When you’re feeling stressed out about something that’s out of your control, you might turn to negative coping skills, such as the impulse to stress-eat, lay in bed all day, play video games or surf your phone.
You’re only human and, perhaps, right now it feels like all of your stressors are piling up on top of you. Maybe you’ve had an exceptionally rough week at work or you’re going through a bit of a rough patch with your romantic partner. The impulse to indulge in alcohol or junk food is very real but, in the grand scheme of things participating in these unhealthy behaviors, will only add more stress to your life.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you should avoid these three specific things when you’re feeling stressed out, as well as provide some ideas for healthy stress relievers you can implement instead.
We get it. Junk food is inarguably delicious, and indulging in a chocolate bar or a slice of pepperoni pizza is honestly fine once in a while. However, using junk food as a regular stress reliever can become a big problem. Engaging in poor eating habits can impact your overall well-being. It can lead to insomnia, stomach issues, and mood disorders, like depression and anxiety.
This is because when you eat junk food, your brain isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to function properly. The hormone, Cortisol, leads to wanting to eat carbs and sugars. Changing your eating patterns can be difficult, but eating healthy foods can help keep your mind and body stress-free, so stick with it. Keep low-cal snacks or fruits cut up so you can reach for those instead of the easy bag of potato chips.
This is another unhealthy coping mechanism people commonly engage in when they’re stressed out. Like with eating junk food, it’s okay to drink in moderation, but it’s generally not a good idea to drink when you’re stressed out. Alcohol is a depressant, and it can actually make you feel worse.
Getting into the habit of drinking when you’re stressed, especially daily, can lead to poor judgment, daily hangovers, alcoholism, which creates a dependence on drinking to relax versus other healthier coping skills. . It’s best to avoid it at all costs.
When you’re feeling stressed out, it’s important to take a step back and consider what exactly is stressing you out so much. Are you taking on too many responsibilities at work? Is there so much on your plate that your basic daily tasks feel unmanageable? If this is the case, consider unloading some of your responsibilities. Stress can present itself in busywork, which actually is an avoidance tactic.
Writing your daily tasks down on paper, and then crossing them off, is a great way to feel more in control and organized so you don’t feel as stressed. Taking some time to relax as part of your day is a great way to relieve stress – take deep breaths, unplug from your electronics, go outside to get air and oxygen, go for a walk, take naps – these are all great ways to unwind so you feel able to deal with any stressors that come your way.
If you’re struggling with the effects of stress, don’t delay in getting help as the effects can be detrimental. We work with leaders and teams – learn the signs and symptoms before it’s too late. Reach out today to get started in going from chaos to calm.