Many believe that smoking, drinking, and eating junk foods can help you manage stress, but this is not true, as it can lead to poor health and other related health issues. Stress can cause your heart to overwork thus, raising your blood pressure. It can cause headaches, heart attack, pains, sleeplessness, and exhaust the body. And when it gets extreme, it can cause heart disease.
Here are five common unhealthy lifestyle choices people often make when stressed out that could impact their health negatively.
(1) Lack of sleep
Sleep is good for your body system, as it helps you to relax. A lack of sleep leaves you tired, stressed, and worn out. If you do not get enough sleep, you are at risk of having high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. On average, adults need 7-8 hours of good sleep per night, so ensure you are getting as much sleep as needed.
Smoking is indeed one of the leading risk factors for heart disease, It raises your blood pressure and puts you at a higher risk of stroke and heart attack. Smoking causes a buildup of plaque, a fatty substance in the arteries, which ends up hardening your arteries, damaging your lungs and other organs of the body. Smoking can never help you to manage stress, on the other hand, quitting it will lower your risk of heart disease.
(3) Excessive consumption of alcohol
Drinking excessively can never help you to cope with stress. It puts you at a higher risk of stroke, can damage your liver, and raise your blood pressure. It also adds extra calories, which may cause weight gain and obesity.
(4) Lack of exercise
Indulging in regular exercise melts stress away and calms your nerves, while the lack of it leaves you grumpy. According to the Mayo Clinic, experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Exercise is beneficial in many ways, including managing stress, lowering your cholesterol and blood levels, improving your blood circulation, maintaining a healthy weight, and strengthening your heart.
(5) Eating junk foods
When you are stressed, a big cup of ice cream, pizza, or shawarma may sound good at that time. But, it is important to know that these types of foods are full of sugar, saturated, and trans-fats, and are not adding any nutritional value to your body when eaten over time. Always avoid junk foods that are high in hydrogenated oils, salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Instead, eat whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Now that we have listed a couple of unhealthy lifestyle choices to avoid when stressed out, healthy alternatives would include spending more time with friends and family, listening to your favorite music, meditation, and yoga. These are proven to help in managing stress while boosting your mood and health.