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Health & Support
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How do you deal with stress and frustration?

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I am having an insane time trying to deal with life's stressors and frustrations without turning to comfort eating and drinking.  I am very frustrated with my family right now (and have been since last Friday).  What do y'all do to relieve everyday stress and frustrations with other people without eating an entire chocolate cake or downing half a bottle of Jack?

I workout 6 days a week and it's not seeming to help.  It's like my anger is just bubbling under the surface cooking in the pressure cooker of my mind.

Food and alcohol is definitely two of my coping mechanisms, but I don't want to use them.  I know they're bad for me.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Work outs are definitely a good start, but it sounds like in your case it's just more time for you to think about being frustrated. Have you tried any mind-based exercises, like Yoga or Pilates? They tend to make you slow down and force you to become aware of your body and movement so it's kind of a way to get out of your head for a bit. Maybe try jamming out to some music or doing something you really enjoy too.

I think it's awesome that you are trying so hard not to use food and alcohol to cope. Give yourself a huge pat on the back for that!!



I'm not sure if these things would work for you, but I do a few things.

I journal on this site.

I walk my dog.

I escape in books.

I'm sorry that you're going through a rough time - I hope that things start lightening up for you soon.  Feel free to PM me if you just want to vent, or add me as a friend and I'll support you in your journal.

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You don't say what kind of workout you do and if it's very energetic I wonder if trying something more calming would help.  I personally find swimming laps awesome because I'm getting exercise but in a nice quiet soothing environment so I can clear my thoughts at the same time.  Others find the same benefit from yoga or taking long walks.  Of course vigourous exercise is excellent for you but in another way it may be just another stressor on your body and mind.

The other thing I like to do is crossword puzzles or word games - it doesn't matter what you choose as long as it's something that you have to concentrate on completely so that your mind can't be thinking about the frustration!  Reading a really good book has the same escapist effect.

Also venting your frustrations can help once in a while (whether to a real life friend, on a message board or just writing them down) ;)

Thanks guys.  Those are some great suggestions.  I didn't even think that my exercise would be kinda worsening my problem.  I do aerobic workout videos at home and it's very fast paced.  I think yoga would be a good idea to work in there.  I used to do pilates a few years ago, but I think I'm burned out on that.  Thanks again for support.  I really appreciate it.

I was very afraid I would get alot of negative responses.  I don't know why.  Thanks for not putting me down any farther than I am.


(edit: had to add some more)

i took a professional development class a few years ago that talked about a person's "style under stress." the way a person reacts to stress, and how they treat others and themselves during a stressful time is incredibly important to their well-being, their happiness, and to how others perceive them. if you turn to destructive activities when you are confronted with stress, then it is wise to examine that response and to try to transform your reaction into something more constructive.

congratulations on not needing a class to begin your journey on that transformation!

i'd urge you to figure out a way to find some peace in your own space & in your mind & in your heart so that the things going on around you at home, at school, at work, don't rattle your core so much that you feel the need to escape. find some strength and serenity within yourself that you can draw from in times that might otherwise cause you stress. we might not be able to change the external events that effect us, but we CAN change/influence/control the way we respond to them & what we let them do to us. i commend you for recognizing that over-eating & drinking are not healthy coping mechanisms. sure, people use stress as and excuse to permit themselves these over-indulgences; but that doesn't mean they are the only way, or the best way, of handling stress.

exercise, yoga, meditation, reading, playing with a pet, walking, taking a hot bath, etc. are great activities. games like crosswords, sudoku and picross are good diversions to take your mind off stressful things. also, try practicing managing your mental response to stressful situations. imagine some other response than immediately "getting stressed out" and reaching for food or alcohol. envision yourself encountering a stressful situation, identifying it as a potential source of stress, and deciding to take a time out to go for a walk or do some yoga stretches & meditation to regain your center & focus before the situation or problem gets the better of you.

I am strange

I write what is stressing me down

Research or think about what I can do to change it (sometimes there is nothing I can do to change the situation)

Formulate a Plan to deal with the particular issue stressing me (Usaually telling off  the person who had created the problem that is stressing me)

I burn the paper in the bon fire pit and let it go. (I visualize it all floating away with the smoke)

Then I enjoy the fire and watch the stars.

See I am strange. The only reason this works for me is because I know I have to clear the air today because I may not have time tomorrw.

Oct 05 2007 23:50
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There are a lot of really good suggestions and insights in this thread.  Thanks, everybody, for sharing them.  You've probably helped more people than you know.  :)

i am prone to intense anxiety attacks.  some things i do to avoid them (or escape them once they've come on):

call someone i know who'll tell me a stupid story about how their dog won't stop peeing on the couch.  this works, i'm not kidding.

singing.  i turn the radio on to a silly station, like light rock, and sing to "glory days" or something.  also, if you're not driving, dance,  that REALLY helps me.

i smile intermittently.  smile, relax, smile, relax, smile, relax.  i promise myself that if i do this for a minute i can frown all i want afterward.

Well magickat, I'm just the opposite when I'm feeling stressed.  I don't want anything to do with food at all.  When life's pressures really start to tug on you, do something for yourself.  I too have 3 kids ages 12, 10 and 11 months.  Heck of an age gap...Oh let's not forget the big kid I'm married to either.  Usually I'll jump in the car, ditch the kids at home and go to the mall or some type of store and just walk around being with my thoughts.  Sometimes I get more angry, other times I calm down and go home in a few hours.  If it neither one of those ideas are helping I go get my nails done and a pedicure.  I just started getting pedicures 2 years ago and OMG!  They not only take care of your feet, but your calves as well.  You sit in these wonderful massaging chairs...heaven!  I keep trying to get my husband to get a mani or pedi, very soothing.

I take a long hot bubble bath with a romance novel, turn off the phone and ignore my family for a few days to a week...ignoring them probably won't work if you live with them.

Basically I decide that I'm having some "Me, me, me!" time and then I take it. 

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