It’s Stress Awareness Week and apart from being stressed and loving it, we’re about to show you the best and worst ways people can deal with stress. Before that, let’s remind ourselves that stress is part of our lives and it’s more or less our fight or flight response to external stressors. It’s normal to have it in small amounts, but to have unhealthy loads of stress for prolonged periods of time can have an adverse effect on people. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it starting with the best and worst ways to deal with your stress:
Bad Way Number 1: Vices (i.e. Alcohol, Cigarettes and the like)
Alcohol and cigarettes oftentimes are a means to calm the nerves and help people get through the day. However, it’s been found to increase the impact of stress on people once the high wears off. This sets you up for what people call a vicious cycle.
Bad Way Number 2: Sleeping your Troubles Away
Regular and adequate sleep is great and everyone knows the typical bad effects of not having enough sleep. However, studies show that too much sleep can also have negative effects. It can lead to feeling more tired overall and it also makes focusing on tasks harder. This leads you into a state of lethargy that prevents you from dealing with the things that cause your stress. Lethargy has also been tied with an increased risk for heart and diabetic health problems.
Bad Way Number 3: Ignore the Problem
Just like sleeping your troubles away, ignoring the problem doesn’t do anything to fix it. It only prolongs your agony. The issue will also likely worsen if you leave it alone for too long. The best thing to do would be to manage the problem and work out a plan to get it out of the way at your earliest convenience.
Good Way Number 1: Get Some Fresh Air
When you’re in a stressed state, moving away from your “work area” for a breath of fresh air can positively relieve you of your stress by diverting your tired eyes from the task at hand to a brief. If the air outside isn’t particularly welcoming or stress-relieving, you can achieve some of the same effects with a desk plant and just taking an occasional walk away from your work area where much of your energy and focus is aimed towards.
Good Way Number 2: Rely on Rituals
Having a routine for the day can help give your body a way to lock-in to your body clock for work and rest time since they can, at the very least, get you in a mental-state for productivity and sleep once certain things have been achieved. Also, having routines can offer a way to counter stress by offering “mini-escapes” from the stress that have a set procedure and closure that gives one a sense of relief.
Good Way Number 3: Take a Bath
Even something as mundane and unassuming as a bath can be amazingly effective at relieving stress. All those shower scenes in movies where characters are portrayed as relieved, reflective or energized are so relatable for anyone who’s ever had a bad day or a bad morning. Washing away the dirt and grime from your daily commute or your time at the gym offers you physical relief, and subconscious means to mark the start or end of your day, drawing the line between “at work” and “at home”.
Looking back at the list so far, it becomes apparent that the way we deal with stress isn’t always something extremely specific or special. In fact, they are mundane and often tied to the habits we maintain. The trick then is to make sure that we take the time and effort to curate the tiny details in our lives so they don’t end up fanning the flames we are trying to put out. Of course, there are many more ways to deal with stress, and what works best will always be up to you. Just make sure to occasionally stop and ask yourself “Is this healthy? And does this actually benefit me more than it detriments my situation?” The answer is for you to figure out. Hopefully, the list above can give you a little nudge in the right direction.