Drink less and deal with stress

Drink less and deal with stress

Stress can be caused by all kinds of things. Whether it’s problems at work, a busy home life or something completely different, there are lots of things you can try to make yourself feel better.

Drinking alcohol to ease stress usually only makes things worse. So next time you start to feel stressed, don’t reach for a drink try one of these instead:

Think about why you’re stressed

Once you know what’s making you feel tense, anxious and uncomfortable then you can start to try and put things right. Taking control of the situation will help you feel calmer and more positive about the future.

Talk to someone

It’s true what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. Talk to a friend or family member about why you’re stressed. Getting it off your chest can be a really productive way to ease your troubles and help you see things in a different way.

Have a laugh

If you don’t feel like talking about why you’re stressed, you don’t have to, just spending some time having fun with friends can do a lot of good. It can help you relax and take your mind off whatever is making you feel stressed.

Work off the stress

Being more active might not make your stress completely disappear, but it can help you clear your head, lift your mood and give you something positive to focus on.

Try a little ‘me time’

Sometimes a busy life can mean that we neglect ourselves and don’t spend enough time doing things that we enjoy. This can lead to a build up of stress that can be relieved by setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality “me time”.  Planning ahead helps you keep the time free and will also give you something to look forward to.

Challenge yourself

Setting yourself a goal like walking more, learning a new language or taking up a new activity can be a great stress reliever. If you don’t feel in control of your life at the moment, taking control of a new challenge can be really empowering.

Accept the things you can’t change

There are some things in life you can’t change. Fighting against these things will only end up making you feel stressed and frustrated. Instead, try to focus on parts of your life that you can control and make it your mission to make these things the best they can be. Accepting that you can’t change everything will help release you from a lot of unnecessary stress.

Doing good makes you feel good

Evidence shows that people who help others often deal with stress better. This is because helping others with their problems can help you put your situation into perspective. Doing a good deed also lifts your mood, whether it’s something like helping someone pack their shopping or doing some volunteering.

Work smarter, not harder

Prioritising the things you need to do (whether at home or at work) can help you take control of your ‘to do’ list. Finding ways to concentrate on the most important things first and accepting that the less important things may need to wait a little longer, can free you from the stress of trying to do too many things at once.

Always look on the bright side

When you’re feeling stressed it’s easy to focus too much on the negative and forget the good things that happen. If something good happens, make a note of it, celebrate the little wins and focus on the positive. Thinking positive helps you feel positive.

Don’t turn to unhealthy habits

Some people turn to alcohol, smoking or caffeine as a way of coping with stress. Although this may provide temporary relief, it often only makes things worse in the long run. These things don’t help solve your problems and usually only end up causing new ones. Stay strong, be positive and you can ease stress while drinking less.

Breathe some stress away

It’s amazing what a difference a few minutes of breathing exercises can make to your stress levels. This calming breathing technique for stress, anxiety and panic only takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere. Doing this regularly, as part of your daily routine will help you get the most out of it.

You can do it standing up, sitting in a chair that supports your back, or lying on a bed/yoga mat on the floor.

  • Get as comfortable as you can.
  • Make sure to loosen any clothes that may restrict your breathing.
  • If you’re lying down, place your arms near your sides, with your palms facing up. Let your legs be straight or bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.
  • If you’re sitting down, put your arms on the arms of the chair and place both feet flat on the floor.
  • Whether you’re sitting or standing, keep your feet roughly hip-width apart.
  • Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
  • Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five. You may not be able to reach five at first.
  • Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from one to five again, if you find this helpful.
  • Doing this for three to five minutes at a time should help you feel calm and relaxed.