Many factors can cause stress – financial difficulties, family or relationship troubles, a chronic illness, or pressures at work. Whether you are face-to-face with a brown bear in Alaska or moving to a new home, your body responds the same way to these stressors – the “fight or flight” response. There are many helpful strategies, and non-invasive chiropractic care is one of those.
Stress is Normal. Here’s How to Handle it.
During stress, your body activates a “fight or flight” response, an automatic physiological reaction to something that prepares the body to fight or escape a perceived threat. To allow you to run from the bear, for example, your adrenal glands release hormones that raise your heart rate and increases blood flow to your extremities.
These physiological responses are designed to help you stay focused and protect you from stressful situations. Having your adrenal glands in a constant state of “fight or flight” produces hormones that you do not need at the moment, leading to chronic stress.
Not surprisingly, being in a chronic state of stress can interfere with your life professionally and personally. Everyone deals with stress differently. However, most of us deal with it by eating poorly, not sleeping enough, smoking, or exercising less. These harmful habits can lead to health issues:
Try These Natural Stress Busters
Here are four tips for managing stress and getting you out of your chronic state of “fight or flight.”
1. Learn relaxation techniques.
Deep breathing is a great way to reduce stress in the body. Taking a long, deep, slow breath increases oxygen to the brain and initiates a relaxation response in your body. Yoga, meditation, and listening to music are also helpful ways to decrease anxiety.
2. Increase physical activity.
You do not need to spend an hour in the gym to decrease stress. Although 30 minutes of exercise per day has the most health benefits, little activities can add up throughout the day.
Get outside and walk the dog, put on some music and dance around the house, play catch with your child. When you go to a store or an appointment, park further away so you can get in a mini-walk.
3. Remain positive.
Seek to approach unpleasant events in a more positive way. Try to expect the best outcomes in situations rather than focusing on the worst-case scenario. Periodically throughout the day, try to evaluate your “self-talk” and replace negative thinking with positive thinking.
If you have a lot of negative thoughts, consciously put a positive spin on things. Instead of seeing a situation and saying, “There’s no way this will work out,” say, “Here’s what I can do to help make it work.
4. Get regular chiropractic care.
Chronic stress can increase muscle tension and cause misalignments in your spine, affecting proper nerve function, blood flow, and range of motion.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help You
Your nervous system – brain, spinal cord, and nerves – creates a two-way communication system between your brain and your body. When there is a misalignment in your spine, the brain cannot communicate properly with the rest of the body – and vice versa.
Manual chiropractic care techniques can help counteract such issues. A chiropractor can also suggest relaxation techniques, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle changes to help manage stress. If you believe you’re in a chronic state of stress, make a plan to get help. Seeing your doctor of chiropractic is an excellent place to start.
CUKC Chiropractic Health Center
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), founded in 1922, is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health science-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. The CUKC on-campus Chiropractic Health Center is open to the public and treats patients from Kansas City’s 15-county metro area. Our goal is to provide chiropractic care and solutions for a better, more productive life for our patients.