Stress and Alcohol

It’s a well-known fact that many people react to stress with alcohol. What is less well known is that alcohol exacerbates stress. People who don’t have as many resources, such as social support to cope with stress, are more likely to drink in response to a stressful situation. Research tells us that alcohol causes some of the same effects on the body as other stressors. Alcohol interferes with sleep, numbs emotions and may hurt your ability to deal with the situation causing the distress. One exception to this is red wine. Red wine may actually help you relax by inhibiting the movement of the neurotransmitter responsible for stress. *A drink after work or with dinner can be safe and pleasurable, the problem is when chronic stress can lead to drinking to excess. Drinking 'just to relax' can be a risky behavior if it’s done on a regular basis. Reaching for a drink whenever you feel stressed can turn into a conditioned response, so that you are actually building a habit that can turn into dependency. Using alcohol to escape from the pressure of a problem is a risky behavior that can develop into a major dependence on alcohol. It’s important to have coping strategies that don’t involve drinking. Sharing feelings with a friend, family member or healthcare professional can help you deal with worry. When you’re feeling overwhelmed remember to take one thing at a time. Situations can seem impossible when looking at the whole picture. Focus on what step you need to do first, and when you finish, then deal with another. Source Dr. Oz $5 Fixes to Stress Less Sleep Well and Lose Weight.