Stress is a normal part of everyday life for most people. It is a common condition because there are so many potential stress triggers, including financial issues, poor work/life balance, and dealing with health problems.
Events like the current COVID-19 pandemic are particularly stressful. Not only are we dealing with a dangerous virus, we are facing a high level of economic uncertainty over the coming months.
Fortunately, there are several simple techniques you can use to dramatically reduce your stress levels. These techniques can improve your quality of life and help you avoid the impact that chronic stress can have on your health.
In this article, our Stoke chiropractor shares some of these techniques.
Why Is Stress Dangerous?
Stress is your body’s way of responding to situations which you perceive to be dangerous or very difficult to handle. These situations cause the body to go into fight-or-flight mode as the brain releases “stress” hormones including cortisol and adrenaline.
When you are stressed, your heart rate and breathing will speed up, mental alertness is increased, and more glucose is dumped into your blood stream for energy. The stress response is a useful survival mechanism that helps you deal with everything from deadlines at work to life-threatening situations.
However, when you experience stress for long periods it throws your body out of equilibrium and causes some nasty side effects, including:
- Higher risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes
- Emotional instability
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Tension headaches
- Premature ageing
- Weakened immune system
- Tense muscles
- Poor dental health
The Best Techniques For Managing Stress From Our Stoke Chiropractor
Here are some of the most effective stress-busting techniques:
#1 – Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment. It draws your mind away from repetitive negative thoughts and promotes a feeling of inner peace. Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to deliver many useful health benefits, including stress reduction. To learn more about mindfulness, visit the NHS website.
#2 – Exercise
Regular exercise isn’t just important for keeping your body healthy. It can also improve your mental health and reduce stress. Exercise eliminates stress in several ways:
- Reducing stress hormones
Regular exercise reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol. It also releases endorphins, which are the “feel good” chemicals produced by the brain. Endorphins will put you in a relaxed and positive mood.
- Makes recovering from injury or illness easier
If your stress is related to a treatable physical injury or illness, exercise can help. It can alleviate your symptoms and put you on the road to recovery, which reduces your stress levels. Talk to our chiropractor in Stoke on Trent for some ideas on using exercise to recover from an injury or illness.
- Makes it easier to sleep
Exercise can sometimes make it easier to overcome stress-related insomnia.
- Improved mental wellbeing
Being in great physical condition can provide a boost to your self-image and confidence. This promotes mental wellbeing which makes you better equipped at dealing with stress.
- A chance to socialise
Exercise provides a fantastic opportunity for meeting new people or catching up with friends and family. It is a great way to include more social engagement into your lifestyle, which alleviates stress. Unfortunately, this benefit is limited with the restrictions that are currently imposed due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak!
The key to incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is to use activities you enjoy. Start by walking in the park each day, then move onto cycling, yoga, boxing, cross fit or whatever else catches your attention. Staying active will keep your mind off the stressful problems in your life and deliver many incredible benefits.
#3 – Improve your diet and consider supplements
A poor diet can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. This can make you more vulnerable to stress.
Focus on incorporating more whole foods into your diet like fruits, vegetables, lean meat, dairy, healthy fats, legumes, whole grains, and nuts. Avoid foods that are processed, contain trans fats, or have a lot of artificial ingredients.
If your diet needs improvement, let us know the next time you visit our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent. We can share a few tips for eating well.
There are also several supplements and foods which can make you more resilient to stress. They include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce anxiety levels. You can obtain more Omega-3’s by eating avocado, oily fish, flax seeds, and nuts.
Valerian root has been a popular sleep tonic for centuries. It has a mild tranquillising effect which can be useful for combating stress related insomnia. It can also ease feelings of anxiety.
- Lemon Balm
This herb is also known for its anti-anxiety effects.
- Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B has been found to relieve stress, improve cognitive performance, and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Melatonin is an all-natural hormone that regulates the body’s circadian rhythm. Taking melatonin supplements can make easier to get to sleep.
#4 – Drink less caffeine
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant which is present in coffee and tea. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can make you feel anxious or tense, which makes the stress response even worse.
Caffeine consumption can also contribute to insomnia, which is a common symptom of stress. Try cutting down on caffeine to get a better night’s sleep, less anxiety, and less tension in your body.
If you are feeling stressed at this challenging time please do consider following this advice.
We hope that we will be able in a position to open the doors of City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke as soon as is advisable.