Stress is the body’s method of dealing with a condition such as a threat, challenge, or emotional and physical barrier in your life.
This could be your day-to-day stress when you run into traffic or someone says something mean to you. Sometimes we deal with stress in a bad way, and it’s important to recognize that.
That way you can deal with stress in your life in a healthy way.
Related Post: How To Reduce Anxiety In Your Life – Science-Based
Here are the most common bad ways people deal with stress and their solutions:
Overthinking is a chronic problem for people who deal with stress. They tend to overthink all the time about every little thing that has happened and/or is currently happening in their life. Overthinking adds to your anxiety and stress.
Think about it…
You are at home and you are just ready to relax, when all of a sudden, your mind starts wandering about a conversation you had earlier in the day. And then you start overthinking how it went, what else you could have said, or what the other person thought about the things you said and so on…
And you are drowning in your own thoughts and you get stuck in a vicious cycle.
Whenever I get caught in my own thoughts and my brain starts wandering around, the best way to create some space in my head is through meditation. Meditation is a great preventative measure that you can take.
Just like with taking vitamins you are less likely to get sick in the future, the same thing applies to Meditation. When you practice it on a frequent and consistent basis, you are less likely to get caught in an Overthinking cycle.
Many of us turn to food as a comfort and a stress reliever. When you’re stressed out, your body releases high amounts of cortisol, known as the stress hormone. Cortisol makes us carve salty, fried, and sugary foods.
Eating those foods, makes us feel better at the moment because we’re filling up our emotional needs. But, not only the problem that we’re stressed about isn’t fixed, afterwards, we feel guilty and embarrassed of overeating.
When you get the sudden urge to eat as a coping mechanism to stress, walking around your block or going on a long walk, tends to work really well with dealing with stress.
When you’re walking, your body releases endorphins, the happy hormone. Also, it puts your mind in a meditative state, clearing up your mind and making you feel more at peace with yourself.
I prefer to walk instead of running because, walking is a low impact activity, so it doesn’t exhaust you as much, and you don’t breathe as heavily. When I come back after my walk, I tend to feel better and my cravings have gone.
Emotional spending is another way of coping mechanism to stress. When we feel stressed out, we tend to think that buying a particular item will make us feel better, that it will prevent additional stress, or we hope that a vacation or an expensive activity will help us escape stress.
Especially in this pandemic that we’re living in, stores are offering crazy sales up to 80 percent off. Seeing a deal like that seems very tempting, almost like losing money if we don’t buy that item. At least that’s what my brain is thinking.
Gratitude is appreciating every meaningful and valuable thing that has happened/is happening in your life.
When you’ll start practicing gratitude, you will feel better about yourself and the people/things around you, and you will be more grateful for the things that you have already. E.g. a roof above your head, food, water, clothes, etc.
You’ll notice that you don’t really want those new shiny shoes or the latest iPhone.
BONUS TIP: Minimalism
Watch Matt D’Avella’s documentary called: Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things.
Watch it all the way till the end, it’s totally worth it. It will change your perception about the materialistic way we live our lives in today’s world.
Picture this. You have a really bad day at work, maybe your boss yelled at you, or your acquaintance mistakenly ate the sandwich that you’ve kept in the fridge with a giant note with your name on it.
Either way, you are mad and stressed out. You come back home and you lash out to your wife and kids, or you go out for some beers with your friends and you get angry, pushy, and starting drama at them.
This has a negative impact on your relationships.
Starting drama can be triggered by a variety of ways:
- It could be you distracting yourself by the entertainment drama can offer.
- It’s easier to blame others for our own misery and sufferings, instead of acknowledging it and making a change.
- You want to feel some other forms of suffering, other than the stress you’re dealing with. E.g. focusing on the confrontation with your S.O, instead of focusing on the fact that you might get fired next Monday.
Solution: Open Up About Your Emotions
Don’t hide the stress you have about something. Allow yourself to truly connect with another person and tell them what is bothering you.
Oftentimes in our lives, we’ve dealt with so much stress that we went to our friend, S.O, mom, dad, brother, sister, and said: “Look, I just need to get this thing out of my chest.”
Sometimes we feel better afterward, but that comes down to how the person responds to our little vent.
The best way I found the other person can help me is to just listen to me and be there to empathize with me, to not judge me, because it’ll make it worse. Simply telling the thing that you are stressed about to another person, can help you get it out of your system, and to process those feelings you have.
Since I was a kid and up to 2 years ago, I took 100 percent of the responsibility in my life.
I was blaming myself for everything that was happening, even if the things that I was blaming myself were out of my control and reach.
After a breakup, I would blame myself and only, or when people that I thought were my friends, did horrible things to me. I thought to myself: “You deserve this, of course, they abandoned you, you weren’t good enough, and they’re right for doing these things to you.”
Also, I would try and fix other’s people’s problems, thinking that I owe them and I am the one to blame for.
This vicious cycle of Self-Blame and Self-Criticism made me stressed and anxious all the time.
Solution: Notice Yourself Succeeding
Instead of taking all the blame, take just the responsibility. Think to yourself what you might’ve done wrong and how you can change that so you can be a better version of yourself.
You have to realize that, we don’t have control over many things in life. So why take the blame?
It’s up to us how we’ll respond to them.
Notice all the victories in your life, no matter the size.
Remember the time that you went for a walk instead of eating that chocolate bar? Or the time that you took a big breath and talked to someone instead of lashing at them? Or the time that you didn’t press the Proceed to Checkout button when you were stressed out?
You have to give it to yourself when you have small victories like these.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article on how to deal with stress! If you have any tips on how you deal with stress, please feel free and comment down below!
What’s your bad way of dealing with stress? Did I cover it in the article? Let me know!