Stress—It’s Not All In Your Head!
You are not imagining it. Unless you are living as a hermit who has given up processions and social interaction, you are bound to have feelings of being stressed. Having that feeling occasionally is normal. However, nowadays many people are experiencing the symptoms of stress overload that affects not just mood and thoughts but how your body is affected. Unlike our ancestors, we live in round-the-clock stimulation and stress with little downtime for rest and regeneration.
$300 billion is the annual cost to businesses due to employee stress according to statistics in the October 2011 issue of AARP magazine. 40% of Americans say they lie awake at night because of stress. 70% of Americans say they are stressed about their work.
Most people do not consider that environmentally, sound, air and water pollution which has increased over the years has an affect on our bodies. The media, Internet and social media provide an overwhelming amount of information that can create anxiety about keeping up with it all. We are exposed to constant news of tragedies from around the world that can create an emotional and physical reaction which we may not be aware is playing out in our bodies.
These stressors trigger a flight or fight response which affects every part of your body. Heart rate and blood pressure increase. Your adrenal glands produce steroids to help your body cope. All of your body’s chemical reaction is helpful when confronted by a threat to your physical safety. However, more people are experiencing prolonged, long term effects of their body being in this state of chronic stress.
Some of the negative effects:
High blood pressure
Destruction of healthy muscle and bone
Slowed healing from disease and injury
Weakened immune system
Impaired digestion, metabolism and mental function
One of the affects of chronic stress is muscle tension and contraction that creates pressures on the structures of your body leading to misalignments of your spine and joints. This in turn causes nerve irritation leading to common complaints such as: neck and back pain, headaches and jaw pain. Chiropractic adjustments can correct these misalignments and help your body return to a relaxed state. It can help your body turn off the flight or fight signal and allow your body some time off to heal. While chiropractic care may not make your job less stressful or the world less troubled, it can provide you with a tool to help your body cope and respond to your stress so you reduce or eliminate the potential for serious physical effects.
You are the only person who can control your stress. Maintaining healthy eating and exercise are the basics. After that, choosing a relaxation technique that suits you whether it’s meditation, yoga, biofeedback, tai chi, massage or any other number of therapies can be effective. Lastly, you may find regular chiropractic adjustments for body maintenance a wonderful tool to give your body the signal to stop the fight and flight and return to a balanced, relaxed state. Honoring your body and its innate wisdom for healing is a good place to begin in managing stress.