coping with stress

8 Lesser-Known Coping Strategies for Stress

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Did you know that stress can make you vulnerable to developing a substance use disorder

Stress is a normal part of life, and in some cases, it can be a healthy motivator to make positive changes. However, too much stress can cause you to feel overwhelmed, potentially harming your mental and physical health. If you don’t have healthy ways to cope with stress, you can end up turning to drugs or alcohol. These substances can provide temporary relief, but they can also lead to addiction. 

Having a wide range of coping skills is one of the best ways to prevent substance use. And if you’re already in recovery, these skills can help avoid relapse. Some of the most common coping strategies you’ve probably come across are meditation, journaling and exercise. This article will cover some lesser-known strategies that you can add to your depository. 

1. Start Healthy Habits 

First and foremost, it’s important to have healthy habits. Managing stress is much easier when you feel good and have the right amount of energy to get through your days. Eat wholesome foods that nourish your mind and body. Avoid eating too many processed foods or simple carbohydrates, as they can sap your energy and expose your body to deficiencies and illnesses. 

Also make sure that you’re engaging in some type of physical activity each day. This improves your metabolism and lowers your risk for cardiovascular diseases. It also eases stress and helps you sleep better, which leads us to our next suggestion: Get enough sleep at night! You need this time to rest and recharge. Without sufficient sleep, you’re more likely to be reactive, irritable and impulsive. 

2. Set a Consistent Morning Routine 

Prepare for the morning the night before to ease some stress. For example, you can prepare your lunch, lay out your clothes for work and set your Keurig. This will help start the morning off right and allow you to feel in control of your day. Also be sure to eat a healthy breakfast and do any other activities that will support a positive day, such as stretching, practicing gratitude or writing in your journal. 

3. Say “No” More Often 

You’ve probably heard that when you say “no” to something, you’re saying “yes” to yourself. This is good. But there are more reasons for saying “no.” For instance, when you say “no” more often, you shift the way your brain thinks and reacts to situations, making it easier to make healthy decisions for yourself. This has a positive impact on your mental health and helps you value yourself more. Saying “no” also creates healthy boundaries, prioritizes your time, and gives you confidence. 

When someone asks for a favor or requests your presence at an event, take some time to think about it. They don’t need a response immediately. And if you choose to say “yes,” make sure it’s for the right reasons. 

4. Avoid Negative People 

It’s hard to avoid negative thinking when surrounded by negative people. Plus, when you have something positive happening in your life, or something big you want to share, negative people are unlikely to support you. Even if they are your close family or friends, it’s in your best interests to limit your time with them. Instead, make more room in your schedule for positive, uplifting people who support what you do. 

5. Plan Ahead—But Prepare for Uncertainty 

Having a consistent schedule allows you to plan ahead and feel in control, alleviating stress. But, you don’t want to be too rigid, as this can also lead to stress and frustration. Create plans, but leave room for things to change. This way, you’ll be better able to handle fluctuations in your schedule with confidence. 

6. Unclutter Your Life 

Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel happier, calmer and more in control. Plus, it’s easier to relax and practice activities like mindfulness, meditation and journaling in a tidy environment. In addition, also unclutter your mind. Write down things you need to remember—don’t store them in your head. Make copies of important papers and break large tasks into bite-size portions. 

7. Stop Trying to Fix Others

A major source of stress for some people is their attempt to “fix” others. However, what others do and say is out of your control, and trying to fix them or their problems will only lead to exhaustion and burnout. Usually, this behavior comes from early life experiences, but it can be changed. Acknowledge what you are trying to fix and why, and put energy into improving your own life. 

8. Practice Gratitude—and Praise Others

Each day, take a few minutes to think about the things you are grateful for. Gratitude builds positive emotions, nurtures strong relationships, and improves mental health. To keep the positivity going, praise or compliment others. This, too, can help you notice what you have to appreciate around you.

Unwind Your Mind at Awakenings Treatment Center

Stress is inevitable, but there are effective ways to deal with it. However, you can’t run yourself ragged and expect to handle stress with ease. You must take good care of yourself, so that you are equipped to deal with stress when it comes your way. 

Awakenings Treatment Center works with individuals experiencing substance use and mental health problems. To learn more about our programs and how they support the whole person, contact us today at 844-581-2788