When you’re in a stressful situation, it’s important to find the right form of stress relief. Certain ways of dealing with stress can be unhealthy and are best avoided. This post lists some of the worst ways to deal with stress – and what you should do instead.
Drinking alcohol/taking drugs
Many people like to unwind with alcohol and drugs. While alcohol and drugs can provide a high that helps you temporarily de-stress, you’re likely to pay for it later with a hangover or comedown – which can cause greater amounts of stress. People can easily become addicted to substances as a way of relieving the anxiety and depression caused by stress – in the long run, this may lead to physical damage or other issues such as neglecting responsibilities.
If you rely on alcohol or drugs to relieve stress and it’s having negative side effects, it may be worth getting help from American addiction centers. Many people can benefit from professional help when quitting substances. Healthy alternatives to drinking alcohol and taking drugs include drinking herbal tea or looking into prescribed anxiety medication.
Eating junk food can help to relieve stress temporarily. However, it’s not a healthy long-term solution – a bad diet will likely lead to weight gain, diabetes and other issues, all of which will most likely add to your stress.
Try to avoid snacking on unhealthy foods when stressed and consider looking into healthy options. For example, you could try some of these healthy snacks. Some of these foods may provide the serotonin rush you need without putting too much bad stuff into your body.
Some people eat less when they’re stressed. This could be due to being too busy. In other cases, stressful situations may cause people to lose their appetite or feel nauseous.
Eating enough food throughout the day is important for keeping you energised. If you’re not eating enough, you’ll likely start to get tired and this will make any stress you’re dealing with worse. Force yourself to eat something throughout the day – set alarms and reminders if you have to. If you feel like you may have an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to look into professional support.
Many situations involving people can be nerve-wracking – if you’re already stressed, you may not feel like adding to this stress. This can lead to social withdrawal.
Not talking to other people is not going to cure your stress. While there are certain people who you probably don’t want to talk to when stressed, you should still make time for relatives and close friends – by bringing around people that bring you joy, you’re likely to relieve stress (laughter and talking out problems is great for de-stressing).
Lashing out at people
Snapping at people – or worse, using physical violence – is definitely not the way to deal with stress. You’ll damage relationships with people and likely cause more stress for yourself.
While letting out your anger can be an effective way to overcome stress, you need to find a healthy outlet. Using a stress toy, taking out your stress on a punch bag or even trying some scream therapy are all healthy ways to let out anger and relieve stress.
Bottling it up
One thing you definitely don’t want to do is bottle up stress. This can lead to chronic stress, which may continue to build and build until you experience burnout or a panic attack.
If you’re feeling stressed, take five minutes out to release some of this stress. This could be through meditation, a quick workout, or laughter.