Stress is a body response to various events of life. In many ways, a moderate and manageable stress level is good as it increases alertness in the body and prepares the body to respond to the overwhelming condition. But chronic or long-term stress leads to depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. It also creates behavioral changes in the body that ultimately leads to the craving for substance abuse or drug addiction. Acute stress pursues people to use drugs for temporary feelings of pleasure. Addiction therapy sessions and epidemiological studies reveal a direct relationship between increased mental stress and vulnerability of drug addiction. To curb substance dependence and any addiction, it is necessary to learn coping strategies to manage the stress.
How to cope with stress?
According to American Psychological Association, 49% of US adults say that stress has negatively affected their behavior. This negative impact on behavior leads to drug cravings. Here are five proven strategies to cope with any stress and live a stress-free life.
1- Identify the causes:
The journey of living a stress-free life starts from identifying the underlying causes of stress. Finding the root cause of stress will help you cope with it easily. No doubt, life problems create stress. But there is no need to worry about all problems.
Sit alone and try to enlist all problems that you’re facing right now. There you’ll see that some life problems need a practical life solution, some can get better with the passage of time, and you can’t do anything about some problems. Stop worrying about the problems for which you cannot do anything.
Bottom line: Identify the root causes of stress by spending time with yourself.
2- Be mindful
Spending too much time on future planning, analyzing problems, daydreaming, and judging everything can create mental stress, depression, and anxiety. Mindfulness, including breathing exercises and walking, sitting meditation, can help you reinvent your attention away from such negative thinking.
Mindfulness is all about living in presence and forgot about anything else. Mindful exercises will help cope with the stress and help manage anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, and insomnia. So to cope with acute stress, start practicing mindfulness exercises and living in presence.
Bottom line: Mindful exercises can help you cope with any sort of stress.
3- Develop a productive hobby
Hobbies as an excellent source of eustress help us have a break from a mind-boggling working schedule and spend time in pleasure-driven and stress-free activities.
Any healthy activity that gives strength and pleasure to your mind and body can help you fight acute stress and develop productive techniques to cope with stress. According to a study published in science direct, spending time with healthy activities during leisure time can help you craft a good focus, productive mindset, and energetic body.
Not have enough time to spend on healthy activities? Another research study reveals that even giving twenty-minute daily to productive hobbies can help you be more active all day and overcome chronic stress.
Bottom line: Developing a productive hobby will give you pleasure and lessen mental stress.
4- Talk to a loved one
Who understands you the best? That’s most probably your family member, friend, or any loved one. Study reveals that talking even just 30 minutes with a loved one can lower the impacts of chronic stress on your body and eliminate chronic stress from its root.
Following are some recommendations to select belonging with whom you should talk.
Share your feeling with a person
- Who is an active listener
- Who is not judgemental
- Who will not compare you with anyone
- Who has enough time
- Whom you trust
Bottom line: Select a loved one and do not feel shy to reveal what you’re suffering
5- Arrange a meeting with a therapist
If you cannot figure out the root causes of stress and develop stress management skills, then talking to a therapist can help you overcome chronic stress. Therapists, with the help of various cognitive-behavioral therapy programs, DBT, individual and group therapies, work for knowing the underlying causes of stress and change the destructive human thoughts with productive ones.
Bottom line: Find a therapist and start living an addiction free and stress-free life.