Does Anyone Else Think More Clearly When They've Had a Couple Drinks?

I find that I can think better if I’ve had a couple drinks. Not to the point of being drunk, just a small buzz.

When I’m totally sober, I often find myself worrying about things that are pretty much inconsequential. I feel like when I’ve had a couple drinks, I can see things in much better perspective and focus on the problems which are important.

Does anyone else feel like that? Just wondering.

Does anyone think more clearly after a couple of drinks? No, and neither do you.

Assuming you wake up sober and start worrying about the exact same things, you didn’t have any epiphanies or solve any problems, you just stopped caring for a couple of hours. That’s fine, that’s what booze is for. But don’t mistake it for “clearer thinking.”

Obligatory XKCD

Drinking always made me think I can dance.

So no.

I mean…I don’t get anxious a lot, but when I do have anxiety (as I know a lot of people do all day, every day) it does seem to make my headspace awfully crowded/noisy, for lack of a better description. I could definitely see the relaxation induced by a couple of drinks “clearing up” the anxiety-noise and leaving room for other thoughts. I would imagine this is why some people take Xanax or Valium.

I disagree… there’s a point at which your ability to think goes seriously downhill, but well before then, there’s a point at which you just relax and as you say, “stop caring” about the little stuff.

I think that’s what the OP is getting at- sober, he’s probably all wound up and worried about inconsequential details or tangential issues, and after a few drinks, those seem less important, so the really important stuff stands out and can be solved without so much distraction from the side-light stuff.

I can anecdotally say that for the same reasons I describe above, I am noticeably better at most video games after 1-2 drinks, about the same for 3-4, and go downhill fast after that.

Hehehe… not ‘thinking’ but there was a long period of my life where I could play pool much, much better at the 2nd drink mark. Like the chart in the link… it was a fine balance and if I was betting, I didn’t dare order a third drink.

At the two drink mark, I could actually make some pretty incredible shots. Like shots where I’d jump the cue ball over other balls – warning, you need to agree that is okay in advance otherwise it is a scratch-- and I could put a wicked spin on the cue ball. I made enough money to believe the phenomenon was real.

I think it’s dangerous to confuse “clear thinking” with “myopic focus”.

I learned in a college psych class that (1.5 drinks for women, 2 drinks for men) is supposedly the point where alcohol works best as a social lubricant.

I can often think more *creatively *after a couple of drinks - dropping inhibitions allows me to connect things that my fully-sober mind would have dismissed as incompatible. Comedy writing, brainstorming for hobby projects, etc is definitely lubricated by just a little alcohol, in my experience.

According to the Inebriati, the ideal amount is just under two drinks. Don’t ever finish the second one…

A small amount of alcohol acts as a stimulant, or so I read once (no cite available). It also decreases inhibitions, which would make it good for brainstorming but not necessarily for clear thought.

I speak foreign languages better after a few drinks. I’ve even had other people point it out to me at parties and such where the conversation language was mixed. I figure it’s related to the lessening of inhibitions.

I was talking with my doctor about depression. He asked me about my drinking and I said “You know, it’s weird but after 2-3 beers I sometimes think Wow, this must be how normal people feel all the time.

He said that was a classic symptom of depression.

So, just throwing that out there.

I have a friend that is from Lithuania. The first time we got drunk together I was amazed how much his English improved.

I suppose it is possible under some circumstances. For instance a highly stressed person may have difficulting thinking and a small amount of alcohol will relieve that stress leading to clearer thinking. That’s not the alcohol directly causing clearer thinking, the clearer thinking is the result of a condition alleviated by drinking alcohol.

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I think it helps that everyone else is drinking too, in these situations.

I would have replied to this OP, but I’ve had far more than ‘a few’, and the OP is a … how shall I say it… Oh, that’s right, I can’t, since this isn’t the pit… Oh well…

It definitely helps if everyone else is drinking. If they’re not, then you may run into the situation I did with a (sober) Chilean friend, who told me, “you don’t speak any better when you drink, you’re just not shy about getting it wrong.”

I remember reading about an author with an alcohol problem (can’t remember which one) who claimed he wrote much better after just a few, but not too many, drinks. He wished he had the ability to stay at the ‘sweet spot’ for hours at a time since he would always end up drinking too much and then couldn’t write at all after about 1/2 hour or so.