Alcohol and Stress: There are Safer Ways to Cope
Drinking in Response to Stress
Other Ways of Dealing With Stress
- Learn to say no.—If you are overwhelmed with responsibilities, make a point not to take on more than you can handle.
- Meditate.—Take 10-20 minutes each day to quietly reflect. Listen to music, relax, and clear your mind of stress.
- Take one thing at a time.—If your workload seems unbearable, pick one urgent task at a time to work on. When you finish that task, choose another.
- Exercise and eat healthfully.—Get 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week and focus on eating a healthy diet. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol, both of which can interfere with your sleep.
- Share your feelings.—Talk to a friend, family member, or healthcare professional about what is causing your stress. A friend or family member’s love, support, and guidance can help you through a stressful situation, and a professional is trained to assess levels of stress and recommend coping strategies.
- Learn to breathe.—When stressed, we frequently forget how to breathe properly. Our breaths become rapid and shallow. Learning a few breathing techniques might become a useful tool in combating stress.
Mental Health America http://www.nmha.org/
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/
Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.ontario.cmha.ca/index.asp/
Mental Health Canada http://www.mentalhealthcanada.com/
Co-occurring disorders. Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/co-occurring-disorders . Accessed June 5, 2012.
Moderate & binge drinking. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking. Accessed June 5, 2012.
Sasyette M. Does drinking reduce stress? National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh23-4/250-255.pdf . Accessed June 5, 2012.
Stress. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated February 2010. Accessed April 14, 2010.
Stress—coping with everyday problems. National Mental Health Association website. Available at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/stress/stress-coping-with-everyday-problems . Accessed June 5, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 06/2012 -
- Update Date: 06/05/2012 -