7 things you need to STOP doing when you are stressed!

Things we do over and over when we are stressed and how we can avoid them.

It isn t easy to deal with stress. Especially, when your brain refuses to work, and your body goes numb with an overdrive of emotions and an emptiness from within. You already know the 101 ways to say goodbye to stress that people talk about and recommend from time to time. However, it s the simplest of the advice that is hard to follow when stressed. So, instead of trying to figure out what to do when you are stressed, avoiding doing these things to stop stress from overpowering you.

Delaying your work: Of course, stress makes you powerless at times. So much that you extend your deadlines, delay your work and let your entire schedule and routine go for a toss. While, taking a break when you feel overwhelmed can help boost your productivity, but delaying work in the name of stress is just going to do the opposite. The mere act of procrastinating might add more tension and fear and allow stress to brew within you. Here are five ways to relieve stress naturally.

Instead, try focusing on the moment. Break down your immediate tasks into small goals and try achieving them. If you need to prepare your presentation for a big day, break-up your time for research, analysis and paperwork before you start putting things in place. Remember, the human brain works in an interval of 90 minutes and then tires out (that s when your coffee break might help) [1]. So, time yourself for every 90-minute interval before taking a break and get things done. Feeling of accomplishment over small tasks can also help to triumph over stressful conditions. Are you stressed or depressed? Find out here.

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Avoiding sleep: Stress and disturbed sleep just go hand-in-hand. But that s not the ideal way to deal with it. Remember, when stressed it is more important for you to sleep on time. Disturbed sleep due to stress can lead to some health conditions cardiovascular diseases, depression, insomnia are just a few to name [2]. Even if you can t get enough shut-eye, go to bed on time. Try a soothing massage, hot water bath and aromatherapy to help you doze off. Here are four breathing techniques that can help you sleep well.

Smoke like a chimney: One thing most people do when stressed is to smoke like a chimney. For smokers, smoking gives an illusion that it is calming their senses. This sense of calm isn t totally unreal. Nicotine, present in cigarettes is known to be a mood altering agent and reaches the brain in just eight seconds. This helps to release a neurotransmitter called dopamine, responsible for setting a sense of calm and wellbeing. However, it also increases the urge to experience the same sensations of stress over and over again. The nicotine also has other ill-effects that increase blood pressure and heart rate, makes muscle tense, constricts blood vessels and restricts oxygen supply to the brain and body. Lack of oxygen makes the body lethargic and unable to fight the physical inactivity that sets in. Here is what smoking does to your body, quit now.

Make life changing decisions: It isn t wise to take a life changing decisions like filing for a divorce, signing your resignation letter or paying a down payment for your dream home when overwhelmed with stress. You are more prone to commit a blunder and take a decision that might not be rational. There are times when you need to make the most important decision of life in an instant but never do that when you are in two minds, take your time before you do what your heart desires. In fact, a study done by Harvard researchers found that students who were under tremendous stress had difficulty making good long-term decisions [3]. And if you regret your decision taken under stress, you are going to end up with more of it. Here is how stress can affect you weight loss goals.

Going over the details all over again: Ruminating about your past or negative circumstances will never help you get over it in any way. In fact, studies show that people who dwell on negative thoughts are more likely to suffer from depression and stress than those who deals with it in a positive way. In fact, our response to stress has more impact on our wellbeing than the incident that triggers it. [4]

Pick up an argument: Sometimes it is good to talk to someone with whom you have impending issues and sort things out amicably. However, avoid getting into an argument. This would only make sure that you be a part of the vicious cycle of stress. If you don t have your rebuttals ready or aren t logically prepared to take up an issue, don t start talking just out of the blue. Relax and breathe to help yourself talk sense.

Confiding in the wrong person: Sometimes talking about it can make you feel lighter. But you should know whom you pick up to unload your emotions. The stressful mind makes it difficult for you to identify between a friend and a foe. So, wait, don t burst out in front of anyone who comes to you first. Remember, talking about your emotions with people whom you can t trust can backfire later. Also, be very careful with whom you share your feelings. Studies suggest that unloading your feelings on others can make the caregiver also stressed. This could be a scary situation if you are looking for advice and moral support. [5]

Avoiding proper food: Stress can make you crave for sugar and high carbohydrate foods. Who opts for an apple over chocolates and pizza when stressed? But these foods are high in glycemic index and can lift your energy instantly by breaking down into glucose. However, when the sugar is absorbed the stress hormones will make you overeat and crave for these unhealthy foods more. So the best thing is to stick to your diet plan or sip green tea when stressed. This will help you control your craving and eat healthy, boost your brain power and body and deal with stress better. [6] Here is how you can beat stress with simple diet changes.

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[1] Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-R mer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological review, 100(3), 363.

[2] Torbj rn kerstedt Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health Vol. 32, No. 6 (December 2006), pp. 493-501

[3] Gray, J. R. (1999). A bias toward short-term thinking in threat-related negative emotional states. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25(1), 65-75.

[4] Kinderman, P., Schwannauer, M., Pontin, E., & Tai, S. (2013). Psychological processes mediate the impact of familial risk, social circumstances and life events on mental health. PloS one, 8(10), e76564.

[5] Life, S. Y., Marketing, N., Worre, E., Kiyosaki, R., Wood, D., Cuddy, A., & Hill, N. Tag Archives: adaptogens.

[6]1: Torres SJ, Nowson CA. Relationship between stress, eating behavior, and obesity. Nutrition. 2007 Nov-Dec;23(11-12):887-94. Epub 2007 Sep 17. Review.PubMed PMID: 17869482.

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