Coping Mechanisms: Choose This, Not That

During times of stress, it is easy to fall into bad habits. However, during these trying times, constructive habits are more crucial than ever. Here are three top tips for choosing positive behaviors.

Talking, Not Withdrawing

When life gets overwhelming, you may not feel like talking, but you need to express your emotions. Turn to a counselor or therapist rather than friends or family. Even the most caring buddies have their own troubles and see things through their personal lenses. A counselor, on the other hand, is an objective professional. If you are not sure where to turn for help, try searching counseling near me Kent County RI.

Eating Healthfully, Not Indulgently

Comfort foods have their place. You may feel momentarily consoled by a plate of creamy macaroni and cheese or a bowl of ice cream. Unfortunately, you may be decidedly uncomfortable next time you try to put on a pair of jeans. Moreover, the excess salt, sugar, carbohydrates and fat in many such foods can cause bloating and spikes in blood sugar levels that leave you feeling worse than when you started.

If you crave comfort foods, indulge in healthier versions of the classics. Health experts at Harvard say that carrying out a few healthy swaps can make all the difference. Use lean proteins and beans instead of red meat. Replace full-fat dairy with low-fat or nonfat counterparts. Add vegetables wherever you can.

Drinking Water, Not Wine

Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can be healthy. However, when you are stressed, you may be tempted to consume in excess. If you drink to cope with negative feelings or binge every weekend, you may put yourself at risk for certain cancers, stroke, heart disease or accidental overdose. Heavy drinking may lead to risky behaviors such as driving while intoxicated.

Water, on the other hand, is essential for good health. Keeping yourself hydrated protects your spinal cord and joints, maintains a normal body temperature and helps rid your body of toxins. Adequate water intake may even help boost your mood.

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