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Are you dealing with stress the wrong way?

Stress. It’s bad for our health. But here’s how NOT to deal with it. Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.

Stress is so bad for our health. It can affect our bodies and our minds, causing symptoms as diverse as headaches, depression and weight loss or gain. Worse than that, it can push us into making poor decisions and doing things that we probably wouldn’t do were we not stressed.

Dealing with stress the wrong way is really quite common, but it is to be avoided at all costs if you want to come out of the other side in good shape. With that in mind, here are some example of how people deal with stress the WRONG way:

Drinking to Excess

There’s nothing wrong with having a little drink to unwind now and again, but if you start medicating your stress by drinking regularly and to excess you have a problem. Alcohol’s effects on your brain can be serious and can cause a whole host of problems, including depression and addiction. Anyway, it won’t actually get rid of your stress. Sure, you might feel a bit better for a little while, but when you wake up in the morning hungover, dehydrated and late for work, your stress is just going to be greater than it was before you picked up that glass.

Smoking

Many people who’ve successfully quit smoking in the past, take it up again when they’re feeling stressed out. This is obviously a very bad idea – you just have to look at the effects of smoking to see that –and it won’t work. You’ll still be just as stressed out when you’re smoking that cigarette as you were before. The only reason why people feel calmer after smoking is because they have a nicotine addiction and by smoking, they’re satisfying that craving. If you’ve given up smoking long ago, you won’t feel that effect, and you will have poisoned your body for no good reason.

Eating Too Much

She overeats when she's stressed out

Overeating is a common response to stress but it isn’t a healthy one. Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Emotional eating and stress go hand in hand for many people, but it really isn’t a good idea to up your junk food intake, or your calorie intake when you’re feeling stressed out. For one thing, eating too much will put more stress on your body as your blood pressure rises and you start to feel the negative effects of excess, and if you start to gain weight, you’ll probably end up feeling even worse about that. I know sometimes it’s hard to stop overeating when you’re stressed, but you really must try hard to break the habit and maintain a healthy diet, perhaps by joining a support group for overeaters, if you want to make positive progress with your health. It really is very important.

Pretend It Isn’t Happening

Stress is like any other health issue, and as such, you really should not ignore it. If you have any hope of dealing with your stress in a healthy way and regaining your mental equilibrium, you need to accept that you have a problem, seek help for it and make as many positive changes in your life to lower your stress levels as you can, even if that means finding a new job or ditching your spouse. You need to put yourself first!

Seeing a doctor or psychiatrist might also be a good idea if the stress is really getting to you and you can’t see a way through it yourself.

Doing Nothing

Something that many people who are under stress end up doing is isolating themselves and doing very little with their days. They spend all of their spare time in their PJs rewatching Friends for the millionth time or aimlessly searching the internet. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this does them no good whatsoever.

There’s nothing wrong with having the odd lazy day when you’re under mental strain, but if all your days sound like the above, then you are only going to feel worse, and your stress might even turn into depression. So, make appointments with friends, treat yourself to a spa day or sign up to a yoga class right now.

If you don’t do anything else, at least get some exercise because, although you probably won’t feel like it, it will get the adrenaline pumping and the endorphins flowing through your system, which will immediately make you feel a bit better and, if you do it regularly, a lot more relaxed.

Not Relaxing

When you’re stressed out, it should be obvious that you need to take some time out to rest and relax, but it really isn’t. So many people keep putting in 12 hours days at the office, running around after their kids 24/7 and generally not giving themselves a break. This just won’t do. I know it might not always be convenient, but taking some time out to relax, whether by meditating, reading a good book, practicing Tai Chi or doing whatever it is that makes you feel happy, will really help you to de-stress and get back to a good place. Ideally, you should spend at least one hour a day de-stressing and perhaps set aside one weekend a month to concentrate on yourself.

Saying Yes

Saying yes all the time? No wonder you're stressed.

If you know you’ll be stressed, just say no! Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Some people have a real problem with the word ‘no.’ They just can’t seem to say it to anyone, even when what they’re being asked to do is something they would sooner avoid like the plague. If you’re one of these people, then it’s little wonder that you’re depressed. So, next time your kid’s teacher asks you to help out with an event, your kids are desperate to go to the amusement park in the next town, or your boss wants you to stay back and look over a contract, if you know it’ll make you even more stressed, just say no!

Now that you know some of the main things that might be causing your stress to worsen, or at least be preventing you from getting better, you can avoid them. I know you won’t be able to avoid everything here all of the time, but if you do your best, then you will soon see an improvement in your stress levels, which makes it all worthwhile.

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84 Comments

  1. mytenantdepression July 13, 2017

    Thank you!!!!! I straight away went to smokefree.gov and made myself a quitting plan!!!!!:) thank you!💗

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 13, 2017

      Ohhh you made my day! <3

  2. shehannemoore July 13, 2017

    Hats off to you once again. You’re a one clever lady xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 13, 2017

      YOU help keep me going xx

    2. shehannemoore July 14, 2017

      No way do you need that you smart lady. I still mean it re a self help book for today’s world . You have all the posts here you know xxxxxxxxxx

  3. Graham in Hats July 13, 2017

    I read somewhere (I do that sometimes) that there are two kinds of stress. One drives us to overcome what it is possible to overcome. The second seems to be without solution and drains our energy and confidence. Sometimes we have to put the cause out of our lives. Sometimes it is an endeavour. Sometimes it is a person.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 13, 2017

      Stress can be a good thing, like a motivator. I see what you’re pointing out here. This article focuses on when stress gets to the point of being overwhelming for the individual. :)

    2. Graham in Hats July 13, 2017

      Quite so. :-)

  4. Zheng Fan Minimalist July 13, 2017

    Stressful people are good business and good economy drivers.

    People spend so much money on retail therapy to comfort themselves when they are stress. Fast food, smoking and drinking, drugs, massage and spa, travel, shopping.

    Nobody really wants you to be stress-free.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 13, 2017

      I wonder if it is possible to be completely stress-free? Haha you’re right that if we all have no stress than certain sectors will be out of business – I never thought of it like that!

  5. Edmark M. Law July 13, 2017

    When I’m stressed, I run. That normally works wonders for me. I also like to read and watch some funny videos.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      I remember when I was really down I used to watch a funny TV show called “Wipeout.” Your comment just reminded me of that. I hope you have a stress-free rest of your day :)

  6. John Fioravanti July 13, 2017

    Good article, Christy, we can all find something here we can use to relieve our stress.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 13, 2017

      Yes, while it might vary from person to person there will be something useful for everyone. Thanks John. I know you’re busy so it is very nice you stop by :)

    2. John Fioravanti July 13, 2017

      There’s no rest for the wicked, Christy! ;)

    3. Christy B July 13, 2017

      You’re not wicked. I’d say instead “no rest for the kind-hearted” :)

    4. John Fioravanti July 13, 2017

      You are a sweet person, Christy! It’s funny, but that was one of my mom’s favourite expressions.

  7. Eating is my way of dealing with stress. It has been a problem all my life. It’s getting better but it is still an addiction I try to control.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      I think it’s awesome that you realize the pattern as that’s usually the hardest part. Now you can use strategies to control it, as you say. We all get off the wagon too so don’t be too hard on yourself if it happens. I tend NOT to eat when I’m stressed so we all have our things xx

  8. milfordstreet July 13, 2017

    Great list Christy. Cheers

    Reply
  9. Amy July 13, 2017

    Great information you have provided, Christy! So well said. :)

    Reply
  10. Prajakta July 13, 2017

    Such simple tips, yet we don’t remember to follow. Honestly, I haven’t even learnt to recognize what “being stressed” means – recognizing I am stressed is the first step that I fail at. Irrespective of that, we should try to follow some of these tips :)

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Sometimes it’s the seemingly simplest things that are the hardest, right?! Thanks Prajakta :)

  11. Lovely post for all especially for those who are going through these problems

    Reply
  12. Barbara Franken July 14, 2017

    Great article Christy x 😘

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Sending big hugs, Barbara :)

  13. I like that you brought in both relaxing but not being too extreme about it. Great point here.

    Reply
  14. Anita July 14, 2017

    When I’m stressed, I write
    Great post, thank you for sharing
    Kisses

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Wonderful that you use your writing to work through stress :) Happy Friday, Anita!

  15. The Thinker July 14, 2017

    Again, great read Christy. “Drinking to Excess” – been there, pulled myself back. Smoking – won’t go there at present, although I’m not a stress related smoker :) “Eating Too Much” – I was the opposite, I didn’t eat. Wanted to eat, but just couldn’t. “Saying Yes” – too many people are afraid to say No. When they do, the ‘listener’ if they are indeed listening doesn’t hear it. I think to ‘deal’ with stress as with anything, in a positive way, it has to come from within a person, they have to want to get themselves out of the stressful situation they may find themselves in, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      It sounds like you have certainly learned from the circumstances that have presented themselves around you. It’s all about coping, and some ways are healthier than others. By seeing our patterns – and facing them, that’s the hard part – we can start to change behaviors. Thanks for “thinking” with me here :)

  16. The Thinker July 14, 2017

    I will add, how a person deals with stress may be down to what type of stress a person finds themselves under, whether it be emotional, physical, mental, professional to mention but a few.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Great addition here. Stress has many forms – and intensities.

  17. robertcday July 14, 2017

    I read this great book this year called *You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life* by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, which is about reprogramming your brain using psychological techniques and neural plasticity to overcome some of these bad habits. Worth a look if you want to change yourself. ( No, I’m not on commission :) )
    Nice article, Christy – thanks for sharing.
    Kindness – Robert.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      You should be getting affiliate rates with that complimentary comment about the book ;) For some people reading books helps, other people benefit from in-person counseling, and still other options work for people. I know someone in hypnotherapy and it’s helping her.

    2. robertcday July 14, 2017

      All true, Christy. :)
      I don’t think I’m amenable to hypnosis. I once broke my tape-player (yeah, it was that long ago) because I didn’t trust the hypnotherapy tape. I was supposed to leave it in to play while I slept, but when I woke up in the morning, the tape-player had stopped working without playing the tape.
      I reckon I’m unhypnotisable.
      What works for me is reading and trying stuff out myself. And actually, I’m almost perfect now. All I need to do is working on my humility and I’ll be there. As soon as I get hold of a book on the subject I’m sure I’ll be a natural. ;)

    3. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Ohhhh I can only imagine how much more witty you are in person! I’d have to be quick to make sure I have comebacks ready ((brings out the flashcards I mentioned in my most recent post)) ~ Haha

    4. robertcday July 15, 2017

      I wish I were that witty in ‘real life’ – actually I’m a mumbling, jumbly jerk.
      *sighs*

    5. Christy B July 15, 2017

      I hope you don’t think that badly about yourself. That won’t help with stress, which this article is about! Instead, I wish you a weekend of kindness :)

    6. robertcday July 15, 2017

      I’m resisting the hints to read the piece, but I’m losing the battle …

  18. Norah July 14, 2017

    Great advice, Christy!

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Great to see you, Norah :) Happy Friday!

  19. Tanya July 14, 2017

    Great post Christy! Xo

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      You rock!!

    2. Tanya July 14, 2017

      Shucks! Thanks 😄xo

    3. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Just sayin’ :)

  20. theldnat July 14, 2017

    Always nice to spend some time reading a post on your blog Christy! Which is one of the reasons I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award 🙂
    Congratulations and keep up the good work! xx

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      You’re so kind to have nominated me :) Thanks again

  21. Chinedu Victor July 14, 2017

    That’s great. I even will be sharing something on stress too soon. Great post indeed. 👍🏽

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Oh wonderful as it’s an important topic

  22. PureJoy bynina July 14, 2017

    This is great adwise and so true, I have shared this with friends. Thank you 😎😘

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Appreciate it! I found your Facebook page and liked it :)

    2. PureJoy bynina July 15, 2017

      Oh thank you so much 😁 Have a magical day 😙

    3. Christy B July 15, 2017

      You too, Nina <3

    4. PureJoy bynina July 16, 2017

      Thank you 😘

  23. Jay July 14, 2017

    Yeah, ignoring it is pretty much the worst.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Especially since it just compounds in weight on our shoulders

  24. Jade M. Wong July 14, 2017

    Such straightforward tips and yet it is so hard to actually make ourselves do them. Thank you for the reminder Christy!

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Easier said than done… I get what you mean, Jade. Thanks for being here!

  25. vivachange77 July 14, 2017

    Your suggestions are spot on, Christy.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 14, 2017

      It’s tough to point out what we’re doing wrong but hopefully by realizing patterns in the self that can lead to positive change. Thanks for your support <3

  26. Christy B July 14, 2017

    Thank you, Michael :) Enjoy the weekend ahead!

    Reply
    1. OIKOS™-Redaktion July 14, 2017

      Thank you very much, Christy! Also best wishes for the weekend to you ;-) Michael

    2. Christy B July 14, 2017

      Thanks, my friend! It’s sunny here – I’ll take it, hehe ;)

    3. OIKOS™-Redaktion July 15, 2017

      Hey, now we have rainy days, but we also love it ;-)

    4. Christy B July 15, 2017

      :) So long as you’re happy, that’s what really matters :)

  27. shraddha1993 July 14, 2017

    Nicely described!!

    Reply
  28. Good read! You’re right though our society seems to have a hard time accepting that it’s ok to pay attention to what we are feeling and process our emotions. Everyone likes to walk around thinking they got this but internally they are falling apart.

    Reply
  29. Anna (apeaceoflife) July 15, 2017

    Great post Christy x

    Reply
    1. Anna (apeaceoflife) July 15, 2017

      re-blogged :) x

    2. Christy B July 15, 2017

      I appreciate it :) A nice surprise for a Saturday!

    3. Christy B July 15, 2017

      Anna :) <3

  30. Susan Sproull July 16, 2017

    Hi Christy,

    Sound advice for dealing with stress. Have as stress free week. :)

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 17, 2017

      Hi Susan xx Awww thank you and your support is.. awesome.

  31. twoladiesandababyuk July 17, 2017

    I feel this blog has been personally written for me right now…so so relatable!! Following and look forward to future posts x

    Reply
  32. Wm. Allen July 20, 2017

    Excellent post Christy

    Reply
  33. cathleentownsend July 23, 2017

    I’ve been stressing myself out over writing lately, and for some reason I just realized how counterproductive this is. I’ve already experienced some success. I need to learn to enjoy it, so I can enjoy writing again. Can’t for the life of me figure out why it took me so long to figure this out. :)

    Reply
  34. Amy Caudill July 24, 2017

    Unfortunately for most of us, some or all of these “wrong” ways you listed are almost instinctual responses to stress. What we really need to do, instead, is take a deep breath, step away from the situation, or confide in someone, so we can discover a way to deal with or eliminate the cause of our stress. Easier said than done, I know.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 24, 2017

      Yes, confiding in someone else can give us a new perspective… if we’re willing to listen. Thanks for the feedback, Amy xx

  35. brookslockett July 26, 2017

    Awesome article!

    Reply
  36. ryzoskatespasaulis April 24, 2018

    Yes, yes it’s so similar to the truth :)

    Reply

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