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Stress is ever-present in our daily lives. How many times have you heard those around you, including yourself, say that they’re stressed out?! But what does that exactly mean?
Many times we equate stress with emotional or psychological stress, such as being worried about a job, career, money, health, family, marriage, children, friends, social situations, you name it. The reality is that our bodies do get stressed out for different reasons from the inside out. So let’s first figure out what types of stressors we encounter on the every day:
- Physical – strenuous activities, cold/hot temperature extremes, injury (falls, slip, accident, etc.), subluxated vertebra, etc.
- Emotional – anxiety, depression, guilt, etc.
- Chemical – poor diet, inflammation, chemical toxins in home and environment, etc.
Cortisol, the “stress hormone”: a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which is usually released during times of stress (physical, chemical, and emotional) to maintain homeostasis in the body. With consistent amount of stress bombarding the body, the cortisol is continually released and has serious, negative effects on health, such as stress on the cardiovascular system, decreased immunity, higher risk for type II diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, high blood pressure, and the loss of reproductive health.
Stress can be manageable. Finding some activities to decrease the amount of stress in life can help decrease the damage to the body, mind, and spirit, as well as add years to life and improving vitality. Figuring out a way to make everyday situations less stressful and more manageable is a good way to deal with stress.
Breathing relaxation techniques: The cheapest and easiest method to implement immediately.
- Sit still and tall somewhere comfortable with a neutral spine
- Close the eyes and begin breathing through the nose
- Inhale for a count of 2…
- Hold the breath in for a count of 2…
- Exhale gently, counting out for 4…
- Finish by holding the breath out for a count of 2
- Keep your breathing even and smooth.
- Repeat the cycle 10-15 times.
- Return to normal breathing.
- Grounding exercise– easy and free by connecting to the Earth
- Stand or sit with bare skin exposed to grass, sand, dirt, or even concrete for 20-plus minutes each day
- Connecting allows the body to gain electrons to neutralize free radicals and decrease oxidative stress
- Overall decreases the amount of inflammation in the body and improves overall health being
- Meditation– similar to breathing technique
- Takes a little bit of time and discipline, but raises the consciousness and allows the brain to let go of the clutter and noise
- Start it with the breathing technique ABOVE and introduce an intention with it to help focus the mind
- Once the practice is automatic, the mental clarity and stress relief will be evident
- Interacting with an animal has been shown to decrease blood pressure and increase immunity as well as offering companionship of selfless kind
- Petting, playing, or talking to an animal can be therapeutic and fun!
- Getting a pet, volunteering at an animal shelter, or even walking your friend’s or neighbor’s dog may be a good start!
Some obvious stress-relief choices that benefit the calmer state of mind and body also include:
Practicing any of these stress-relieving techniques each day for even 5 minutes will allow you to raise your awareness and eventually reach the point where this process will become subconscious! You will be able put yourself into a more relaxed and calm state of mind and body, no matter where the stress is coming from!
With chiropractic, keeping the nervous system is the optimal mission and is facilitated though proper spinal health. Chiropractic allows the body to release the accumulated physical, mental, and chemical stress and further allows the appropriate alignment and movement in the spine and its structures. Talk to your local chiropractor today and start on the path to health!
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