Get the key ideas from

The Alcohol Experiment

A 30-day, Alcohol-Free Challenge to Interrupt Your Habits and Help You Take Control

By Annie Grace
12-minute read
Audio available
The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace

The Alcohol Experiment (2018) is your practical guide to giving up alcohol for 30 days – or perhaps a lifetime. Packed with science-based tips and personal anecdotes, it offers a new perspective on alcohol and explores why we drink it, what it really does to us, and how we can give it up.

  • People who’d like to cut down on alcohol, but aren’t sure how
  • Drinkers who’ve tried – and tried – to quit
  • Anyone who wants to change their life for the better

As a young woman, Annie Grace was a hotshot marketer. The youngest ever VP in her multinational company, she was leading marketing in 28 countries by the age of 35. Grace was also drinking at least a bottle of wine every night. Today she’s a writer and advocate who helps people beat alcohol dependence and regain control of their lives.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
4,500+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

The Alcohol Experiment

A 30-day, Alcohol-Free Challenge to Interrupt Your Habits and Help You Take Control

By Annie Grace
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace
Synopsis

The Alcohol Experiment (2018) is your practical guide to giving up alcohol for 30 days – or perhaps a lifetime. Packed with science-based tips and personal anecdotes, it offers a new perspective on alcohol and explores why we drink it, what it really does to us, and how we can give it up.

Key idea 1 of 7

Cognitive dissonance means that giving up alcohol is hard.

Imagine you’re on a diet. You’ve been good all day and have every intention of staying that way. But then someone at work brings in a plate of home-baked cookies. And before you even realize it, you’re scarfing one down. 

This is an example of cognitive dissonance – when your conscious and unconscious brain are in conflict with each other. Consciously, you know you should step away from the cookie tray. But some unconscious part of you just can’t resist. 

And your brain, clever as it is, does a great job of justifying your actions. You mentally make a firm commitment: that was the last cookie you’ll ever eat. Or you comfort yourself: Don’t we all deserve a treat now and then? 

The key message here is: Cognitive dissonance means that giving up alcohol is hard. 

As with cookies, so with alcohol.

Perhaps you’re tired of waking up hungover. Maybe you know that alcohol is adding to your waistline, and taking away from your wallet. Faced with this information, your conscious mind knows that it’d be good to cut down on drinking or quit altogether. But, even so, you end up in the bar after work because your unconscious mind – the part that controls your emotions and desires – is packed with information that just doesn't agree. 

Years of experience have told your unconscious brain that alcohol is good. For example, it helps you relax. You know this because you’ve seen your parents, or characters in movies, come home after a hard day to crack open a beer with a satisfied sigh. So as much as you might be consciously aware that alcohol isn’t always a good thing, your unconscious mind tends to urge you to drink. 

Lots of people try to stop drinking through good old willpower. But as we saw in the cookie example, that’s not really a solution. Willpower is a kind of energy. Eventually, it runs out. And if you need your willpower for one thing – like staying focused during a stressful workweek – you’ll have less of it remaining when you need to turn down that tempting beer. 

The good thing is, there’s a solution. In the following blinks, we’ll see how reassessing your beliefs about booze can shut down that unconscious desire for a drink altogether. 

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Learn more, live more

Sign up now to learn and grow every day with the key ideas from top nonfiction and podcasts in 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.