These days, people are busier than ever. The demands of work and home can often feel all too much, can’t they? Being unemployed can also be stressful: “Will I ever get a job. Will my life ever change? The world feels like it is turning around without me. I feel out of the loop, and that is making me stressed, even more than when I was in work in a demanding job!”
GPs are working flat out
The double-dip recession has undoubtedly had a psychological and a physical impact on people everywhere – it hasn’t ‘only’ hit us all financially. Doctors across the country speak of a dramatic increase in people coming to their surgeries for help with depression and, particularly, stress-related medical conditions, such as:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Heartburn (GERD)
- Diabetes (stress seems to raise the glucose levels of people with Type 2 Diabetes)
- Headaches (tension headaches and migraines)
- Depression and anxiety, and
- Gastrointestinal problems – ulcers can worsen due to stress
Stress can even lead to premature death
When you feel stressed, is a couple of drinks the answer?
If you drink to relieve stress, you’re not alone. And you are certainly not alone if you didn’t realise that drinking alcohol can actually increase stress.
According to MedicineNet.com, alcohol amplifies a human stress response by stimulating production of the same hormones the body produces when under stress. Although the mild arousal effect of the stress hormones (released upon alcohol consumption) is not entirely unpleasant, the potential damage this drink-created stress can do to your body is there.
So, how to reduce stress, but without using alcohol to do so?
Try these ten quick tips:
- Stop rushing (particularly at work)
- Break down tasks at work and at home into smaller manageable ones
- Go for a walk each day
- Exercise (three times a week for forty minutes should do it)
- Eat healthily
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Strike a sensible balance between work and play
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Spend time each week doing something you enjoy
- Avoid the causes of stress
That last tip is a priceless one. Identifying stress triggers (problems, stressful situations and environments, projects, people…) and then avoiding them can actually transform your life.
Are you struggling with alcoholism (or drug addiction) and want to do something about it? Start your recovery.