Stress Management Practices: What Works and What Doesn’t
Stress is unavoidable. This statement is a fact that most people are highly aware of nowadays. Every culture in the world has some degree of stress. People of all ages and from all walks of life experience a certain degree of stress on a daily basis.
Although it is not totally detrimental, constant or repeated exposure to high levels of stress has been known to cause a number of negative physical, mental, social and emotional issues. This is why it is vital to have effective stress management practices. There is no need to worry about finding an effective way to cope with stress — many options are available. Each individual simply has to pick one he or she believes is best suited to him- or herself.
However, some people end up resorting to the wrong stress relief practices. Yes, there are wrong stress relief practices. They are capable of providing relief from the immediate emotions related to stress, but in the long run, they are bound to bring more harm than good.
Below are some examples of the most common positive and negative stress management practices.
Negative Stress Management Practices
Smoking. A lot of people have this notion that smoking has a calming effect that helps relieve tension and improve the mood. This belief is so rampant that it is common to see workplaces with smoking rooms where workers head on their breaks or in a state of agitation or stress.
But studies refute this belief. Scientists say that rather than helping smokers relax, nicotine — which is a stimulant — actually increases anxiety and tension. The relaxing effect of smoking is alleged to be a mere psychological addiction.
Emotional eating. A lot of people, especially women, find solace in a bucket of ice cream, a box of chocolates, or eating a whole pizza when they are stressed out. People commonly say that these kinds of food just magically take their stress away. But scientific studies beg to disagree. Several studies have proved that emotional eating may temporarily help ease stress, but it is bound to cause even more stress in the long run with the health problems and regret that come with extra pounds.
Drug use. Due to the need to fix problems quickly, taking medications to relieve stress seems to be an easy solution for most people. Benzodiazepines, antidepressants, buspirone and beta blockers are the most common drugs used to relieve stress. These prescription drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Long-term use of prescription medications can result in dependency or adverse side effects.