Stress: How to Manage Stress

Learning how to properly manage stress is a key to staying healthy. Stress attacks the body in three main ways: Emotionally, Physically, and Chemically. While some stress can be positive (known as eustress), such a the way a deadline at work can help you focus on getting the job done, the overwhelming amount of the stress we face today is negative stress (distress). If we don't properly manage stress it can negatively affect our lives and our health.

The Three Types of Stress

  • Chemical Stress:
    Chemical stress comes from the toxins we put on or in our bodies. Environmental pollutions, drugs and medications, processed foods, alcohol, and chemicals we spray and breathe.
  • Emotional & Psychological Stress:
    Emotional stress often comes from financial problems, troubles with relationships, dealing with health problems of family members, and everyday issues that seem to go against you.
  • Physical Stress:
    Physical stress can come from injuries and accidents, lack of exercise, poor posture, sleeping in the wrong position, repetitive injuries, falls, and improperly lifting objects.

How Stress Can Damage Your Health

Stress, when left unmanaged, can cause a multitude of health-related issues. From increased blood pressure to fatigue, insomnia, and/or slower metabolism — stress can lead to illness and disease.

Health Problems Caused by Stress

  • High blood pressure
  • Weakened Immune System
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (stiff neck, achy joints, lower back pain)
  • Digestive Disorders (ulcers, heartburn, reflux, irritable bowel)
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sinus and Allergy issues
  • Depression and anxiety

People often believe that stress is something they have no control over. Reality is that each choice you make throughout the day can help you overcome stress and give you back control of your life.

Many people think that stress is something we are victim to and have no control over- This is far from the truth! You are more in control of the effects of stress on your bodies than you even know! Every choice you make every day will either help you face and overcome stress or will lead you on the path to disease or illness.

Steps to Help Reduce Stress

  1. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress.Exercise Regularly.
    Exercise is a great stress reliever that has many benefits. Regular exercise can give you more energy, improve blood flow, control weight, improve brain function, and help your body deal better with physical stress thanks to better coordination and strength.
  2. Have a Positive Attitude.
    Many books have been written on this subject, but when you have a positive attitude your outlook on life is more optimistic, and you will have a lower risk of heart disease. As you focus on the positive aspects of your life you will be more grateful for what you have. A positive attitude reduces stress and anxiety.
  3. Eat Healthy.
    Processed foods, sugars, and other junk foods create an unhealthy environment in your body and one that is more susceptible to cancer. Stay away from processed food, soda, and sugars. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Choose grass-fed meats instead of grain-fed beef. Try to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
  4. Get 8 Hours of Sleep.
    Most of America has a sleep deficit. TVs, phones, and iPads stimulate us and keep us awake. Sleep is when our body resets, our organs get a break, and our muscles recover. Trying to get by on too little sleep will cause fatigue and drowsiness during the day, and lead to errors and accidents. Try to get to bed by 10 or 11 every night, and keep your schedule as consistent as possible.
  5. Take the Time to Laugh.
    Dau Voire said, "Laughing is, and will always be, the best form of therapy." Laughter improves your mood, boosts your immune system, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, improves your creativity, and much more. So, take the time to laugh and enjoy life.
  6. Relax and Calm Your Mind.
    Meditation and prayer have helped people reduce stress and find inner peace for thousands of years. Focusing your thoughts, breathing, and movement will help you to set aside your fears, stress, and anxiety.
  7. Get a Massage.
    There are many therapeutic benefits to massage. The health benefits include reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, and reducing pain.
  8. Get a Chiropractic Adjustment.
    Chiropractic care is proven to remove interference in the nervous system, reduce pain, and increase nerve flow (afferentation) to the brain. It has a positive effect on the limbic system of the brain, which regulates your ability to be happy. When subluxations (misalignment to the spine) are removed, the organs, muscles, and tissues of your body function better and your immune system becomes more effective.

Health Benefits of Managing Stress

  • A stronger, more effective immune system for fighting disease
  • Your relationships at work and home will improve
  • You will experience a lower risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses
  • Increased productivity and awareness due to increased blood flow and oxygen to your brain
  • Less burnout and fatigue in both your work and personal life!

Stress and Chiropractic Care

While we know that stress is a source of physical and mental problems, it is also a common cause of subluxations (misalignments to the vertebrae in the spine). When you are stressed, your body often carries tension in the neck and back. This can cause subluxations which leads to other issues like headaches, migraines, back pain, and neck pain. Additionally, subluxations cause pressure on the nervous system, which in turn weakens your immune system.

Dr. Steve Silverston is experienced in correcting subluxations and teaching his patients tips on how to reduce stress. Call his office at 410.461.3435 to arrange for an appointment so he can help you reduce your stress. If any of your friends and family can benefit from this article, please recommend this article to them.