What helps and what hinders when it comes to stress

Just like everyone’s cause of stress or how it affects them are different, the way people manage stress also varies. Many times, though, what can seem to relieve stress, can also have negative health consequences.

  • Spending hours watching television or using the computer and other electronics can lead to sedentary lifestyles. The lack of physical activity can lead to increased weight.
  • Smoking can seem to relax someone, but that is only temporary and ultimately increases tension and anxiety. Once the temporary relaxed feeling is gone, a person can experience withdrawal symptoms and can crave to smoke more which can lead to addiction. Smoking has been linked to lung cancer.
  • Drinking alcohol might also provide a sense of relaxation and excitement at first, but once the blood alcohol content level in your system falls, you are left with the feeling of anxiety, depression, or stress that you were trying to escape.
  • Emotional eating can lead to unhealthy eating habits since most people will resort to sweets, junk food, and other comfort food. Over-eating or not eating at all will not provide the proper nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
  • Using pills or drugs to relax can lead to addiction. Unless they are prescribed by a health care professional, it is best to not use these and find alternatives ways of coping.
  • While many find some comfort in shopping, it is often a stressful activity when the stores are crowded. It is even more stressful when it comes to paying the credit card bill for all the purchases made.
  • Procrastination is another way many try to avoid a problem or an issue. However, they soon come to find out that the problem does not go away and they must face it at some point, now with even less time and more pressure to complete a job or project.
  • Do not isolate yourself from others. Social connectedness enhances mental and emotional health

Many times, stress relief is found in things a person does or stops doing. However, sometimes help is needed to manage the situation and it is ok to seek that assistance. Speaking to professionals can help get a person back on track. Please reach out to your primary care doctor and let them know what you are going through, what you are feeling, and how you are trying to cope. They can suggest other alternatives to help you manage your stress and can help address unhealthy coping strategies.