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Most of us don’t really know how to cope when our lives are chaotic.
We turn to unhealthy habits that make us feel better (temporarily), like drinking or playing video games.
It’s just like sweeping your problems under the rug.
Out of sight so you don’t really have to deal with them.
But still there and unresolved.
The challenge is, when we’re stressed, we fall into a trap of unhealthy habits that are tough to break.
These habits form when you just need something to take the edge off.
Stressed and overwhelmed isn’t comfortable to sit in.
So you find that drinking a glass of wine at the end of a hard day is the best answer. It helps take your mind off of your issues for a while.
Eventually this becomes a regular thing to do.
And then every time you’re stressed, instead of fixing the problem, you end up resorting to bad things to make you feel better.
But, most of the time we aren’t even aware these things are bad for us, or why.
Let’s work on getting to the bottom of some of the things you should stop doing if you’re feeling stressed out.
This way, you can start to understand the things that do help the most when you’re stressed.
Here are 8 things you should stop doing if you’re feeling stressed
1. Emotional Eating
Comfort food tastes the best after a long, tough day at work.
Maybe you even use it as a reward for getting through those days.
But, using food as a way to handle stress isn’t very sustainable. Especially if it happens every time you get stressed out.
You might feel good for a little bit, but afterwards you’ll feel guilty. Which can feed into the stress (no pun intended J).
Emotional eating can also cause a bad cycle of feeling like you need to eat any time your cortisol levels are off.
And you’re feeling guilty about eating too much might cause you to eat more to cover up your feelings.
A better way to deal with your stress is by addressing your emotional feelings and getting to the root of the problem.
Think about how you’re feeling during your stressful times. Are you angry, sad, or depressed?
Once you pinpoint your emotion, and what is causing that emotion, you’ll begin to learn how to deal with stress without relying on food.
2. Avoiding your problems
We all try to avoid our problems at some point or another.
Sometimes, it might be necessary just to find a distraction and clear your mind.
But, avoiding every problem will cause a lot of issues in your life.
When things get tough, some people’s first instinct is to run away and pretend like nothing is wrong.
This is unhealthy because you don’t how to properly build up the mental strength to get through bad times.
It all starts with your outlook on your life, and choosing to avoid problems can cause tension between people close to you.
It also doesn’t give you a chance to deal with the issue and move onto something better.
Start small and create a to-do list of everything that needs to be taken care of.
Then work on holding yourself accountable to accomplish the small goals you set for yourself.
This will teach you how to handle discomfort and give you confidence to know you’ll get through anything.
3. Giving into unhealthy urges
Whether it’s smoking, eating, drinking, or any other vice out there, they aren’t the right way to handle stress.
When you give into an urge, you make it that much harder to resist it the next time it comes up.
Giving into urges means you’re weakening your mental strength and willpower.
It eventually turns into an unhealthy habit that becomes really tough break.
You can practice ignoring your urges (even though it’s really hard!) and every time an urge comes up, practice telling yourself “this is just a temptation, and I haven’t trained my brain long enough to know I don’t do that anymore.”
It’s going to take a lot to overcome some of those urges, especially with smoking and drinking.
Having an addiction makes it almost impossible to never give in.
But, you can start today with baby steps and work on building up your mental strength and dealing with stress in a healthier way.
4. Ignoring health issues
Stress can cause a number of health issues, like:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
And plenty more, but these are issues that can be life threatening.
And if you start to let stress completely control your life, it will start to affect other people who care about you.
If you ever feel off and it lasts for a couple of days, don’t ignore it and wait for it to go away.
Go see your doctor and talk about what’s going on. They might determine an underlying issue.
5. Watching too much TV/News
Nothing stresses me out more than turning on 4 o’clock news. It’s usually only bad stuff and gives me a bad feeling in my stomach.
Consuming too much negativity or watching too much TV can increase your stress levels.
We weren’t meant to sit all day at work and come home and sit all night in front of the TV.
It’s not always bad, but moderation is important.
I’ve completely stop watching the news and my stress levels have reduced.
I don’t feel so scared because I limit how much information I give myself.
It’s always good to be aware of your surroundings, but watching the news can do more harm than good.
And it can make it seem like the world isn’t that great of a place, which definitely isn’t true.
Hiding behind your work to deal with stress is a common problem.
Technology allows you to be in constant contact with co-workers, even if that’s at 10pm at night.
Society has created a world where if you’re not insanely busy at all hours of the day, you’re doing something wrong.
This is what’s causing a lot of stress and it’s taking a toll on our health.
It’s actually much healthier to take breaks and set boundaries with work.
Not just for your health right now, but in the future. Eventually you’ll come to a point where you don’t have to work anymore.
Learning how to accept that you don’t have to be a workaholic to be accepted by other people is a huge step to take to reduce your stress.
Start by leaving work at work and setting your phone to away at night.
Once you set those limits, other people will learn to respect them and you’ll feel more relaxed and it will allow you to enjoy the important moments of your life.
7. Mis-Managing Your Time
Do you ever hop onto Facebook to see if you have any notifications, and end up getting sucked into for like an hour?
Maybe it’s just me, but losing track of time is very easy to do.
On any given day you probably have a running to-do list that grows by the minute.
And when it comes down to checking these things off your list, you realize certain things take way more time to get done than others.
That’s why knowing how to manage your time can drastically reduce stress.
With hectic to-do lists and not feeling like there’s enough time, we start to procrastinate because it’s too overwhelming.
You can nix the problem in the butt by sitting down and focusing on important things that need to get done.
Then you can determine how long each task is going to take and slowly spread them out throughout the week or month.
It takes discipline on your part to tackle your to-do list, but you’ll quickly find that it will allow you to get a lot more done in less time.
Which leaves more time to focus on you and have some important relaxation time!
8. People Pleasing
People pleasing turns into over filling your schedule, which turns into a lot of unwanted stress.
Even feeling the need to please people causes stress.
Worrying about what others think will only lower your confidence and make you question a lot of things you do.
The most important thing you can start doing is saying no. During times when it’s desperately needed.
Saying no is not the easiest thing to do, because we as humans have a need to fit in and seek the approval of others.
It’s in our genes, so it makes sense that it’s pretty difficult to set boundaries with people.
But, it will give you back control over your life.
It first starts with knowing what your limits are, and how much you are comfortable with taking on.
After you do that, managing your time will be easier because there won’t be so much on your plate.
And trust me, the more often you bite the bullet and tell someone no when you’re too busy, the easier it will be to do it in the future!
If you’re looking for more help with solving the problems in your life to help reduce stress, make sure to check out Natalie Bacon’s Design Your Dream Life Academy.
Design Your Dream Life Academy talks all about:
- Emotions and feelings
- Overwhelm, burnout, and busyness
- Time management
- Goal setting
- Bonus lessons on skills to get good at.
The course is packed full of information that begins with changing your mindset to push through obstacles and ends with giving you important life skills that everyone needs to know.
You can check out the course by clicking here!
If you enjoyed this article or have any questions, leave a comment below!
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