Stress is a very complex concept that can be difficult to explain. At the most basic level, it can be grouped into two different categories: mental/emotional stress and physical stress. Mental stress is what most of us think of when we hear the word "stress". This is also the way it is typically used in conversation - "I'm so stressed right now!" or "I can't take all of this stress". What we don't think about as much is physical stress. The stress we put on our bodies every day through poor posture, poor body mechanics and other physical bad habits. In addition, we don't think about how mental stress affects our bodies physically as well. Mental stress - especially when it persists for a long period of time - can have a number of damaging effects on our bodies - for more details on how and why this is the case, check out Dr. Fleming's ebook, available for free download on the home page. Chiropractic care can not only help to reduce the pain associated with physical stress on your joints, but it can influence your nervous system and affect you emotionally as well.
Your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) is made up of nerves at the very top and the very base of your spine. Your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) is made up of the nerves in the middle part of your spine. Adjusting the spine in these areas can affect these parts of the nervous system, affecting blood pressure, heart rate and other areas of the body that respond to physical and emotional stress. For more information on stress and how and why chiropractic works, check out Chapters 2 and 5 of Dr. Fleming's ebook. Until then, here are some useful tips to help you decrease emotional stress.
Step 1: Time Management. The easiest way to manage stress is to avoid stressful situations in the first place. If you find yourself running late often, try getting up and leaving the house just five minutes earlier than you normally do. If you experience daily stress when leaving for work due to time constraints, these extra five minutes may save you a lot of stress in the long run!
Step 2: Take a few deep breaths, counting 5 seconds for each inhale and each exhale. Deep breathing has been shown to relax the mind and the nervous system, helping you relax and refocus your energy on more positive thoughts.
Step 3: Exercise. Physical activity can be a great way to relieve stress and gain a burst of energy whenever you need it. Exercise has a number of different health benefits and also causes your body to release endorphins, hormones that make you feel good! Yoga is a great option that combines physical activity and meditation, both of which are excellent tools to combat stress.
Try some of these tips the next time you are feeling stressed. If your stress perseists, contact a chiropractor to see if chiropractic care might help. For more tips like these, check out our eBook, available to download for free on the home page!
Dr. Alesha Fleming
Natural Health and Wellness Chiropractic, LLC
Daytona Beach, FL
Dr. Fleming is a family chiropractor in Daytona Beach, Florida. She is passionate about preventative health care and nutrition and enjoys empowering her patients to improve their health and fitness, one day at a time!