Today, almost everyone experiences some type of stress in their life. Stress can be caused by your job, your children, your parents, or your bills. Whatever the cause, chances are you have something in your life that causes you stress. Just as there are numerous things that can cause stress, there are many ways stress manifests itself. Some people experience fatigue, muscle stiffness, back pain, or headaches. Others may get an upset stomach or have nervous twitches. And some people may even have allergic reactions or sensitivities to chemicals.
Stress also effects your immune system and your cardiovascular system. Stress can suppress your immune system and make you more vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections. Stress also increases your heartrate and sometimes increases your blood pressure. These changes can cause pain over your chest (angina) or even irregular heart rhythms.
All of these manifestations of stress can become serious health problems if left untreated. But how can you tell when you are under more stress than your body can handle? There are some signs to watch for that will alert you to when you are almost to stress overload:
Determining if you are under too much stress is easy, but trying to reduce stress is more difficult. In fact, many people struggle with trying to decrease and cope with stress. In today’s world, removing stress altogether is nearly impossible, but there are things you can do to manage the stress in your life. One way to decrease stress is to take a mini-break from the day. When you start to feel overwhelmed, make yourself take a break. Although you may want to keep working to get everything done, making yourself take a break can actually improve your productivity. Take 5 minutes to clear your mind by taking deep and slow breaths. Make sure to completely fill up your lungs, and then exhale slowly until all the air is gone.
Another way to relax during a break is to systematically contract and relax muscles in your body. Start with your feet. Curl your toes and hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Move up to your legs. Point your toes and hold for 5 seconds. Then just keep working your way up your body. By the time you get to your neck, you should feel less tension in your body and you will be refreshed and ready to work again.
Exercise can also help control and manage stress. “Working out your frustrations” with a brisk walk during lunch, on a break, or after work can clear your mind and relax your body. Regular exercise such as walking, running, aerobics, yoga, or weight training can actually become an important part of your daily stress management.
Finally, to take back control of your life, make a list of all the things you must do in a day, a week, or even a month. Look closely at the list and determine what tasks you can delegate or at least ask for help with. Identify anything that is unnecessary, and eliminate it. But do not eliminate doing things for yourself. Each day or at least a few times a week you should do something just for yourself that makes you happy. No matter how small, doing anything for yourself will calm your nerves and refresh your outlook.
If you have tried these stress reduction techniques before and they do not seem to help you, it may be time to seek outside help. All of the effects stress has on the body and all of the symptoms stress causes are mediated by the nervous system. Stress causes the nervous system to put out too many or too few impulses to certain areas of the body. The result of these chaotic impulses is fatigue, headaches, an upset stomach, allergic reactions, and all of the other symptoms listed before.
Normalizing the function of the nervous system is important to managing the effects of stress. Chiropractic care identifies the imbalances in the nervous system and corrects the imbalances using chiropractic adjustments, muscle work to relieve tension in specific muscles, and nutritional advice to ensure the body has all the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
To determine if chiropractic care could help you manage your stress and possibly relieve some of the symptoms of stress, or to speak with a chiropractor in the Edwardsville, IL area, call Dr. Emily Brueggeman at 618-692-0000 . Ask for a free Invitation to Health which includes a consultation and screening to determine if your case is a chiropractic case.