Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms You Shouldn’t Use To Deal With Stress

Stress is something we all have to face, but, just because it is common, it doesn’t mean that it’s right. In fact, left unmanaged, stress can begin to build, leading to illness and worse in the future. There are lots of positive and productive ways to deal with stress, but sometimes our first responses aren’t the most healthy.  This often tends to increase your stress levels and exacerbate the problem. With that in mind, here are five ways you should never deal with stress.

Drinking Too Much Caffeine

Whether it be through tea, coffee, or some sort of energy drink, we all enjoy a good caffeine fix now and then. While the odd drink shouldn’t cause too much harm, you should remember that caffeine is a drug, and like most drugs, it can be addictive. When you start to depend on caffeine to get through the day, it can cause you to become jittery and make it harder to get to sleep at night. For this reason, you should try to cut back and drink more water instead.

Eating The Worries Away

Burying yourself in a tub of ice cream can make you feel better when you’ve had a bad day. However, when this emotional eating becomes a coping mechanism, it can start to risk your health. It may also lead to weight gain, which will only give you something else to be worried about. Instead, you should try to adopt healthier eating habits and make time to prepare three nutritious meals a day. If you like to snack, then carry healthier options with you, like popcorn.

Self-Medicating With Substances

Smoking, drinking, and taking drugs provides a temporary relief from your worries, but they’re far from a cure. In fact, it can lead to addiction, which can cause further stress in almost every area of your life. If you’re already struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, then speak to a professional, who can suggest treatment options, like an inpatient drug rehab. For smoking, there are lots of programs out there to help you quit, as well as support groups and forums.

Shopping When You Shouldn’t

Buying yourself a new top or pair of shoes now and then provides retail therapy and is a method of self-care many people adopt. That being said, you do need to know the difference between that behavior and a compulsive need to overspend. If you’re spending money you don’t have on things that you don’t need, then you can land yourself in financial trouble. You need to know where to draw the line and find less costly ways to make yourself feel better.

Pretending There’s No Problem

Ignoring stress or things that stress you out is never a sensible thing to do. It doesn’t actually fix anything, which means that your stressor becomes a permanent addition to your life, causing continuous anxiety that eventually leads to illness. It can also start to damage relationships with loved ones, as many people dealing with stress tend to hide away so that people don’t notice that something is wrong. It’s much better to tackle things head on and get the support that you need.

 

Taking care of your stress is important, but you should avoid using the unhealthy methods listed above.

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Meghan Thompson

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