Ever been drunk or tipsy from an alcoholic drink before? You probably realized that it wasn’t a good idea. Your proper brain functions become impaired and your body is rendered really sluggish. It seems as if time is moving really slow for you. In other extremes, you pass out from extreme intoxication, or vomit. If so, do alcoholic beverages contribute to us be more creative and productive human beings? Let’s take a look.
Alcohol contains ethanol, a substance that contributes several negative effects to the brain and body. In terms of brain functions, ethanol severely affects the brains neurotransmitters, where signals travel from brain to body and back, according to an article in the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This in turn impairs thought process, takes away our inhibitions, and mood control.
Once the brain is affected, the body follows suit. Normal functions are also impeded because of one’s inebriation. Sight is blurred, speech is unintelligible, and movement very lethargic.
If you’ve experienced being or have seen people under the influence of alcohol, you can sense that there is a huge disconnection between brain and body. A totally different side of a person can emerge because of the effects of intoxication: lowered inhibitions, and affected brain processes.
This is why drunks tend to say or do things that are totally out of character. A quiet person may suddenly become talkative and say very incoherent phrases. A talkative person may become quiet and suddenly fall asleep or pass out due to the amount of alcohol in their system. Others start fights. Some may end up puking their guts out (a bodily defense for flushing the alcohol out of the system). The list goes on and on, but the harmful effects of alcohol are undeniable.
What then does this have to do with being productive and creative? Absolutely nothing. The negative effects of alcohol prove just that. Having a meaningful work experience means feeding your mind with things that encourage inspiration and innovation, not a substance that dulls your senses.
As mentioned above, if the brain doesn’t function properly, the body won’t, too. Alcoholic beverages weren’t meant as an energy or work drink anyways, but for leisure. Ever see someone who drank wine or beer to be more focused? No. Maybe a glass of vodka, but that’s when the day has died down and one needed to unwind.
UK-based writer Joanna Penn mentions in one of her blog articles that William Faulkner separated his writing and drinking. Having an alcoholic beverage was only done to de-stress. Faulkner stated that drinking did not contribute positively to the creative process.
Penn kindly reminds readers,
“You can have a few drinks without it affecting your writing or your life. It can be a pleasure, if not abused.”
The assumption that alcohol ushers creativity is false. If writing, a highly imaginative and innovative type of work, is not supported by a lifestyle of consuming alcoholic beverages, then this follows suite with all other kinds of vocations. Think before you drink. It could very well save your career.