Many of us complain that we are stressed on a weekly, if not daily, basis. However, prolonged stress over a duration of time can have detrimental side effects to your mental and physiological wellbeing. Stress is a normal physical response to events which make you feel threatened or upset your body’s natural balance.
When you sense danger—whether it’s real or perceived—your body’s defences automatically instigate what is known as the “fight or flight” reaction, or the stress response.
Stress can arise as the result of one major event or the culmination of a series of seemingly insignificant incidents. Listed below are some of the most common causes of stress:
External causes of stress:
major life changes, work or school issues, financial problems, relationship difficulties, children and family rifts or arguments, too much work, feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities.
Internal causes of stress:
chronic worry, pessimism, perfectionism and unrealistic expectations, lack of flexibility in thought process, all-or-nothing attitude, low self-esteem, repressed anger/ anxiety about yourself and your future prospects.
The aforementioned causes of stress can manifest themselves as a myriad of different symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:
memory problems, inability to concentrate, poor judgement, negative thoughts, anxious or racing thoughts, constant worrying.
mood swings, irritability, short temper, agitation, inability to relax, feeling overwhelmed, loneliness and isolation, depression, general unhappiness.
aches and pains, either diarrhoea or constipation, chest pain, heart palpitations, frequent bouts of illness.
significant increase or loss of appetite, sleeping too little or too much, isolating yourself from others, neglecting responsibilities, substance abuse (i.e.- alcohol, cigarettes, drugs), habitual nervous traits (i.e. pacing, tapping fingers, nail biting).
When you perceive a threat, your nervous system responds by releasing stress hormones through your body, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which prepare your body for emergency action. This is known as your “fight or flight response” and is your body’s instinctual response to perceived danger. The release of these stress hormones causes your heart to pound faster, your muscles to tighten, raised blood pressure, quickened breath and sharpened senses. Although these physical changes increase your strength and stamina and enhance your focus, chronic stress can also cause prolonged tension and pressure throughout your body.
Subsequently, chiropractic and massage treatment can release this muscle tension and return your body to a balanced and relaxed state.
Utilising state of the art electronic treatment benches, Spinal Care Clinics practitioners can correctly align your spinal column, improve blood circulation and thereby alleviate the prolonged muscle tension and contractions caused by chronic stress.
By maintaining a healthy and balanced spine, your nervous system can function efficiently. This will enable your body to calm its “fight or flight response” which in turn enables you to overcome mental stress and heal its related physiological issues. Working with our team of seasoned chiropractors, you can develop healthy responses to stress, thereby enabling your mind and body to heal itself.
As well as chiropractic treatment, other activities which can help alleviate stress include:
Breathing exercises and meditation
Sports & Therapeutic massage therapy treatments
these treatments have been proven to promote a sense of mental and physiological wellbeing as well as facilitating a relaxing environment wherein you can unwind,
Manage your time more effectively
prioritise important jobs,
Eat a balanced diet
rich in fruit and vegetables,
scientific research has revealed that continued aerobic exercise on a daily basis releases endorphins from the brain, granting you a feeling of euphoria and well-being. These endorphins provide a natural remedy to stress and depression because of their ability to elevate your mood,
Get enough sleep
at least 8 hours,
Find out what causes you to feel stressed
try to change your thoughts and behaviour to reduce these stressful causes,
Talk through your issues with a friend or family member
vocalising your issues can help you work out how to overcome them,
Avoid stressful situations
which are most likely to make you feel angry or upset.
Make time for the activities you enjoy and for the things that make you feel relaxed
you’re more likely to neglect this area of your life if you’re stressed,
Socialise with friends and family- arrange to do something you enjoy.
Avoid artificial substances
remove your dependency upon artificial substances such as alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine. Using substances as a way to cope with stress will only exacerbate your problems in the long term,
if you believe you can achieve your goals, you are much less likely to become stressed.