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Pleasure vs. Stress Relievers

Stress release can have two sides. One is the reward of pleasure or enjoyment to counter balance life’s constant demands on our time, energy, and effort. This is a healthy release much like a vacation, socializing, or other forms of rejuvenation. A reward for your efforts.

But unless you practice healthy forms of release in moderation, stress relievers can also be known as numbing out or de-stressing. This can be in the form of avoidance or unwillingness to face perceived pressures and overwhelm head on through healthier outlets.

There are many substances humans use as an “escape” or “release”, which, depending on the reason and/or the amount, or frequency of use, can indicate whether these things are used as a coping mechanism in order to relieve stress, or whether they are used in moderation; occasionally for enjoyment or relaxation.

Frequency and amount are two important indicators of whether these devices are a form of coping mechanisms (and thereby a dependency), or a once in a while recreational practice for enjoyment or pleasure.

These are all forms of stress relievers:

  • Alcohol

  • Cigarettes

  • Marijuana

  • Coffee

  • Cake/Sweets

  • Junk Food

  • Credit/Purchases

  • Television/Gaming

  • The Internet

  • Sex

Again, the determining factors are quantity and frequency of use.

Someone who over uses or abuses these “relievers” will do everything to justify and defend their position, rationalizing that they are in control.

What they aren’t consciously aware of is how this can affect the people in their lives; spouses, children, friends, and associates.

The overwhelmed person who thinks they are in control often displays behaviors of needing to control everything else in their life. It’s an unconscious way of proving to themselves that they are capable of handling everything.

This often places the significant people in their lives in an uncomfortable situation of trying to overlook the problem or having to cope with the issue in a way that will not bring conflict to the forefront.

People who release stress in this way know on some level what they do, yet it has become such a big part of their routine that it’s hard for them to change.

Even heavy drug users are aware and immediately recognize that there is a problem and that they are the source.

It can be hard to break free of these poor habits when their “personal truth” – their justification – keeps them trapped, unable to create new positive habits.

These people however, may require professional help to make big shifts in their thinking and routine.

Examining their thinking style and belief system can be an important first step in creating healthier outlets for release.

Meditation, exercise, and other healthier outlets can help to improve their “perceived” situations providing opportunity for increased energy, focus, clarity, creativity, drive, and happiness.

Use is always a choice. By recognizing their stress release habits and practicing healthier forms of release, one can also improve their feelings of overwhelm, perceived lack of control, create better outcomes, and build stronger connections with others.

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