6 Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress can have an incredibly detrimental effect on our general health. The effect of stress on the body is outlined in the previous blog which you can read here:
How can you reduce stress?
Here are our top 6 tips to reduce and manage stress and it’s affect on your body.
Breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system which can therefore help calm your body from the effects of stress and anxiety. It is something very simple but very powerful in decreasing stress hormones in the body as well as decreasing blood pressure and heart rate.
Most people when they are stressed, have a little voice playing in their head telling them the story of the stressful situation, whether it is reality or not. You keep playing over and over in your head the stressful situation. Getting the brain to calm down the negative thoughts is the key to changing how your body is responding to the stress.
Did you know that when you are in a stressful situation your breathing rate will change? Your breath in will be longer than your breath out when you are in an anxious state. When you are more depressed your breathing will be opposite where your breath out will be longer. If you want to get into a neutral state and calm the stressful brain noise, focus on the breath in and breathe out being balanced. The ideal technique is to breathe in for a count of 7, hold the breath in for the same count 7, breathe out for a count of 7 and then hold your breath out for a count of 7 and then repeat. If a count of 7 is too hard try 4 or 5. The important thing is that all phases of the breath cycle are held for the same duration.
Whenever you are feeling stressed or your cannot shut your brain off to go to sleep, try this technique for a few minutes and you will instantly feel the positive affect.
Your posture directly correlates to your emotional state. When you are stressed and in sympathetic dominance, the shoulders round and head drops forward and hence the body is ready to fight.
In this posture the brain cannot communicate effectively with the body as the messages coming from the brain through the spinal cord and out through the nerves to the body can become distorted. Forward head posture has a negative effect on the brain, robbing it of energy for thinking, metabolism and immune function (Ref: Myodetox).
As the shoulders become rounded when the body is in a stressed state, tightness in the pectoral muscles is increased and as a result, the rib cage is restricted in its movement. When the rib cage is restricted, there is less oxygen that the lungs can take in and thus less oxygen that can be supplied to the body. The cells of the body require oxygen as it is essential for their survival. If the body is stressed and the body is not receiving adequate oxygen, further health issues will eventually ensue.
Poor posture with the shoulders rounding and the head shifting forward leads to irritation on the nerves that are going down the arm. This can cause problems such as thoracic outlet syndrome, or any tingling, burning sensations into the arm and hand.
Low back problems are common in people that have been under constant stress. Forward head carriage and rounded shoulders, causes the body to compensate to ensure you do not fall over. This compensation takes place in the lower back leading to a sway back and low back pain.
There is so much more behind why it is important to support ideal posture and proper rib cage movement in the body. It can improve nerve function and improve oxygenation of the cells of the body. This can have an impact on the digestive system or immune system if the cells of these systems happen to be involved.
Good quality sleep is essential. This is the time that our body is healing and regenerating. People in a stressed state though often have poor quality sleep, which then adds to their existing poorly functioning body.
It is important that you have rhythm with your sleep. You go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time each day regardless if it is the weekend or a weekday. Calm your mind before going to bed using mediation techniques or the breathing technique mentioned above. Calming the mind will make it easier for you to fall to sleep. Have your room fully dark with all electronics turned off.
The body requires around 8 hours sleep per night for it to be fully recharged for the day ahead. Those who sleep well and get a good quality sleep have more energy, better concentration and are calmer in themselves the following day.
Exercise decreases stress hormones in the body and increase endorphins, hormones which make us feel good and improve our mood. Even simply going for a 20 minute walk can be beneficial in having a positive effect on your stress levels. Often though, the higher the intensity the bigger the effect.
Movement is a required nutrient for the foundation of life. What movement patterns do you chose to stimulate your physiology?
Magnesium: Helps to calm the excited nervous system, which results when in a stressed state for a prolonged period of time. Magnesium helps with the production of melatonin, a hormone required for sleep, as well as aiding relaxation as it is a powerful relaxant (SD Protocol, Dr Wayne Todd, Pg 172).
Withania: Decreases cortisol levels. (SD Protocol, Dr Wayne Todd)
Fish oil: A good quality fat which is important in the production of hormones. Fish oil contains omega-3-fatty acid which is important in supporting the immune system, brain and nervous system.
What you think about in your life you bring about. You brain is so powerful and it will believe what you constantly tell it, regardless of whether it is actually true or not. Focus on what you can change, and find a solution rather than focusing solely on the problem.
Make a list of what you would love to achieve in your life. Read this daily in the tense that you have it in your life now. Act as if. You need to take action, along with having the thought and passion to create it.
Have gratitude for what you have. Each day reflect on what you are grateful for. The more grateful you are the more the universe will give you things to be grateful for in the future.
If you have any specific questions regarding your individual situation or you would love further information please contact us here at Global Chiropractic on 54443388 or email [email protected]
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