Unhealthy lifestyle habits are some of the biggest stressors. You may not realize it, but some of the habits which you do on a regular basis could be a huge contributor to your stress levels. Do you lift a cigarette to your mouth whenever you’re feeling stressed and anxious? Or do you turn to alcohol to help you re-lax?
You drink more cups of coffee in a day than you should, or stay up late working to find solutions to fix whatever is causing your stress? The thing is, doing any of these can usually only serve to make your stress worse.
Stress and smoking tend to have a direct relationship with one another. For many people, having a cigarette is what they turn to when stressed as they feel that inhaling the smoke from the cigarette calms them and helps to clear their head. For smokers, being addicted to nicotine itself can cause stress levels to rise.
When the body is deprived of nicotine, stress can be a huge symptom of cravings. Since having a cigarette quenches the nicotine cravings, the smoker begins to associate having a cigarette with feeling less stressed. On the other hand, smoking marijuana can have the opposite effect.
If you live in a state where marijuana is legal for either medical or recreational use, you may be able to try using cannabis to help with stress and anxiety.
The problem with turning to alcohol when you are stressed out is that alcohol is a depressant. Have you ever noticed that you are a happy drink when you were feeling good before you started drinking, but if you drink when you’re feeling down, you only end up feeling worse? This is because alcohol tends to heighten which-ever mood you were in when you were sober.
If you drink alcohol when you’re stressed, you could end up feeling worse. Along with that, alcohol can impair your judgement of situations, therefore getting drunk when you’re stressed out could lead to some regret-table decisions. For this reason, it’s vital to consume alcohol in moderation to help control your stress levels. For example, one glass of red wine per night can be good for your health, but it’s important to avoid over consuming.
In moderate amounts, caffeine can be good for us. It speeds up the metabolism and gives your body an energy boost, which can be useful in many situations. However, relying on caffeine can make you feel less energized, tired, and sluggish which in turn can lead to increased levels of stress. If you rely on multiple cups of coffee throughout the day to feel awake or have even turned to energy drinks or caffeine tablets, this could actually be causing you to feel more stressed.
When your body’s relying on caffeine for energy, you will experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms when you’ve not had your cup of coffee, for example – which can include feeling increased levels of stress. If you’re relying on caffeine for your energy, it’s important to cut down gradually. Cutting out caffeine altogether could lead to mild to severe withdrawal symptoms, depending on the level of your dependence. These could include headaches, aches, and pains, feeling lethargic, and stress.
Your sleeping habits are integral to your mental health. How well you sleep at night has a direct correlation to your stress levels. If you’re getting enough sleep and at the right times, you will wake up feeling more refreshed and with a clearer mind to take on the stresses of the day. But busy life and other things can get in the way of us having a good night’s sleep.
To make sure that you are fully rested and reap as many health benefits as possible, you should be aiming to have around six hours’ sleep per night. Waking up early can also have some great health benefits, which is why you should look to sleep before midnight at the very latest. Clearing your mind before you sleep is a vital part of making sure that you get a good night’s rest.
One of the biggest mistakes made by people in the modern day is to take their technology, which comprises a massive part of their lives, to bed with them. If you sit on your laptop in bed doing work or go through your appointments on your smartphone whilst you’re lay in bed, your mind will start to associate getting in bed with working, rather than resting, which can affect your ability to fall into a restful sleep.
Not allowing yourself time to relax and wind down when getting in bed can lead to issues such as insomnia or feeling tired and unrefreshed every morning. In order to get the best sleep every night, you should make your bedroom a tech-free zone after a certain time of the evening. Listening to soft music and using an essential oils diffuser can be great for setting the sleepy mood and allowing yourself to relax and float away into a deep and peaceful sleep each night.
You may not think about it, but your social habits can also contribute to your stress levels. The people who you spend time with and confide in can either be helpful or harmful when it comes to mental health, anxiety and stressed. When you are feeling stressed out, it’s important to surround yourself with people who you can trust to give you the best support.
Understanding how to ask for support and who to turn to can be hugely important when dealing with increased levels of stress and anxiety. When it comes to being stressed out, it can often feel like some people know exactly which buttons to press to get your stress levels rising. Understanding who is contributing to your stress is vital to taking control of the situation and working on it.
Sometimes, the people who cause our stress can mean little to us for example other parents at your child’s school, friends of friends, or people who work with you on the same level. On the other hand, sometimes it’s harder to get away from the people who stress us out they’re your relative, or your boss. In this case, it’s vital to understand how they stress you out.
Sometimes, talking to somebody who is causing you to feel stressed and explaining how you feel in a calm and sensitive manner can be helpful – not only will you feel better off for it, but it can also strengthen your relationship with the other person. Of course, it’s important to remember that if you are going to speak to somebody to tell them how they contribute to your stress, you should do it in a tactful, non-accusatory manner so as not to further damage the relationship.