And according to The American Institute of Stress, 44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did 5 years ago.
Yet Americans don’t seem to get the message, and we keep living a vicious cycle inviting more stress into our day.
While we can’t stop sudden or unforeseen tragedies from occurring, we can stop doing these 4 things which only perpetuate the cycle of stress.
So if you’re like most Americans and find your peace zapped, consider changing these 4 areas of your life:
- Stop Overloading Your Schedule
We live in a society which prides itself on being productive.
There are countless seminars marketed on how one can “manage their time” more efficiently and “learn to do it all”.
So we take on more and more commitments and responsibilities, saying yes to everything because “they need us” only to find our schedules jam-packed with commitments we can’t get out of.
The stress starts to kick in.
From physical symptoms of gastric problems, to migraines, to emotional symptoms of anxiety and depression, overloading your schedule and not taking time for rest and relaxation is bound to have disastrous consequences.
And here’s the real zinger – being stressed actually makes you less productive in the long run and can lead to burnout.
- Stop Skipping Sleep
We’ve all heard the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.
If someone tells you this – run the other way as this simple phrase is toxic.
Not only does lack of sleep actually make you more irritable and anxious, but it actually decreases your ability to be sharp and alert during the daytime… meaning you won’t be able to think as clearly and process information.
Forcing your body to work when you are tired is bound to make you even more stressed out, as you won’t even be able to put your best work forward, which will stress you out even more, and hence the vicious cycle endures.
In fact, NIH reports lack of sleep can “noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression.”
We get it though – maybe you actually want to sleep but struggle with insomnia.
To start, try limiting caffeine to at least 6 hours before bed, and make it an effort to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
The Sleep Foundation also has these tips to beat insomnia:
“Spend some time ‘winding down.’ A person with insomnia needs a ‘buffer zone,’ a period of time to allow the activating processes in the brain to wind down to allow the alerting mechanisms to decrease their activity so that the sleep systems can take over. I suggest that you start winding down two hours before bedtime. Stop all work and end phone calls to family and friends, as often they are activating. Watching television is all right in the evening. However, an hour before bed, I recommend reading or listening to music.”
Don’t skip the sleep. Not only can it weaken your immune system and make you sick, but lack of sleep will make you even more stressed out in the end.
And if you do happen to wake up with a headache, try our natural headache remedies.
- Stop Being A Workaholic
You may love your job (and be good at it) – but being a workaholic will backfire in the end.
Some workaholics simply suffer from reduced performance or productivity.
However, others experience massive burnout and depression.
Psychology Today reported:
“Other workaholics are immobilized by stress, and suffer debilitating anxiety. Panic attacks and claustrophobia are common as heart activity increases and breathing is disturbed. There are vasomotor and musculoskeletal disturbances such as trembling, increased sweating, or paralysis. Physiological responses may come from external stimuli and the demands of reality, or from internal pressure to push forward, to keep on performing, and seek gratification of blocked drives. Other signs of anxiety include excess stomach sensitivity, ulcers, abnormal blood pressure, heart trouble, nervousness, lack of vitality, and a total inability to relax. Workaholics often report a feeling of pressure in their chest, constricted breathing, dizziness, and light-headedness.
Unfortunately, all this cumulative stress can lead to strokes and heart attacks, or what the Japanese call “karoshi,” death from overwork.”
Set boundaries when it comes to work such as shutting off your phone during certain after work hours, or making sure to take breaks throughout the day.
Financial security matters and work is important, but they are not worth your life.
- Stop Binging on Junk Food
After a long day at the office, do you find yourself coming home and ordering takeout and retreating to your couch?
Or binging on cookies and ice cream?
If so, you’re not alone.
But these “stress busters” actually end up causing more stress on the body, and they can actually kill you.
The American Institute of Stress reported startling statistics on the reality of stress on the body:
- Stress is the basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease
- 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments
- Stress increases the risk of heart disease by 40 % and the risk of stroke by 50%
- 40% of stressed people overeat or eat unhealthy foods
And as Freedom Health News recently reported, binging on junk food wreaks havoc on your body and alters your cravings.
Stress is not something to be worn as a “badge of honor”.
Consider implementing these 4 tips to help beat stress and regain control of your life.
To be truly healthy, it’s more than just lifting weights in the gym or drinking kale smoothies – true health is body, mind, and soul.
So take care of your mind and reduce stress, and watch how much better you’ll feel physically!
Do you personally experience high levels of stress in your life? What are some ways you reduce stress?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know how to stop doing these 4 things!