Ways to Relieve Stress Without Using Drugs or Alcohol

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Substance Abuse Provides Temporary Relief from Stress

It is well established that the effects of stress can damage people’s mental and physical well-being. It is not so much that stress is bad, but that people have an inability to deal with it effectively. One of the ways that the individual may attempt to manage their stress is by using alcohol or drugs. This type of self medication can provide temporary relief, but is ultimately self-defeating. It can mean that the individual will have more stress in their life than ever, but they will have less of an ability to handle it. There are different techniques that people can use so that they are better to handle stress.

Stress Defined:

Stress is one of those words that people will understand yet struggle to define. Most individuals will be able to give plenty of examples of what it does, but describing what it actually is proves more challenging. Stress is completely subjunctive. People can’t even agree upon what things are stressful and what things are not. A lot of individuals will feel stressed if they are asked to make a public speech, but for others it won’t seem like such a big deal.

One way of defining stress would be to say that it is the body’s way of dealing with a demand. It involves the release of different chemicals in the body so that it is prepared to take action. The fight or flight response is produced by the body when there is a sense of danger.

Stress has developed a bad reputation, but it is essential for survival. If people didn’t react to external events they would be in danger. Stress can also be highly beneficial when it comes to preparation for exams or other important events. It encourages people to put in a lot of effort and it keeps them focused.

The Dangers of Chronic Stress:

If people spend a lot of time feeling stressed it can begin to cause damage both physically and mentally. This is because the chemicals associated with the stress response are only meant to be in the bloodstream for short periods. Those who are chronically stressed will have such chemicals working overtime. The dangers of chronic stress include:

  • Chronic stress causes the immune system to become less effective. This is because stress forces the immune system to release chemicals so that they end up being overused. Instead of helping people fight of infections, these chemicals begin to damage the individual’s own organs. This can increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Chronic stress leads to fatigue and depression. Those who are dealing with a lot of stress in their lives will have poor mental health.
  • It can increase the risk of developing ulcers and digestive problems.
  • Many people who are dealing with chronic stress will turn into substance abuse.

According to addiction.com here are 25 Ways to Relieve Stress Without Using Drugs or Alcohol (see original post here)

  1. Read a good book.
  2. Get out and garden.
  3. Listen to music.
  4. Practice yoga.
  5. Engage in meditation.
  6. Take up running.
  7. Swim a few laps every day.
  8. Float in a pool or body of water.
  9. Encourage your sense of humor with laughter.
  10. Take up dancing.
  11. Learn and practice controlled breathing exercises.
  12. Join a cooking class.
  13. Volunteer to help others.
  14. Spend time with family or close friends.
  15. Make an effort to meet new people.
  16. Do something special for someone you love.
  17. Join a choir or singing group- or learn how to sing.
  18. Go on nature walks.
  19. Start exercising- and do it daily.
  20. Take a brisk hike every day.
  21. Plan and make a special meal for your family and/or friends.
  22. Give your artistic side wings- start painting, jewelry making, flower arranging, etc.
  23. Develop your spirituality.
  24. Do something to help children.
  25. Celebrate all that is good in your life.