Many of us accept stress as a normal part of daily life. But it doesn't have to be — at least not as much as we make it. There are lots of ways we stress ourselves out without even realizing it, and these small habits take a big toll over time. Stress can mess with your hormones, your heart, your digestion, your immune system, and more, so it's important to make sure we're not experiencing more stress than we need to.
"We live in a society filled with high expectations for success, a plethora of daily environmental stressors, and increasing rates of mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders," Caitlin Hoff, Health & Safety Investigator at ConsumerSafety.org, tells Bustle. "So it is no wonder that more people report feeling stressed on a regular basis. Now, for some of these people, their jobs, their bosses, or friends and family incite this stress, but for others suffering from high levels of stress, certain habits and lifestyle decisions actually create that stress."
Here are some ways you could be making your life harder than it needs to be by stressing yourself out — and some ways to to kick these destructive habits and keep your cool.