Everyone deals with stress and, if left uncontrolled, it can be very damaging to your physical and mental health. There are many stressful habits that can affect your long-term sobriety. In fact, it’s the leading cause of relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Stressful Habits and Mental Health
While we’re all likely familiar with common stressors, for example, relationships, family, finances, health, school, career, some simple every day habits can incite anxiety, too, according to a recent article on Forbes.com. This is especially true if you’re a millennial. Twelve percent of millennials have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. This is almost twice the percentage of Baby Boomers that had an anxiety disorder, according to the American Psychological Association.
Some examples of stressful habits include:
Lack of sleep has been found to “ramp up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying,” according to a study by the University of California at Berkeley. In other words, if you don’t get enough sleep, you may be putting yourself in danger of higher rates of stress. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Skipping meals can cause unsteady blood sugar levels, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is an anxiety trigger, as well as shakiness, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty speaking. Try to stick to a schedule of eating. Keep a couple of granola bars or fruit on you that you can eat if you feel your blood sugar getting low.
Too much caffeine
Drinking too much coffee (or other caffeinated beverages, such as energy drinks) can make you jittery, irritable and nervous, especially if you’re already predisposed to anxiety. It can also cause dehydration. In order to get the proper amount of sleep, make sure not to drink caffeine after 3:00 pm. Otherwise, you may not be able to fall asleep.
Too much time on your smartphone can increase central nervous system arousal, which can amplify anxiety. What’s more, social media has been linked with low moods and depressions. A recent study suggested that due to technology use, the human mind gets 34 gigabytes of information every day. That amount of information would overload a powerful computer. Therefore, try to limit your daily cellphone use.
Hanging out with anxious people
Venting to a friend who also tends to stress a lot may seem therapeutic, but it can actually make anxiety worse, according to research. Most people are empathetic beings. In other words, hearing about other people’s pain can make you sad. Similarly, hearing about your friend’s troubles can stress you out.
Learn to Manage Stress at Red Oak
Our addiction treatment programs for young adult males focus on the unique needs of young adults in early recovery, including managing stressful habits, depression, and anger. We treat a variety of addictions, including:
Our clients learn about what triggers motivate them to use in the first place and work to develop new healthy coping strategies and positive skills for lasting recovery. To learn more about stressful habits, call Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590.