What is Stress? How to Cope With the Stress? What are the Unhealthy Ways to Cope Stress?
Stress, as we know is a state in which body responses to a certain situation or situations. It’s a chain of psychological reactions and physiological reactions that body gives to cope with certain situations. Normally when the environment and the situation change, some emotional and physical reactions occur, which we call the stress. It’s the body’s way of responding the change. So, whenever a change occurs we feel the stress. Stress is a part of our life and not all the stress is bad. Sometimes it gives the energy, zest and excitement for living. But there’s bad stress and this can be very harmful for the health. Long term stress can lead to many diseases and conditions.
Stress can happen because of the environmental factors, fatigue, overwork, lifestyle, illness and even from loneliness. It is important to cope with the stress in the right way and carefully. There are simple and easy steps to overcome stress. Stress cannot be avoided but should be handled properly otherwise it can be the cause of some dangerous diseases and conditions. Stress can lead to heart disease, hypertension, muscle spasms, poor immunity, sleeping difficulties and stomach upset etc.
Managing stress is taking charge of the situation and lifestyle. It is important for you to know how you want to deal with the situation or problem. You cannot avoid stressful situation but you can take the charge and address it in a proper way. Sometimes you cannot change the stressor, so change yourself. Attitude is the key. Take control of the situation, keep the right attitude and face the situation with positive note. It is very important that you are doing it in a right way. Sometimes people take the wrong roads to handle the stress. As a result of that, the stressful situation gets worse and it causes more damage in the long run.
Unhealthy Ways of Coping With Stress
Just like the right ways to coping with stress, it is also important to know what the unhealthy ways to coping with stress.
Five Most Common Unhealthy Ways of Coping With Stress:
• One of the most common unhealthy ways to handle stress is smoking. Some people believe they feel stress free by smoking but it may not be true. Even if it’s true then its effect is temporary and smoking causes many health problems and it really does not solve the issue at all.
• Alcohol and drugs are even worse than smoking to cope with stress. Alcohol will actually make the stress worse. You might feel better while drinking, but when you quit drinking, you will have a hangover which only makes stress and your already frayed nerves much worse. So then you start drinking again to feel better. This vicious cycle continues day after day until you have become an alcoholic. Drugs are the same way, they make you feel better at first, but then you have to do more and more drugs to feel the same way. Prescriptions (and illegal drugs) are very expensive, so in a way, you are creating a new stress, losing money on drugs.
• Excessive sleeping does not make anyone stress free. Rather too much of sleeping makes you stressed out and tired. A good sleeping pattern is more important to cope with the stress.
• Bad eating habits such as under eating and overeating, both are bad for coping with stress. Under eating leads to malnutrition and overeating or eating too much processed foods also leads to many health problems. A well balanced diet is much more important to cope with stress and other health problems.
• Do not delay the situation. Facing the situation the way it is and right on time is important. Procrastination can only add more stress to life. The reason procrastination makes stress worse, is because you will think and dwell on the situation that is already making you stressed day in and day out. The longer you delay dealing with the situation that is causing you stress, the more stressful the situation becomes. Sit down and write out plans to end the stressful situation, so you can resolve what is making you so stressed in the first place. Ignoring the situation only makes the procrastination worse each day.
• Staying busy is a good thing but if it is stopping you to face the stressful situation and you are using it as an escape route then it’s a problem. Many people try to stay busy in order to mask the problem. This is just like delaying to face the actual situation. Not facing the problem and hiding behind the work is not going to solve the matter. It is a bad way to cope with the stressful situation.
If the stress management techniques are not right then they will cause more harm than good. Bad stress management may lead to various mental and physical problems. Therefore, it is important to know the root causes of stress and should cope it properly and carefully.
If you need to, find a therapist that you can talk to and hopefully find a way to get over the stress and the situation that is causing the stress. Do not feel embarrassed to talk to a therapist.