All posts by mattwing2014


Cognitive Dissonance: Disagreeing with Yourself

This is exactly what happens inside your brain when you realize you are drinking more than you should. In psychology this phenomenon has a fancy name—cognitive dissonance, defined as the mental stress or discomfort that is experienced by someone who holds two contradictory values, ideas, or beliefs at the same time. 

How to Reduce Cognitive Dissonance

According to Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance, people try to seek consistency in their thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. So when there are conflicts between cognitions, people will take steps to reduce the dissonance and feelings of discomfort. They can go about doing this a few different ways.There are three key strategies to reduce or minimize cognitive dissonance:
Focus on more supportive beliefs that outweigh the dissonant belief or behavior.

For example, people who learn that greenhouse emissions result in global warming might experience feelings of dissonance if they drive a gas-guzzling vehicle. In order to reduce this dissonance, they might seek out new information that disputes the connection between greenhouse gasses and global warming. This new information might serve to reduce the discomfort and dissonance that the person experiences.

Reduce the importance of conflicting belief.

For example, a man who cares about his health might be disturbed to learn that sitting for long periods of time during the day are linked to a shortened lifespan. Since he has to work all day in an office and spends a great deal of time sitting, it is difficult to change his behavior in order to reduce his feelings of dissonance. In order to deal with the feelings of discomfort, he might instead find some way to justify his behavior by believing that his other healthy behaviors make up for his largely sedentary lifestyle.

Change the conflicting belief so that it is consistent with other beliefs or behaviors.

Changing the conflicting cognition is one of the most effective ways of dealing with dissonance, but it is also one of the most difficult. Particularly in the case of deeply held values and beliefs, change can be exceedingly difficult.

Why is Cognitive Dissonance Important?

Cognitive dissonance plays a role in many value judgments, decisions, and evaluations. Becoming aware of how conflicting beliefs impact the decision-making process is a great way to improve your ability to make faster and more accurate choices.




I’ve managed to turn things around and don’t drink anymore.

I still get the demons but it’s not very often and I can’t let them win ever again I’ve had my last drink and I know in my gut and heart I will not drink again.

Life is so much easier and I am much happier without drinking it does not one thing for me, it does not make me happy quite the opposite not drinking makes me happy and alive rather than dying inside as a person.

My life is better in the following ways:

  1. I am the fittest I have ever been
  2. I am the strongest I’ve ever been
  3. I am in the best physical shape I’ve ever been
  4. I have more energy and life in me
  5. I have more time on my hands to do the things I’ve always wanted
  6. I have more time to do things with my kids
  7. I have more mental clarity
  8. I am living rather than dying 
  9. My skin is clearer and I look healthy 
  10. I have had positive comments from a few people how well I look
  11. I am more productive 
  12. I am now finally doing all the things I have always wanted to do and have surprised myself 
  13. I am not getting myself in situations I regret 
  14. I wake up with a clear head and not worrying 
  15. I have more contentment 

All in all no alcohol in my life is a good thing. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Keep not drinking 

  1. I must stop worrying about stupid little things and out of my control
  2. I must stop thinking to far ahead
  3. I must live in the present and embrace the hear and now 
  4. I must be mindful and practise mindfulness
  5. I must stop wasting money on things I don’t even need
  6. I must be less grumpy
  7. I must be more positive it works
  8. I must eat clean and do not put anything in my body that’s not real
  9. I must excercise and least 4 times a week
  10. I must not drink alcohol not drinking is a positive not a negative
  11. I must be more grateful
  12. I must have less clutter and live a minimalist life
  13. I must live every day to the max
  14. I must be more loving 
  15. I must communicate better and talk
  16. I just stop putting tasks off and deal with 

What’s is standing in the way of my musts? Nothing 

Why do I give my possessions so much meaning ? 

What is truly important in my life?

Why do I feel discontented ?

Who is the person I want to become ?

How will I define my success ?

How will I improve my life with less stuff?

8th November 

Changing my thought process around alcohol 

1, find a new hobby or interest in life as I have forgot what having fun is

2, start my diary/blog again

3, set some strong goals

4, set some challenges 

5, complete the naked mind project


16th April

Long day up at 4.45am and home at 10pm. Early flight to Luton then a train to London. So many stomach churning thoughts when I landed in Luton as this was where I went totally off the rails, many memories came flooding back using drink and drugs most days holding down a very good job, driving while smashed going through a nasty divorce. Doing lines of coke in most places possible just to enable me to get through the day and drink more……the list could go on and on and on…if I had not moved away in 2008 I would of been dead now fact. Anyway I returned back to the airport with 4 hours to play with my mind racing shall I drink to kill the boredom shall I just go for it! I sat there in Starbucks and got a grip thinking how far I had come not to go down that route I actually sat there and rememberd one time arriving at the airport to fly off on work drunk coke in my pocket and just carried it through security without a care in the world and then sat in the departure lounge drinking and going to the disabled toilet every half an hour for a line the same toilet was still there……many emotions passed through me mostly not nice what must of I looked like god knows…….anyway I didn’t drink I just drank water and tea sat in a restaurant catching up on lots of work watching people get pissed at the bar but who was I to judge anyone considering the antics I had got up to at that very airport…

Thank god that I am here today to write this entry, I could of been in prison or worse off dead😓

Brighter note move house in the morning so lots to look forward to.



14th April

Along with everything else I do not to drink because this is my choice I love reading new books about the addiction.

I have started reading Allan Carr “stop drinking now” I have to admit it’s very good and worth a read. 

It clearly has the concept correct about do not pick up the first drink as the first drink is the problem.

It also tells you a very good mantra 

“alcohol is an addictive poison that destroys your health, wealth, happiness and shortens your life”

Will keep reading


13th April

I had a very awkward situation on my wedding day at the night time event. A friend who we invited was a raging alcoholic morning, day and night he has a very good job and quit drinking 8 years back so he had 8 years sobriety under his belt, however when I noticed him and his wife sitting at a table I noticed a pint in front of him he took me a good half an hour to decide how to approach him was it his beer? Was it non alocholic ? Was it beer at all? Anyway I went and sat down and just said in a joking manner back on the beer he just said yes but a long story I said I have time to listen he then told me him and his wife who was sitting with him were on holiday and she kept asking him go on have a couple your be fine so he did! I said are you mad he said Matt I don’t have the same craving as I did I just said be carful only you will know if it’s an issue again he said he was enjoying it I just thought he will be back to sq one in no time. I just found the whole situation bizarre !!😳 and even more mental was he wife who nearly left him telling him to drink again !!!!!