Advertising
Advertising

10 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You’re Stressed Out

10 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You’re Stressed Out

Stress can wreak havoc on your decision-making skills. Everyone has made a poor decision at some point because they were overwhelmed by life. Sometimes, those decisions pay off. More often then not, though, we’re prone to doing crazy things when we’re feeling stressed that only adds more stress later. Take a look at 10 things you absolutely should not do if you’re stressed out.

Rehash the issue with anyone who will listen

Do yourself and your friends a favor: don’t beat the proverbial dead horse. You’re stressed, they get it. Really, how many times can you discuss the same problem with the same people? Find one person who can be your sounding board and lay out the issue one time. Only go back to it if you’ve found new insight. By discussing it repeatedly, you’re not only driving your friends bonkers, you’re keeping the source of stress at the front of your mind. This makes it difficult for you to focus on new ideas.

Drown your troubles in a bottle

Alcohol is rarely a good answer to your woes. You can’t run away from your problems by forgetting them through a booze-induced blackout. The stress will still be there in the morning, along with nausea, a headache, and the sinking feeling that you did something you’re glad you don’t remember. This goes for drugs and over-eating too. Just say no.

Advertising

Dwell on it all night

Sleep is a precious commodity when you’re stressed out. It’s too tempting to lay in bed worrying all night long. Missing out on sleep can actually make you feel more stressed. Sleep deprivation can interfere with your ability to think clearly. You need your brain in optimal working condition to find the answer to resolve your stress.

Be afraid to say no

When you’re already stressed out, taking on more than you can handle makes it worse. Don’t be afraid to say no to a new project or a major favor. Give yourself a break to explore your own ideas. If you feel really bad about it, you can always resolve to help out later.

Take it out on others

Snapping at friends and family isn’t going to help reduce your stress. In fact, it will likely add to it. If you feel yourself gearing up for a fight, walk away. Friendships can recover from time apart a lot easier than they can from a harsh fight.

Advertising

Make major life decisions

Good life decisions rarely come from rash actions. While packing up all your belongings and running away to Madagascar may seem like a dandy idea at the time, you’ll regret it later. The only exception to this is making decisions that directly impact your stress level, like taking a new job or ending a toxic relationship.

Let yourself go

As tempting as it is to give up showering, shaving, and getting dressed, avoid letting yourself go. Taking care of your basic hygiene needs not only makes you more pleasant to be around, it gives you a sense of control over your routine. You may not be able to control the stock market, but you can choose which shampoo you’ll use in the morning.

Procrastinate

Don’t put things off because you are too stressed out to focus. Instead, force your mind to hone in on each task on your to-do list. Getting things done gives you a sense of accomplishment, which helps reduce your stress a bit. On the flip side, putting things off creates a backlog that adds to your stress.

Advertising

Forget to relax

You can’t focus on your stress every minute of every day. Force yourself to relax for at least an hour each day. Watch TV. Read a book. Meditate. If you find yourself going back to your problems, push it out of your mind and promise yourself to think about it later. Spending 24-7 trying to resolve stress is just going to cost you an expensive trip to a padded room.

Keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing

Face it, your methods of dealing with stress apparently aren’t working if you’re still feeling stressed out. The colloquial definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Don’t be insane. Try something different. If it fails, try something else.

Avoiding doing these things when you’re stressed out will go a long way to getting you out of your rut. Even better, it will ensure that you don’t completely burn bridges that you may need once you’re back on track.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: thornypup via flickr.com

More by this author

Make Your Job Enjoyable Make Your Job More Enjoyable in 7 Easy Steps 10 Things Only Parents Understand 10 Things Only Parents Will Understand Things to avoid when you're stressed out 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You’re Stressed Out Broccoli and Fruit Salad 15 Delicious And Healthy Broccoli Recipes You Should Know

Trending in Leisure

1 The 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are 2 How Not to Let Work Take Priority over Spending Time With Family 3 25 Super Fun Things to Do With Family to Strengthen Your Bond 4 15 Funny Idioms You May Not Know (And What They Actually Mean) 5 10 Relaxing Games to Play Online to Help Chill You Out

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

Advertising

Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

Advertising

Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

    Advertising

    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

    Advertising

    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

    Read Next