This post was written by a CSUCI Service-learning student.
Hello Everyone! I am writing this blog to give people some healthy alternatives to dealing with life that do not involve drugs or alcohol. Growing up in a drug-addicted family where most of my relatives did drugs was very stressful because I got to see the negative affects and tolls that drug and alcohol consumption have on the addict and the family. Seeing first hand the effects drugs can have on one’s mental and physical state has motivated me to take a different path and help people find better ways to cope with the negativity that life can throw in one’s path. Both of my parents struggled with drug addiction from a very young age so I have a very addictive system, and after losing my mother to an overdose I knew something had to change. Here are a few alternative methods that will help with relieving stress, reducing anxiety, and dealing with depression.
Ways to relieve stress:
- Chewing gum
Here are some suggestions from Dr. Oz on how to stop stress in 90 seconds:
Everyone gets stressed out from time to time due to things like falling behind on your homework, letting the laundry pile up, or getting in a fight with your parents or friends. Point is, life can be STRESSFUL!! Things like exercising, chewing gum and laughing have been proven to relieve stress. I know it sounds crazy, but keeping your mouth busy by chewing gum really does help. Watching a funny movie or television show can also help take your mind off of things, and laughing has been proven to put you in a better mood.
People can feel anxious about starting a new job or school, being in a relationship, being single, or after having a baby. Just about anything can make our bodies feel anxious. Anxiety is something that can creep up on you at your worst time, but learning to deal with it in a healthy way can be life-changing. By meditating or practicing calming breathing techniques you can learn how to reduce anxiety without becoming dependent on a drug or medication.
Ways to reduce anxiety:
- Meditation & Yoga
- Count to 10
- Take a deep breath
- Get enough sleep
Depression is very common in today’s society, and over time we have developed many useful ways of dealing with depression in a non-medicated manner. You can talk to your parents, friends, siblings or a therapist about what is going on in your life that is making you feel depressed. By seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist regularly they can help to address situations that cause you to feel depressed and help you work through them so that you feel comfortable and happy. Educating oneself is also a good way to learn coping strategies to cope with depression and feel happy again.
Ways to deal with depression:
- Reduce factors that can make you sad such as:
- situations that make you feel helpless
- things or people that make you feel disappointed
- Things that can help:
- Talking to a cognitive behavioral therapist
- Learning coping mechanisms and strategies
You can also call any of these depression hotlines to seek help in dealing with depression:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663
- Depression hotlines: https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/depression-hotline/
- How to stop stress in 90 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ77DYyfI0w