Do you know how to de-stress? I’d imagine many of us have “tools” we use when we are stressed, but they are nothing that we’ve consciously identified as stress reducers, but they work none-the-less (at least in the short-term). The problem is that our stress reducers might not always have the healthiest outcome. Here are some examples of things we may use now, or have in the past to deal with stress:
- using alcohol or drugs
- kicking the dog (not literally)
- crying, yelling, breaking things
- sleeping/shutting down
Ironically enough, these may be things we are actively trying to avoid, but they seem to call to us when stress strikes. Stress and willpower don’t seem to play nicely together. In a high-stress moment we may not intentionally choose these as are our stress reducers, but since they worked in the past, we subconsciously gravitate toward them. Or just as likely, we may have unintentionally replaced one of these, like smoking, with another, like overeating.
I’m learning how to de-stress in healthier ways by having a gameplan for high-stress times. At this very moment I’m using a variety of stress management tools that I know will be better for me than diving into a vat of chocolate or wine, both of which sound appealing when I’m stressed:
- listening to music for stress management
- pausing before reacting
- deep, slow breathing
- thought stopping
How do you de-stress? Have you replaced any unhealthy stress management tools with healthier ones?
Photo by Miss Cigarette