why do people use drugs to relieve stress

Simple, field-tested strategies you can use right now
You know what stress looks like: The sun rises; so do you. Your child suddenly remembers that he needs cupcakes for the school party. The dog's gotten sick in the living room. Your spouse leaves for work in a huff after a pre- tiff over finances. You leave for work without a report that's due today. You double back, grab it from the kitchen counter, trip over an Everest of laundry в must we go on? You know what stress feels like: Your quickens, your squeeze shut, your ears ring, and you wonder if this is the time your head actually explodes.

Sensing overload, your orders up a chemical surge that makes your vessels narrow, race, rise, and muscles tighten. Your body is mobilizing to deal with threat. Good plan, nature! But you weren't meant to stay on red alert forever. Prolonged stress leads to health problems. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are associated with and ; stress has also been linked to gastrointestinal problems, and.

And you probably already know what's involved in long-term, big-commitment stress reduction: physical changes (, eating right, getting plenty of ); organizational changes (planning ahead, divvying up chores equitably); attitude changes (letting go of what you can't control, for starters); and relationship changes (finding ways to talk through, directly and respectfully, the problems that are the sources of ).

All of these transformations are definitely worth the effort. But here's what you may not know: Recent studies have suggested six new в research-tested, rather surprising, and relatively simple. You can ease these strategies into your life right now. "When I come home from a hard day at work and kiss my husband, the bad stuff doesn't seem to matter anymore," says Cheryl Kennedy Henderson, 47, an accountant in Knoxville, TN. Science says she's on to something.

A recent study of 2,000 couples showed that those who kiss only during lovemaking are eight times more likely to report suffering from than those who frequently kiss on the spur of the moment. Study leader Laura Berman, Ph. D. , an assistant clinical professor of and ob-gyn at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, explains why: " relieves stress by creating a sense of connectedness, which releases endorphins, the chemicals that counteract. " At the "slight buzz" level, alcohol is a social lubricant which often improves mood.

You start to let go of a few worries, pay attention to the moment with friends. "It's telling that, outside of people with alcohol dependence, most people drink in a social situation," says Sher. "The overall enjoyment is more pleasurable, because it's enhancing that social experience. Drinking in groups creates cohesion, enhances group bonding and formation, and that's a clear social benefit. "