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Stressful Habits

Most good and bad routines in life are efforts to cope

Do you ever wonder how you got in the habit of doing something? Drinking, maybe? Watching too much television?

Maybe it's even a healthy habit, although time-consuming, like going for a run after work every day. The key to most behavior, say some experts, is that much of what we do is an effort, conscious or otherwise, to reduce stress in our lives.

According to a column by Dr. David Posen, from Canada's C-Health, stress is the leading cause of health problems. The question is whether your coping strategy is helping or hurting. If it's unhealthy, you should consider a shift to one that's healthy.

Some people deal with stress by eating, which can lead to overeating. Some people turn to a drink after a hard day, which is fine as long as it's done in moderation. Some people withdraw socially and isolate themselves. Others vent, dumping their troubles on everyone around them. And then there are those who spend most of their waking free time in front of the TV.

Posen suggests opting for exercise, relaxation techniques, assertiveness training and humor as healthy coping techniques. Avoid overuse of alcohol, food or drugs, or withdrawal, self-pity and blaming others.

One sure way to beat stress is exercise. Not only will you reduce stress, you'll also help your heart and lungs and otherwise improve your health. To find out more, you can read this information from Columbia University. To learn more about reducing stress, you can read this article from Redbook.

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