wine so young!” Others would say, “It must have been awesome to spend your childhood days seeing grapevines on end.”

The reality was that I used to hate living in my family’s vineyard. My parents both worked hard too much, so they expected nothing less from their kids. As soon as we could hold stuff firmly in our hands, they would begin to provide chores in and out of the house.

Well, all my five brothers were fabulous with digging the soil, carting grapes to and from the plantation, and even running around the entire vineyard to ensure that all the sprinklers were running. Boys would always be boys, and the work was nothing but fun for them, especially if they were doing it together. In my case, though, I loved my Barbies too much and longed for the day when I could live in Malibu.

Doing journey counseling in a vineyard at the break of down is amazing
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Does The Journey Ever Matter?

Leaving The Vineyard

My brothers went on to take up degrees that were related to running the vineyard more successfully. Mom and dad never egged them on to do that – they did it because they loved the place too much. Of course, their decisions delighted our parents, and they thought of creating a small empire out of it.

When I entered high school, everyone expected me to think of the vineyard like my brothers. They said that I was a woman, so the job of a wine sommelier would be perfect for me. However, what my family did not seem to get was that I wanted to do nothing with our vineyard. To my parent’s surprise, I decided to study Fine Arts at UCLA.

While my brothers managed to study online, I had to leave the vineyard and get an apartment close to the campus. Mom and dad tried to talk me out of it subtly, but I told them that that’s what I wanted, so they shut up. I genuinely felt like I had been in the vineyard for too long and needed to see the outside world for myself.

Journey counseling in college for college students
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Gaining Independence And Problems

Attending UCLA as an aspiring artist gave me more freedom than I ever imagined. I only lived for a semester at an apartment that my parents got for me because I eventually met a group of students who invited me to live with them in a mansion. Little did I know, that’s the beginning of all my problems.

It was fun to get to know strangers and stay under the same roof as them. I thought that those Fine Arts students were the most remarkable people I would ever know. But then, as our relationship got deeper, I realized that they had been doing questionable things that they did not show me initially on purpose (perhaps to lure me into their circle better).

You see, my newfound friends happened to grow marijuana in one of the many rooms in that mansion. I never asked about that room before, but I happened to come upon it during a party that we threw. Though the pots of growing weeds filling the room surprised me, I went back to the party – but only to get more surprised when I saw my friends selling and using weed with the guests.

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Watching what’s happening in my supposedly new home sobered me up. I had to ask my friends the day after about it, and they practically told me that it was cool and that their weed business was funding the mansion that we all lived in. Then, they asked me to do something crazy: sell it.

That was the fastest I packed my bags, hopped in my car, and fled to the only place I ever knew: our family vineyard.

How I Found My Way Back

Going Back To My Roots

My short experience with weed dealers and users was enough to traumatize me. As soon as I reached the vineyard, I cried to my mom about it as I felt both scared and shocked. She consoled me as best as possible, but I could not shake off my anxiety and fear for days.

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One morning, I woke up earlier than everyone and found myself walking towards the vineyard. It was a harvesting season, so all the vines were filled with grapes. Walking among them helped me remember the simplicity of my life before I tried to uproot myself.

I did not see how fortunate I was to live in such a vast and prosperous land in my rebellious phase. Those kids who assumed that I had a fantastic childhood were not far from the truth – it was genuinely great to be able to roam around the vineyard without worrying about incoming cars or strangers. There was nothing that the vineyard could not provide, but I still found a reason to despise it for many years.

Suddenly, I felt ashamed of myself for how I treated the only place where I could be myself. And in a time of uncertainty, it remained the only place where I could find solace. I took a deep breath and decided to get counseling to be worthy of living in the vineyard.

I Went To A Vineyard As Advised By My Addiction Counselor

I started drinking when I was 13 years old.

I know; I started very young. My parents assume that I did that when I was already in high school, but they were very wrong. They also did not know me that well; that’s why I started drinking.

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My Story

I grew up in a pretty well-off family. There were only three of us in the house, but we had several helpers in the property, and each one of us had a driver. My parents sent me to a private school and hired a full-time tutor, who also lived in the property. It was not because I was dumb; it was more because they did not want me to ask them if I did not understand a lesson.

If you must know, mom had a modeling agency. She was one of those people in California that fashion designers would call to do a show and needed models to walk on the runway. As for my dad, he had a tech company that created CCTV cameras for businesses. My parents’ wealth over the years ensured that I would be secure in this lifetime even if I did not work, but they also never had time for me.

I remembered a massive disappointment that I experienced at school that prompted me to start drinking.

The Day I Became An Alcoholic

I was heavily involved in the theater back then. Every year, there was a Christmas performance at my school. When I found out that I would play the lead role for Barbie and the Nutcracker at the beginning of the year, I told my parents about it at once. The reason was that if I told them months early, they would be able to make time for it, regardless of how busy their schedules were.

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Of course, I was happy when they said, “Sure, honey, we will be there.” Still, to keep my parents from forgetting about my play, I kept mentioning it almost every week. So, when the Christmas performance came, I looked forward to my parents being in those seats that I saved for them. I even called them two hours before the show to make sure they could come and know where to go. And they still answered the same.

You could imagine my disappointment when I met my nanny backstage, and she was the only one holding a bouquet of congratulatory flowers for me.

“Thank you, but where are mom and dad?” I asked although I knew the answer already.

“Well,” my nanny said carefully, “Your parents had surprise visitors at home and could not go. They were so sorry about missing your performance, so they sent these flowers instead.”

“What am I gonna do with these? Let’s just go home,” I uttered.

As we entered the property, I could hear the loud music coming from the house. I see that my parents threw a party instead of seeing their only child perform, I thought bitterly.

As soon as the car stopped, I ran through the back door because I did not want anyone to see me. Then, I saw bottles of wine being chilled in the kitchen and snuck two of them into my room. I saw my parents drink that all the time, so I knew how to open them. But it would be the first time for me to drink an alcoholic beverage. I did it, hoping that I could fall asleep and forget about that day.

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The more my parents disappointed me, though, the more I drunk alcohol. No one seemed to notice because my parents happened to have a massive cellar in the basement. Even if I took a bottle every day, they might not have known about it.

At 15 years old, I was already an alcoholic. I could not let the day pass without having a drink. I started eating in my room as well because I wanted to eat while drinking. Still, no one bothered to ask why. My parents were just so happy that I stopped badgering them to do family things with them.

Facing My Addiction

I had my third DUI at 19 years old. The judge said that I was too young to go to jail, but I should still know that everything I did had a consequence. In this case, it was counseling and community service.

The latter was acceptable. I thought it was easy to get away with that by bringing some of our helpers and then only moving if a law enforcer passed by. However, I had qualms about counseling because it sounded like I would have to face my issues, and I had been in denial about them – specifically my alcohol addiction – forever.

To my surprise, the counselor advised me to go to a vineyard when I revealed that I could drink an entire case of wine every day if I were in the mood. It was shocking because, duh, that’s where my favorite alcoholic beverage came from. Still, she insisted on it, claiming that I might experience some realizations there.

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Realizations

The counselor mainly told me to visit a small vineyard in Napa Valley. I did it for the wine tasting, but I got another surprise when I realized that the vineyard was making everything but wine. They had sorbets, jams, salads, desserts, and everything else.

I spent half a day learning how to make all of those things. I felt bored initially, but I began to enjoy it when we got to the sorbet part.

I realized that there’s more to grapes than wine after that. The temptation was still there, but I eventually managed to limit myself to a glass of wine once a month or only when there was a special occasion.

When I returned to my counselor six months later, she commended my progress. “Sometimes, you need to see the root of your problems in another light,” she uttered wisely.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

A glass of wine after a long day is one good way to destress. There are scientific studies that can back up this claim. But even though wine can make you feel better, it is not an end-all-be-all solution. It may only provide temporary relief for stress and anxiety. If you constantly have irrational thoughts that you find hard to deal with, you may need to consider getting serious help, other than wine. 

Although humans are blessed with reason, we often think and act in highly irrational ways. These irrational thoughts – about ourselves, other people, or the world in general – have material consequences that prevent us from leading full and satisfying lives. 

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to change these irrational beliefs. Albert Ellis, who developed this therapy, said that things don’t disturb people, but it’s their view of things that does.  

The main premise of REBT is that the way we feel greatly influences the way we think. It is not enough to be aware of the problem. We have to identify and actively change the beliefs at the root of our distress. 

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REBT, which became the foundation of cognitive behavioral therapy, has a wide range of clinical applications. And it includes depression, anxiety, addiction, and eating disorders. However, it is not limited to deep-seated psychological problems. 

Any individual who wants to process their emotions and change their behavior for the better can benefit from this therapy. Nearly everyone subscribes to an irrational belief. People usually think in absolutes, like “I should/must” or “I cannot.” 

For example, high-achievers tend to hold themselves to a rigid standard. When they fall short of that expectation or make a mistake, they may feel excessively upset. They then tend to engage in maladaptive behaviors. 

Everyday situations can act as triggers that bring these beliefs to the surface and cause emotional distress. It is essential to change these beliefs so that people can form emotionally healthy responses. In the high-achiever case, a therapist might use several cognitive techniques to help them realize that making mistakes is normal and encourage more rational ways of thinking.

If you want to learn more about how REBT can help you, read the most frequently asked questions below. 

What is rational emotive behavior therapy used for?

REBT is a form of psychotherapy that can be useful for individuals with affective mood disorders like depression and anxiety. It can also help those with addictive behaviors, eating disorders, phobias, sleep problems, and procrastination issues.

What are the three main beliefs of REBT?

Also known as the “three musts of irrational thinking,” these common beliefs result in negative emotions due to the expectations they impose on the person, other people, and the external environment. The first belief is, “I must do well.” The second is, “You/others must treat me well or do the right thing.” The third is, “Life should be easy.”

What is the rational-emotive approach?

The rational-emotive approach emphasizes that a person’s thoughts or beliefs influence how they feel and behave. The proponents argue that humans are far from rational and hold on to irrational beliefs or assumptions. By disputing these beliefs and forming more useful ones, it’s possible to change how a person views and responds to a situation.

What is the difference between REBT and CBT?

Although both REBT and cognitive behavioral therapy are based on the complex interplay between a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior, there are critical differences between the two approaches. Unlike CBT, which classifies an irrational thought as a cognitive distortion, REBT examines the emotional disturbance’s root cause.

Once the underlying cause of these irrational beliefs has been identified, REBT recommends an unconditional acceptance of your mistakes and failings. Additionally, REBT acknowledges secondary disturbances or worrying about worrying, a factor that often contributes to depression and severe anxiety.

What are the ABCs of REBT?

REBT dissects a situation using its ABC framework, where the A stands for an activating event or scenario that triggers emotional distress. B refers to beliefs in response to the activating event. C stands for the emotional consequences of those thoughts or beliefs like anger, sorrow, shame, or guilt.

For instance, you have a high-stakes job interview tomorrow (activating event), and you believe that you might fail or embarrass yourself (belief). As a result, you will likely feel anxious or nervous (consequence).

What are the major principles of REBT?

Drawing on the ABC framework, REBT supposes that an irrational belief triggers negative emotions instead of the activating event. These beliefs are based on irrational expectations/demands of ourselves, other people, and the world. Once you can identify and challenge these beliefs, it’s possible to form ones that are more grounded in reality.

What are emotive techniques?

In an REBT session, your therapist may use several emotive techniques to help you identify and dispute irrational beliefs resulting in emotional distress. You may be asked to write these beliefs and dissect them, or your therapist may use humor/irony, guided imagery, or songs to help you form healthier habits.

Your therapist may also recommend meditation, relaxation, or hypnosis so you can manage negative emotions that arise from these thoughts.

Who can benefit from REBT therapy?

REBT can help patients with severe mental health issues, phobias, eating disorders, and addictions. However, it can also be useful for individuals seeking healthier ways to cope with negative emotions or respond to life’s setbacks.

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What is disputing in REBT?

To dispute in REBT means to put an irrational belief under scrutiny and look for evidence that challenges that belief. For instance, the first major belief, “I must do well,” might cause you to set rigid and unrealistic standards about your performance at work.

To dispute this thought requires you to examine whether the belief is sensible by looking for supporting evidence. It might also help ask the worst and best outcomes that might happen if you maintain that belief.

What do REBT therapists call an unhelpful thought?

An unhelpful thought is one that results in unhealthy emotions and self-destructive behaviors. The “three major must’s” and their sub-beliefs form the basis of unhelpful thoughts. For instance, the belief that “Life should treat me well” begets the thought that we should not experience any hardship or difficulty.

When a person experiences the disparity between their beliefs and reality, it may result in emotional consequences of frustration, depression, and anxiety or self-sabotaging behaviors like substance abuse.

How long does Rebt last?

REBT is a short-term therapy that typically takes 10-20 sessions, with each session lasting around 30-50 minutes. Unlike some therapy approaches that require a deep and lasting relationship with the provider, REBT focuses on equipping individuals with the practical tools to tackle life’s problems and help them become self-reliant.

Although REBT can be highly effective, it’s not rare for clients to have a hard time during treatment. After all, it asks to identify and change deeply-held beliefs, including those you carried for a long time. These years-old thinking patterns are already grooved into your neural pathways. Although these beliefs may have served you at some point, it’s time to put them to rest if they are no longer useful.  

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In some cases, a therapist may take a blunt and confrontational approach to push a client in the right direction. If you’ve been tending to a poisonous tree, it might require force to uproot it to plant something more nurturing as a replacement. They will dispute your irrational beliefs until you become open to alternatives. Through this, you can develop more rational ways of looking at the world.

In the high-achievers earlier case, a therapist may probe or even find fault in their absolutist belief. Since it’s impossible to be successful all the time, they may point out that holding themselves to such a punishing standard will only inflict more damage in the long run. 

Keep in mind that the results are not instant. Since REBT is a short-term therapy, you may have to continue the therapeutic practices long after the treatment is over. You can recite a daily mantra or keep a journal until change starts to set in. 

Ultimately, the goal of REBT is to shift your consciousness in small but meaningful ways. It aims to change from a self-defeating view to a more realistic perspective. In the end, you become more compassionate to yourself, others, and the world. A more rational way of thinking encourages healthy emotional expression and promotes productive behavior to meet your life goals. 

Mental Health And Alcohol Use

 

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In the shorter term, the impact of alcohol on a person can sometimes be positive regarding our mood, but in the long term, it can potentially result in problems to our mental health. Consuming alcohol is associated with various mental health conditions, including memory loss, depression, and even suicide.

Regularly drinking large amounts of alcohol disrupts the chemicals in one’s brain that are important for our mental health. So we might feel good after a few drinks, but eventually, alcohol will have an evident effect on mental health that will ultimately contribute to depression, anxiety, and stress.

Alcohol And Brain Chemistry

The brain is dependent on the balance between chemicals and their different processes. Alcohol is technically a depressant, and this means that it can interfere with that balance. It could affect our actions, feelings, thoughts, and often our mental health. This is due partly to the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are substances that help convey signals from one neuron to another. For instance, the calm feeling that we experience when we drink is because of the chemical alternations that alcohol has caused in our brain. A few glasses of alcohol can make a person feel cooler and more self-confident, as the alcohol starts to overwhelm the portion of the brain linked with inhibition.

However, as we consume more and more alcohol, the effect it has on the brain increases, and whether or not we are in a bad or good mood, with the heightened alcohol consumption, the negative thoughts and emotions may soon take over, ultimately causing a negative effect on our mental health. Alcohol is also associated with violence, and people have often reported becoming aggressive, depressed, angry, or anxious when they’ve had too much to drink.

Alcohol And Depression

Regular heavy drinking has been linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression, although it is quite hard to distinguish cause and effect. This implies that it is unknown whether consuming alcohol can truly cause an individual to have depressive symptoms. What is documented is that alcohol consumption affects various nerve-chemical synapses within the body that are crucial in mood regulation. Studies have shown that depression may follow heavy alcohol drinking and that decreasing or stopping it can immediately improve one’s mood.

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Prescriptions given for depression must not be combined with alcohol. Some known antidepressants tend to heighten the risk of reversion to heavy drinking in individuals struggling to abstain from alcohol. Thus, antidepressants must only be taken when they are recommended and officially prescribed by their doctor.

Alcohol And Fear

For individuals who experience fear and anxiety, drinking might initially help them feel more relaxed. However, this feeling is short. The ‘relaxed’ feeling that someone might experience after drinking is because of the chemical alterations that alcohol does in the brain. These effects soon wear off, and depending on alcohol to conceal anxiety or fear can also result in a greater dependence on it to achieve relaxation.

Anxiety can occur when a person has a hangover too. As he processes alcohol, he begins to experience psychological indicators like feeling irritated or depressed. For others, they don’t experience almost anything. But if being anxious is already a problem, the hangover can worsen the symptoms.

Consuming alcohol can also increase the feelings of anxiety in specific situations. When you drink, you don’t often react to all the hints around you. If you’re vulnerable to being anxious and feel something that might be construed as dangerous, there is an inclination to concentrate on that something and missing out on the things that are less dangerous or neutral. To eliminate or decrease anxiety without alcohol, practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga, breathing, or meditation. Talking to someone you trust about how you feel is also a wise thing to do.

Alcohol, Self-Harm, And Suicide

Alcohol causes people to forget about their reservations and behave rather spontaneously, which sometimes leads them to do things they would not have done if they were sober. This includes self-harm and, worse, suicide. There is a strong connection between heavy drinking and suicide attempts and death secondary to suicide.

Severe drinking of alcohol – as in consuming over 30 units daily for weeks – can often lead to psychosis, a severe mental health condition that involves delusions and hallucinations. Psychosis can be due to severe intoxication and withdrawal and is more common in drinkers who are reliant on alcohol and then abruptly stops drinking.

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Being In Control

Experts agree that to eliminate the health hazards from alcohol consumption to a lower level, people must not drink alcohol over 14 units in a week. This is equal to 6 pints of beer or six medium glasses of moderately strong wine. If you keep drinking as much as this, it would be safe if you spread consumption over three or four days or even more.

The danger of developing severe physical and mental health issues heightens the more you consume alcohol regularly. A smart way to lessen your drinking is to have some alcohol-free days per week, and of course, not to binge drink.

 

Why You Should Take Family Trips To The Local Winery

Ever since I got married, my husband and I thought that we would visit every tourist destination in the world before expanding our little family. However, a surprise blessing came to us a year after the wedding in the form of twin babies.

We loved the new additions in the family more than anything, but it also means that we needed to make room for the babies in our travel plans. Hence, we canceled a lot of hiking and skiing trips booked for the next couple of years. And because our kids were still so young, we decided not to go out of the country until they moved past pre-school. This way, their immune system would already be strong enough to fight off diseases.

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The first two years were very easy. We only went to a nature conservation park in Los Angeles and at the Washington monument in DC consecutively, and they enjoyed it. When the twins turned three years old, they loved Disney characters so much that we flew to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. This year, though, I felt like we visited too many theme parks, and my family needed a change of scenery.

I asked my friends for some suggestions, and one of them blurted out, “Winery.” I knew that it was a joke, considering the children could never enjoy wine even if they wanted to, but I was open to the idea. The next day, I called Brew Masters and asked if they could allow young children in the property, and they graciously said yes. They also gave me a few pointers as to why visiting a local winery is suitable for families.

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Drink Without Feeling Like Getting Drunk

The first advantage of going to a nearby winery is that you don’t usually feel like getting drunk. That is especially true when your children are around, and you know many of the customers or workers there. You don’t want them to perceive that you are a drunkard, so it is easy to step away from bottles of wine and stick to a couple of beers.

When I brought my family to the local winery, I did not drink much because everything seemed so interesting. We saw massive barrels filled with wine and watched the packaging process, which was done manually. If I was honest, if the little ones did not want to move along and eat, I could have stayed there all day.

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Let Kids Play With Others

The winery that my family and I went to was a part of a large vineyard. Rows after rows of vines could be seen from a distance; it was slightly uphill, too, so it was incredibly beautiful. Then, the owners cleared at least 400 square feet of land between the restaurant and winery to put up a jungle gym. That’s how they enticed the young kids to stay in the property.

To parents like us, this setup is highly beneficial. During our visit, my children befriended at least ten kids. Some were older children in the neighborhood; others came from various cities. This experience allowed them to open up to others and learn how to socialize. And since the jungle gym was next to the restaurant, we could watch them play even if we remained inside.

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Bond With Loved Ones

After our first trip to the local winery, I could not help but rave about it to my siblings at our weekly Sunday dinner. It has been our family tradition to gather at my parents’ house and cook there, but even my folks have been feeling tired of it lately. Mom said, “I am so bored at home. Can we go somewhere else?”

A week after that, I invited everyone to Brew Masters. My sisters with kids were a bit skeptical about it, but they calmed down when they saw how child-friendly the place was. In reality, you would see more drunk people at the park instead of the winery. It helped us reconnect in another location and enjoy food without needing to cook them for once.

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Final Thoughts

Whenever I tell people that my entire family goes to a local winery almost every month, they often raise an eyebrow at me and probably question my parenting skills inwardly. I’ll say it once more — it is not too common for kids to be in such places unless you own it.

Despite that, the family trips to the winery have been great for us. The twins understood what friendship meant and became closer than ever; my spouse and I also befriended other couples/parents in town. Every time we came home from the winery, we would always huddle in the living room and talk about the new things that we found there or within ourselves.

For that reason alone, I think winery visits will become a new family tradition.

COVID-19 Has Upped Winery Sales Online

 

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The country’s $30 billion wine manufacturing business is expected to lose almost $6 billion this year. The smaller wineries are incurring the biggest losses, of course, those producing between 1000 and 5000 cases a year. According to reports, these wineries could lose more than 45% of their profits in 2020 because of the restaurant and tasting rooms shutdowns. Those producing below 5000, unfortunately, could expect a dropdown of up to 66%.

Despite the economic downfall and the plunging of wine sales across the globe, a lot of wineries have considered something that they’ve resisted before – they’re bringing their business into the digital realm, combining the conventional ways with the internet way of things when it comes to winemaking and selling. Wine entrepreneurs agree that theirs is the last industry not to be influenced by the web in a significant way. Now, wineries are learning and gaining so much from it.

Customers from Acquiesce, a wine company, state that they didn’t purchase wines from the brand before, and now they’re loading up through their online wine shop. In 2019, it made up 3% of e-commerce sales. This year, so far, it has upped by 10%. Sommeliers who usually make wine pairing suggestions in the tasting rooms are now doing YouTube videos and doing the pairing online. Instagram Live hosts Tipton trying her hand at wine mixing. Marketing firms, too, are helping the winery industry utilize Google ads and Facebook. Money normally spent on tastings, wine clubs, and parties is now exhausted into digital platforms.

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Quarantined at home, people are catching up with friends online with wine glasses in their hands or cooking up a delicious new meal to feel some positivity amidst the pandemic. On other sites, homeschooling wine glasses are booming, owing to the popularity of distance learning. This is the same for so many of life’s other comforts that are indeterminately postponed.

Shopping carts are overflowing at wine vendors and on Instacart, Drizly, and other mobile applications. Shoppers are also choosing their favorite wineries or exploring new brands. Apparently, this could be the trend for a while, as many people are staying home and keeping safe while raising their wine glasses during family dinners.

Buying Wine Online

According to the Nielsen research firm, sales of wine for the first weeks of May increased by more than 250% year over year. With the current lockdowns, more wine enthusiasts are buying various spirits online from the comfort of their homes. What’s best is that the wines are conveniently and safely delivered on their doorstep. The spokesperson of Naked Wines reported of the company’s remarkable growth of wine sales, and it’s not going to change for the long term, even when the coronavirus subsides or disappears. At Wine.com, profits have increased up to four times its sales in March. Revenues in April grew to $40 million and are expected to bring in another million dollars this quarter. In fact, companies are hiring more people as their marketing spend has tripled.

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Truth be told, some wine companies have prepared for this abrupt change to online purchasing. Online trading was rooting for the wine industry, whether the wine industry is ready to welcome it or not. The virus outbreak just catalyzed it. These wineries that were ready to make the shift to digital selling have done well in COVID-19, and they undoubtedly will do better after this.

One of the wine companies that were poised to do well is Wente. The Wente Family does virtual wine tastings using Google Home or Alexa and invites people to savor the wine and each other, not the screen. Other brands tell stories about the best wineries in the world, vineyards, and winemaking strategies. After that, they get to choose among a line of wines that they have onscreen and buy them online – from the comfort and safety of their bedrooms, in their pajamas.

 

 

The Effects Of Drinking Alcohol To Get Through The Pandemic

 

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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, people have found it much easier to purchase wine and other alcoholic beverages than buying food and toilet paper from the supermarkets. It’s because all over the United States, alcohol sales have been considered by governors to be one of the essential businesses. They are more lenient in their restrictions regarding alcohol consumption and even allow home deliveries, and this has led the small businesses to be in danger of losing a lot of money. But is selling alcohol loosely really essential?

The federal government has reported that more than 50% of Americans who are 18 years old and above have been drinking alcohol for the past month, and a whopping 25% binged, drinking more than four drinks in a day. Almost 6% have developed moderate and severe alcohol abuse. As for the latter, alcohol has surely become essential for them because of their dependency.

Drinking Up Through The Pandemic

As for March 14, wine sales have increased up to 28%, beer by 14%, and spirits 27% compared to the weeks before this. Even online sales of alcohol have increased by 42%.

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Some of these alcohol sales increase is undeniably due to hoarding, especially since a lot of restaurants and pubs are closed. However, based on past research and studies, times like these where stress and pressure are placed on people like this, alcohol has two major effects. They have fewer funds to buy more alcohol, and this will cause them to buy cheaper kinds of wines, beers, and spirits. All these will also lead them to drink more because of the stress and anxiety that they are feeling.

Consequently, this drinking will have short and long-term effects on people’s lives, particularly their health and safety. In the short term, drinking too much alcohol has a tremendous negative impact on one’s immune system. Domestic violence due to alcohol consumption inside the home will also likely increase, as off-premise selling of alcohol has been shown to increase violent crimes compared to reports done on people drinking in bars. The lesser violence in bars and restaurants has been owed to servers and other patrons present in these establishments. Sadly, cases of child abuse have already increased according to reports in some hospitals in the United States.

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Binge Drinking

A study was done to identify the effects of the SARS last 2003 on employees of Beijing Hospital. It was found that there was a higher likelihood of dependency and alcohol abuse after three years related to working in high-risk areas, such as hospitals that were dedicated to treating individuals with respiratory conditions. The quarantine due to SARS also led to alcohol abuse. Binge drinking, on the other hand, was found in those that experienced the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack and the Hurricane Katrina disaster. These reports further implicated that this COVID-19 outbreak has been causing more and more people to develop heavy drinking behaviors, thereby increasing cases of alcohol abuse in the future.

Strategies And Guidelines

Several researchers have discovered that stores selling different kinds of alcohol in a specific area and the way they serve and sell alcohol has an impact on public health. For this reason, The Task Force on Community Preventive Services came up with the idea that restricting the bulk sold and the hours and days that stores sell alcohol are effective strategies for decreasing the current alcohol problems.

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There are several unreliable reports of supermarkets or stores limiting the number of rolls of toilet paper that consumers can buy, but most people can purchase carts of alcoholic beverages. Authorities in various cities must be aware of the harmful effects of alcohol, especially during this crisis, and must use stringent guidelines to minimize or decrease these effects. Alcohol may have become an essential item for some, but having too much of it is very dangerous now or in the years to come.

 

Drinking Wine To Cope With Loss And Grief

The 2017 Wine Conference tackled various topics on the wine economy, from trade and production to wine identity and profiling customers. Wine drinkers typically enjoy wine in social drinking settings; however, alcohol is also infamous for its link to loss and grief.

Loss

While some may deal with loss in healthy ways, others don’t. A licensed professional at BetterHelp believes that people affected by life-changing events such as the death of a loved one may turn to drink wine to cope with death. To them, death may feel like the end of their connection and relationship. This loss causes a sense of deep grief, especially when you lose someone profoundly important to you.

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It can be even more devastating to lose someone with whom you shared a rocky relationship. After their death, tying up loose ends becomes impossible. Not only are you left with loss and grief but also regrets of how you could have made things better.

Alcohol And Its Connection To Loss and Grief

Wine is an alcoholic drink, and alcohol is a depressant. It slows down the brain and central nervous system, making it harder for an individual to process emotions. It alters your mood, behavior, and cognitive functioning. It ruins your overall health in a lot of ways. 

The alcohol in wine binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. High levels of GABA produce relaxation and sedation. Alcohol also signals the brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that influences feelings of pleasure and reward. It’s not a surprise why many people use wine to deal with grief and loss. These changes inside the body caused by alcohol causes people to seek more wine and other alcoholic beverages to increase positive feelings and forget the pain.

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Coping With Loss And Grief

While having a drink or two is okay, entirely relying on wine and other alcoholic beverages to cope is not healthy. In fact, it can even lead to more problems in the long run. You cannot keep on suppressing your emotions with wine. The following are some advice you can follow to cope with loss and grief healthily:

  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Don’t be afraid of your feelings and grieve
  • Take care of yourself
  • Talk to someone (with your friend, family, or by joining a support group).
  • Be mindful of what you consume
  • Don’t give yourself a deadline

Excessively drinking wine to cope is undoubtedly not something your loved one wants you to do. Feelings of grief and loss are normal, and you should embrace them until you can let go in your own time. If in case you need help, consult a specialist.