Stop Doing If You’re Stress

Many of the stressors we face in life are not under our control. However, our responses to these things can have a heavy impact on our stress levels. What’s more, many of the thoughts we have and actions we take when stressed can contribute to our problems by intensifying the already-negative feelings we may have. Therefore, it’s wise to look at what we can control, stop doing things that perpetuate and exacerbate our stress levels and focus on what we can do to help ourselves feel more relaxed. The following are 10 bad habits that are commonly done by people under stress that make things worse:

1 Stop Ruminating

We all face things that cause us stress. It’s natural to think about these stressors to see what we can do to better understand the situation so we can change it. But sometimes we can slip into a type of thinking that is unproductive, overly negative, and borders on obsessive. This type of thinking is known as “rumination.” When we fall prey to rumination, we intensify the stress we are already feeling by focusing on the negative and continually reliving it. When we’re in this pattern of thinking, our focus is more on what went wrong than on what we can do to fix things.

Rumination is more common than you may think. According to a poll on this site, for example, roughly 70 percent of readers find themselves ruminating quite often, and only around 5 percent find that they are able to let things go almost immediately.

Rumination can become a habit. The good news is that habits can be broken, even habits of thought. Learn more about rumination and its role in your life, and see what you can do to stop ruminating.

2 Stop Losing Sleep

Many things contribute to our stress levels, but sleep deprivation is one factor that makes a bigger impact than we may realize. When we don’t get enough sleep, not only are we more reactive to stress, but our cognitive functioning isn’t as sharp, which can contribute to mistakes made, causing a cycle of anxiety.

Stress can also impact our ability to get quality sleep. But by practicing good sleep hygiene, such as avoiding using televisions or computers before bed, going to bed the same time every night, and darkening the room, you can get better sleep.

3 Stop Eating Junk

What you eat can impact how you feel. Just as lost sleep can impact your reactivity, so can the wrong diet. If you have ever crashed from a caffeine high or a sugar rush, you already instinctively know this.

Stress can also impact what you crave and lead to emotional eating. This can present an even greater challenge for those who are stressed and trying to eat better, but it can (and should) be done! Learn more about the relationship between: stress and your eating patterns and how to change your habits, if necessary.

4 Stop Leaning on Frenemies

Relationships can be fantastic sources of stress relief. When we experience times of stress, the emotional support, the helpful resources, and the stability that friends bring us can be quite a buffer against the challenges we face.

Additionally, many people find themselves looking to relationships the most when under stress. This response, like the more commonly discussed fight-or-flight response, can help us to get our needs met when we are experiencing stress. This response drives us to connect with others and share support.

That said, the stress of a conflicted relationship can take a heavy toll on your health and well-being. Relationships that are sometimes supportive and sometimes unpredictably conflict-riddled can be particularly difficult because there’s an underlying sense of uncertainty and tension.

Because of this, it is very important not only to know when to let go of a toxic relationship, but to know how to keep all the relationships in your life as healthy as possible.