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Some of the things we do in the name of alleviating stress can make it worse. So here are the most common “stress traps” to avoid, according to the latest science:

First: Be careful how much venting you do with friends. It seems logical to share our problems. But a study from Oklahoma State University found unless we’re asking friends for advice, most venting backfires. Because sharing details about whatever’s bothering you is like re-living the problem all over again. So, our body responds by releasing MORE stress hormones, not less. In other words: Only talk about your problems if you’re focused on finding solutions.

Also, when you’re stressed, that’s not a good time to cut back on coffee. Because, if you’re a regular coffee drinker, you’ll add caffeine withdrawal on top of the stress. Plus, a recent study found people who drank three daily cups of coffee performed better under stressful conditions. That’s because caffeine triggers the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine – making us up to 15% less stressed!

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