A Stress Junkie’s Guide To Healthy Habits

Some days are incredibly mundane. These are the days we have nothing special planned, no occasions to attend after work or deadlines to meet. The absence of special events or daunting deadlines also brings a lack of stressors. During these days, we should feel relaxed and unpressured.

However, people who typically have busy days with their plate full of tasks have issues with ordinary days. Are you the kind of person who develops panic and anxiety because a day without deadlines scares you? There is a huge possibility you are a stress junkie.

Stress junkies feel off when they’re not stressed with work. They crave the busyness and long list of assignments to accomplish for the day. Sometimes, a stress junkie’s rest day turns into a waste of a holiday.

Laurie Leinwand, MA, LPC said “Increased resiliency can improve someone’s life by enabling them to move through transitional phases or stressful situations with greater ease.”

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Why Are Stress Junkies Like This?

Psychologists suggest that stress junkies’ goal is productivity: having more work done means higher productivity. This assumption is a complete misconception. Productivity does not equate to the quantity of work but to the quality outputs and efficient use of resources like time and energy.

We need to break this toxic habit of punishing ourselves on ordinary days. There’s nothing wrong with it at all! What’s wrong is people’s hungry pursuit of wanting to become their idea of productive.

Casey Radle, LPC said “When we are in distress and lack feelings of safety, our thinking brain is hijacked by our emotional limbic system and we move into primitive drives to fight or flight.”

Breaking The Cycle

Proper Mind-Setting: Goals and Priorities

Visualize the life you want to lead. Think of your priorities—a balanced lifestyle, a stable career, and good relationships. Regardless of what our goals are, stress is an unhealthy practice that hampers our progress from achieving them. Moreover, too much stress can have adverse effects on our emotional and mental health, as well as on our physical and social well-being.

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Let’s get rid of the mindset that stress helps us grow. It is a passing feeling that makes us feel productive but otherwise destroys other aspects of growth. Instead, focus on long-term goals and the sustainable lifestyle that can have a significant impact on your well-being.

Jeremy Savage, MA, LPC said “Mindfulness is a helpful skill to learn because it lets you observe these “uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and physical sensations without judgment.”

Mindful Social Media Use

In this digital age, people have developed an unhealthy habit of competing with other people on social media. Sourcing social acceptance and affirmation on social currencies such as likes and comments can be dangerous.

We spend a considerable part of our day scrolling through social media. Subconsciously or not, we start comparing ourselves to people’s feeds online. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself or others, stop it. According to psychologists, limiting your social media use to 30 minutes per day can improve your mental health.

Eat Healthily

Start eating healthy. When people are stressed, they either eat too much or too little. Strike a balance by eating the prescribed amount of vegetables, carbs, and proteins every day. This practice means no skipping of meals. Eating food rich in Omega 3 protects your brain from having too much cortisol when under stress. Taking vitamin C also reduces the feeling of anxiety.

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A strong enabler of stress is coffee. Unfortunately, caffeine will only make you feel more anxious. Cut back on the caffeine and try replacing it with a soothing cup of chamomile tea instead.

Building habits requires a commitment to a routine. The tricky part is starting. Replace chasing stress with building a healthy lifestyle. Once a rhythm develops, facing ordinary days gets easier for stress junkies. Remember: quantity is not productivity; it is the quality of life.