Are you doing all the wrong things to relieve stress?
Eric Barker stashed this in Fitspo
"The most effective stress-relief strategies are exercising or playing sports, praying or attending a religious service, reading, listening to music, spending time with friends or family, getting a massage, going outside for a walk, meditating or doing yoga, and spending time with a creative hobby."
I like the massage idea.
How about napping?
Sleep is pretty much a cure-all but I do think it's good to get some of the more active stress-fighting strategies you quoted above in there as well.
Does "surfing the Web" count as reading?
I'm guessing no since they listed it under the ineffective strategies. It's a curious distinction though. I wonder if it's an issue of duration and engagement. My guess would be quickly skimming an article and moving on to the next one might be different from sustained involvement in a good book. Not sure. When you want stress relief switch from surfing the web on your iPad to reading a kindle book on your iPad. ;)
Or -- this is easier -- switch from iPad to Kindle where there's no temptation to do anything but read.
"The least effective strategies are gambling, shopping, smoking, drinking, eating, playing video games, surfing the Internet, and watching TV or movies for more than two hours."
All of these activities are fun. They might not relieve stress, but they're still fun.
Are you adding pleasure or decreasing stress? I think they're two different things. I often do those things while procrastinating and while they're fun, it doesn't really eliminate the worry that I should be doing something else. Maybe it's the difference between taking a shower and throwing on A LOT of cologne. :)
Adding pleasure brings on guilt, and guilt increases stress.
So you have to do something that doesn't make you feel guilty, to reduce stress.
That makes sense.
Do Facebook and Twitter fall under reading (good) or surfing the Internet (bad)?
Methinks someone is trying to game the system. ;) My assumption is when they say reading, they mean books, but I don't know the details. I think Facebook and Twitter fall solidly in the Internet surfing area.
Perhaps the distinction is immersion? (technically an extreme version of engagement and comparable to flow though less active.)
See, I'm able to immerse myself in Facebook or Twitter. So many interesting things to read (and people to talk with)!
It's a serious question. I could see using Facebook and Twitter as good for stress ... Or bad!
As with so many things, the answer for now may be "it depends":
Facebook has the capacity to make us lonely and miserable.
And yet, it is the single most popular application ever.
Friends can lie, betray and disappoint us. Why have them? Nothing is just good or just bad.
And the most powerful addictions are often created by intermittent reinforcement. Sometimes you get a goody, sometimes you don't.
Not knowing whether I will get a goody, is a cause of stress.
So much for Facebook being stress relief!