Wine and Providing a Glaring Glimpse of the Obvious

The UK's Daily Telegraph reports on a study that delivers the astounding conclusion that folks often drink to relieve stress. This revelation might be best filed in the "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" category.

Conducted by "DrinkAware", a UK-based anti-alcohol organization, the study found:

"73% of the women and 57% of the men who took part citing stress as their number one excuse…On being given a list of options, pouring a glass of wine (61%) came only behind relaxing in front of the TV as the most common way to unwind from a stressful day. Much further down the results were spending time with children (28%) and talking to their partner (26%)."

By the way, are we surprised that only 28% of those taking the poll found that spending time with children was the preferred way of unwinding from a stressful day (Mommmm….Billy Hit Me!!)?

Alcohol and other concoctions that affect the chemistry of the brain have been used for Milennia as a means of reducing stress and relaxing. The question is, does it work? I'm going to go with—in many cases and for many people—of course it works. If it didn't, would we use it?

Of course, there is a balance to be struck and that balance of just enough relaxing and too much relaxing is likely and individual thing. Too much stress reduction and you end up hitting your head on the toilet seat. Just enough alcohol induced stress relief and you end up sinking down into the sofa and laughing at Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George.

I rarely use alcohol to relieve stress. Spending time with my girl, hitting golf balls and watching an episode of West Wing does the trick a bit better. However, if none of those options are available, see my previous post as my preferred method.

2 Responses

  1. Ward Kadel - @drXeNo - August 2, 2011

    Heh, good extrapolation of that study’s obviousness, Tom. The only thing that I can toss out there as commentary of my own, is that I don’t find golf a stress reliever…if anything, it increases it! 😉 (but I keep playing)

  2. Morton - August 2, 2011

    I think the survey was spot on, but I see no problem with it. I have always found adults a lot more fun to play with than children, particularly when we share a bottle of wine or something stronger. I’m not sure it is all about stress, but a couple of drinks at the end of the day makes me feel good, more tolerant, and much more willing to once again attempt to fathom the mysteries and pitfalls of spousal communication.
    I recommend “The Compass of Pleasure:How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good” by David Linden (professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins) to anyone who wants a fascinating read and an understanding the chemistry behind much of our behavior. No need to do surveys.

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