Is it possible to stop alcohol-related morning-after fugginess, nausea, regrets and lethargy? For good? By the power of your mind alone?
Yes. But not in the way you might think.
Let me explain.
Three years ago, within the space of a year, I transformed from a relatively hard-drinking (I'm Welsh; it's in my genes, isn't it?) social butterfly to virtually teetotal. Hangovers I've had since, I can count on one hand.
What happened? I'd begun meditating more, up to three hours a day. And slowly - without any conscious decision or moral hoity toitiness on my part - I drifted away from excessive drinking. Among many realisations about how I was living my life, I understood how much more fun (on many levels) it was to be sober. To actually be where I was.
Why would I go on hurting myself?
I love my life and friends. I want to be 'here' enjoying every moment, not riding on some dangerous rum and coke-fulled rocket that takes me away from myself and my relationships, and might explode in emotional wreckage at any time.
To hurt my body and mind with booze seems absurd. Why would I want to do that? I became clear that I wanted to remember the laughs, chats and shenanigans of a good night out.
The more I meditated, the closer I got to myself, the less I attacked myself and the more peace and happiness grew inside.
Less stress, less drinking
I'm not alone in my experience. Mary Pearson, author of Meditation: THE Stress Solution (£9.99, HotHive), discovered meditation when she was severely stressed out as a teacher in an inner city comprehensive.
The first thing she did when she got home was pour a large glass of wine and carry for most of the evening. A dreadful hangover would usually greet her the next morning, but she couldn't seem to find a way to stop.
A chance meeting introduced her to meditation. "As it became a part of my daily life, I found I coped better with stress, reduced my reliance on alcohol, and subsequently woke up feeling alive and alert."
A future of health, peace and wellbeing
"Any lifestyle change involves the first step, which is often the hardest" says Mary. "Having directly experienced alcohol dependency and frequent hangovers as a way to relieve stress, I advise anyone in the same position to consider meditation to gently support a personal transformation and create a future of health, peace and wellbeing."
So do I. And my advice is to start meditating for the sake of it; not with the goal of cutting down on drinking. Let your meditation be both the means and the end. Do that, and there's a mighty fine chance that boozing will, in time, gently give up you.