These are some basic stress-inducing behaviors that you must avoid in order to better manage your body – and mind’s – stress response.

Substance abuse: The misconception that people have with substance abuse is that a particular substance will ease the stress or pain of a situation. However, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and tranquilizers only temporarily solve the problem. Substance abuse is not only horrible for your health, but it can also lead to addiction, which in turn brings more problems than stress could ever inflict.

Overeating: This type of behavior is generally used as a way to fill a void caused by stress or occupy time and the mind from thought stressors. This behavior is also addictive and can worsen other bad habits such as withdrawal and rumination.

Rumination: This refers to the act of thinking about a problem incessantly without ever addressing it. Many people think to themselves “I have to do this” so much that they end up pressuring themselves into anxiety. Rumination is also known to increase anxiety, as it is simply ineffective at getting things done.

Procrastinators have a tendency to ruminate in their thoughts, which is what prevents them from ever taking action. They’re too busy thinking about it!

Denial: Many times when we are doing something wrong, especially a bad habit, it becomes hard for us to see it clearly. Denial is particularly detrimental toward relationship stress, as it generally shuts down effective communication between partners and puts even more strain on the relationship than the original problem did.

Withdrawal: Stress can make us feel tired and depressed. Because of this, many people prefer to isolate themselves and generally engage in other harmful behaviors like rumination and overeating. Spending time outdoors and with friends is necessary for health, which makes withdrawal a major setback in the process of stress relief.

Retained anger: This refers to decreased communication in relationships or bottled up feelings that cause resentment and frustration. It’s important to speak your mind and talk things out so that it becomes easier to forgive, find closure, and move on. Even if forgiveness isn’t immediately possible, expressing your anger will allow you to move ahead and perhaps, in the future, be able to forgive.

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