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The Art of Thriving: How to Avoid Using Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms to Deal With Stress

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It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that the U.S. is one of the most stressed-out countries in the entire world. In recent years, surveys have shown that about 80% of people report feeling at least some level of stress on a regular basis.

But it is a little bit surprising to see so many people using unhealthy ways to deal with stress. From throwing back caffeinated drinks and sucking down cigarettes to racking up massive amounts of debt and eating more than they should, people have formed a lot of bad habits in the process of trying to get a grip on stress.

Try to steer clear of developing these types of habits at all costs. They are unhealthy coping mechanisms that are likely going to make your stress even worse than it already is over time.

Check out some better ways to manage stress below.

Start by Trying to Identify the Source of Your Stress

People get stressed out over all sorts of things. Some of the most common causes of stress are:

  • Family life
  • Work
  • Money
  • Politics

What is it that has you so stressed out? If you aren’t sure, you’re going to be more likely to turn to unhealthy ways to deal with stress.

Sit down and try to get to the bottom of what is causing your stress to skyrocket—and be as specific as you can with it.

For example, it’s not always enough to simply say that work is stressing you out. Instead, you need to nail down what it is about work that is leading to stress.

It might be that you feel as though you’re not getting paid enough to do the job that you’re asked to do. Or it might be that you’ve been completely unable to maintain any semblance of a work-life balance over the last six months.

By finding out what’s causing you to be so stressed out, you can work to do something about it. This will stop you from having to find unhealthy ways to cope with stress.

See If There Is a Way to Stop Yourself From Feeling So Stressed

What can you do to stop yourself from feeling so stressed out day in and day out? As long as you’ve positively identified the source of your stress, you shouldn’t have too much trouble coming up with potential solutions.

If, for instance, you’re finding that your work-life balance is all off right now, you can consider:

  • Making it a point to stop responding to work emails after-hours
  • Turning your cell phone off once the weekend starts
  • Telling your boss you can’t stay at work late anymore
  • Scheduling regular vacations for you and your family
  • Picking up a new hobby and devoting at least some of your time to it

By doing one or two—or maybe even all!—of these things, you can get your work-life balance back and stop feeling as stressed out as you are right now.

This approach works with more than just work-related stress, too. You can apply it to almost all of the different areas of your life.

Find Healthier Ways to Manage Your Stress

In this day and age, there aren’t many people who lead lives that are 100% stress-free. It’s almost impossible to do it.

But there are a lot of people who have discovered healthy ways to manage their stress. This prevents them from having to lean on unhealthy ways to deal with stress.

Many of these people use exercise as a means of fighting back against stress. They run five miles, spend an hour lifting weights, or play a few games of pickup basketball, and they feel less stressed out once they’re done.

And this is just one of the many healthy ways to manage stress. You can also do things like:

  • Practice meditation
  • Find a creative outlet like drawing or playing an instrument
  • Hang out more with family and friends

Some people have also started to use things like CBD oil for anxiety. Doing something as simple as that could work wonders for you.

Stay Away From Situations That Send Your Stress Levels Soaring

Do you feel your stress levels go up when you speak with a specific co-worker? Does your stress increase when you spend time around a particular family member? Is your stress through the roof when you interact with a certain ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend?

In some cases, like one involving a co-worker, you might not be able to remove yourself from stressful situations altogether. But more often than not, you can find ways to steer clear of situations that cause your stress levels to spike.

Ask Others for Help With Managing Stress When You Need It

If you’ve tried a bunch of different things to manage stress better and you find yourself running right back to the unhealthy ways to deal with stress, you might not be able to knock your stress out on your own.

It’s not a bad idea to schedule an appointment with a professional who can speak with you about managing stress more effectively. They can give you some much-needed tips that will help you make your life a lot less stressful than it is at the moment.

Don’t be afraid to turn for others when you feel like you need help. Everyone needs a hand sometimes, and there are plenty of people out there who are prepared to give it to you. 

Stop Relying on Unhealthy Ways to Deal With Stress

When you choose to use one of the unhealthy ways to deal with stress, you’re also choosing to make your life more stressful than it is.

These habits might make you feel better for a minute, an hour, or even a full day. But they’re not going to make your stress go away.

In fact, they might make your stress come back stronger than ever before. It’ll keep you locked in a vicious cycle that you can’t escape through unhealthy habits.

Find more solutions for battling stress by browsing through the informative articles on our blog.

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