Coping skills are everything. They count most when there is something to cope with… like a crisis. The techniques we use to handle stress are learned. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.
While some items – including food and other substances – may result in short-term satisfaction, they can set you up for a long-term disappointment, or worse.
Do yourself a favor, and ditch these five things – or at least be prepared to ditch them – so that your mind and body can better cope with the next crisis that could be just around the corner.
#1: Sweets. This category includes candy, soda, even artificial, sugary juices – you name it. The issue with sugar-packed goods is that shortly after your energy goes up, it comes crashing back down.
This leaves you fatigued and can impair your judgment in a life-threatening event. Not to mention the fact that sugar is also linked to high cholesterol, heart disease and obesity. All three of these conditions are a hindrance to your mobility in the event of a crisis.
#2: Energy Drinks. Here’s another no-no. Energy drinks are generally packed with elements that can send you into cardiac arrest, according to studies. They are also linked to increased anxiety (a.k.a. poorer decision-making skills), migraines and nervousness. These aren’t exactly helpful for keeping a clear mind.
Another serious danger is that the ingredients found in energy drinks can have an adverse interaction with the prescription drugs you’re currently taking – especially anti-depressants.
#3: Cigarettes. Studies show that of the many reasons folks start smoking, stress is close to the top of the list. Tobacco can have the short-term effect of relaxation, mild euphoria and concentration. But the clear downfall with this coping mechanism is that smoking can lead to cancer, addiction, confusion and seizures. And in the event you’re running for your life, those cigarettes won’t exactly help with your breathing.
Smokers usually have a difficult time with cardio. This is a recipe for disaster if you need to be quick on your feet in a time of crisis. And if someone addicted to nicotine goes cold turkey for a period of time (especially during a crisis), the results can be less than pleasing. Withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea, depression, irritability, headaches and difficulty concentrating.
#4: Alcohol. With regard to crises, alcohol usage has negative side effects in the short and long term. In its initial stages, alcohol use can lead to slurred speech, emotional changes, impaired coordination and sleep disruption. It can also cause liver disease, blackouts, nausea, loss of consciousness and in the worse case scenario, death. Unless it’s rubbing alcohol to clean a cut, maybe nix the booze for your bug-out bag. And the idea that liquor will keep your body warm in the event you’re stuck in the cold? Studies show that’s a myth.
When you drink alcohol, you may have the sensation of feeling warm and fuzzy. However, your body’s core temperature is lowering. Alcohol does nothing to protect your body from the cold or hypothermia.
#5: High-Sodium Foods. High sodium intake disrupts the balance of the water-sodium ratio in your body. This can lead to water retention, which can take place in various body parts. This includes your feet, legs, ankles and more. The difficult thing with swollen feet and ankles is that it’s hard to move around, especially without agitating the condition. Aside from being “bloated,” the imbalance in the water-sodium ratio creates a strain on your heart and blood vessels. This can also lead to high blood pressure, and subsequently heart disease or even stroke.
Meet the 4 Replacements:
#1: Fresh Fruit. Grab a banana or berries to satisfy your sweet tooth. Not only is the natural sugar better than processed sugar, fruit has great health benefits.
#2: Vitamin B12. Ditch your energy drink and opt for vitamin B12. It’ll give you natural energy. Either buy vitamin B12 tablets or get vitamin B12 shots from your physician.
#3: Yoga/Mediation. Yoga kills two birds with one stone. Ditch both the booze and tobacco. And consider a yoga or meditation session for increased peace, alertness and concentration.
#4: Veggies. Instead of the potato chips or sodium-packed foods, use veggies as an alternative. Cucumbers, carrots and broccoli all make for great replacements.