We live in a society that values productivity and we tend to be busy people. It is easy for our schedules to take over our lives, be careful though, if you are living with too much stress you are wearing down your body. Because we value wellness at North County Pain Relief Center, we want to help you find a few ways that you can reduce stress and stay healthier.
First, is stress bad?
Stress is not inherently bad. Your body responds to stressful situations in a variety of ways. You will breathe more quickly because your body is distributing blood and oxygen quickly. You also produce extra blood sugar to give you an energy boost. Your muscles will tense as a defense. None of these things are bad, but if you get stuck in stress mode, all of these things will damage your body over time.
Chronic stress means that your body doesn’t return to normal, your body isn’t supposed to stay in stress response mode, your body’s responses are meant to be short term boosts to help you overcome the issue, threat, or problem. You may suffer depression, irritability, anxiety and insomnia as well as physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, acid reflux as well as lowering your immune system.
Chronic stress will wear on your heart, this raises the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and hypertension. It also raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes because you are may produce more blood sugar than your body is able to deal with. If your muscles are constantly tensing but never having the chance to relax, you will begin to develop a lot of painful side effects.
Tight muscles can pull your body out of alignment. Because your body is so complex, having one area of your body misaligned can carry over to other parts of your body. Symptoms like headaches, back aches, shoulder pain, foot pain and difficulty sleeping are often ignored. After a while we begin to assume that that is just how life is, though the truth is that most of these are easy to address!
Second, what do we do about it?
You don’t need to devote hours each day to fighting stress, pick one or two tips and incorporate them into your work day, your body will thank you! Try taking a few minutes to breathe deeply. Count to five on the inhale, hold it for three counts, and exhale for five more counts. Relax, maybe close your eyes, this will help to slow your heart rate and can counter some of the effects from stress.
Laughing can lower your body’s stress hormone, so listen to a comedian on your way to work, or watch a good sitcom and relax. Exercise can help with anxiety and depression, and can give your brain a break from the stress of the day, so take a jog or try a yoga class. Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator can be beneficial! Take a walk outside and focus on the things you see around you, maybe practice breathing slowly, and smile at the people you pass. Take a minute to stand up and stretch if you are seated for most of the day, this will let your body relax, as well as giving your brain a break. Soothing music or nature sounds can also help us relax. Maybe try some classical music before bed or download an app with bird sounds or rain sounds.
Stress will wear your body down, and we can help you deal with the damage that chronic stress is causing. If you are suffering from one of the symptoms of stress come in to our office and lets start working on the real problem.
You don’t have to have a specific issue to be benefited by a trip to the chiropractor. Many people meet with Dr. Elsey to promote wellness and take preventative action. If you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start come in for a consultation, we want to get to know you and your needs so we can help you be as healthy and pain free as possible.