Stress management is a struggle that all of us face on a daily basis. You may be under the gun at work, or have trouble raising your kids at home. You might be going through a difficult breakup, or feel anxious about the general direction of your life. No matter the source of your stress, it’s important to deal with it in a healthy way. While having a drink to calm your nerves isn’t necessarily indicative of a substance abuse issue, be careful to monitor this habit to prevent dependency. Someone who turns to alcohol as a way to cope with anxiety or discomfort may struggle to find other ways to relieve stress. Here are some great alternatives to alcohol when managing high stress levels:
1. Exercise. Not only does exercise keep you fit and healthy, it also lowers your stress level. If you’re feeling anxious, take your dog for a walk or a jog. Sign up for yoga classes to relieve stress in a healthy way, or join a recreational sports team. Regardless of your preferred activity, exercise is an incredibly positive way to keep stress at bay.
2. Music. Finding yourself alone with your thoughts? Music is a great way to add a different energy to your day while relieving stress. Turn on some jazz, classic rock or even pop music. If your taste in music tends to induce stress rather than relieving it (think heavy metal) you may need to adjust during this period of stress relief.
3. Talking. The simple act of talking about your stress and the sources causing it can help you to feel better. Call up a close friend or family member to chat, or join your friend for a walk around the block to multiply the effects of stress relief. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, you could consider talking to a therapist for a confidential, nonjudgmental outlet for your anxiety.
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