Everyone Faces Stress and it’s Bad for Us.
Stress is a fact of life for everyone. It can serve a purpose by keeping our bodies alert and prepared to confront danger, but all too often, the sources of stress in our daily live are ongoing. Work pressure, family obligations, and emotional baggage all carry weight that can be difficult to bear and can be overwhelming if not properly managed. Unfortunately, Americans don’t do a good job of confronting and easing their own stress levels. Consider the evidence:
- Forty-three percent of adults suffer negative health effects from stress.
- Somewhere between seventy-five to ninety percent of doctor’s visits are for stress-related health issues.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American companies more than $300 billion annually.
When we face high levels of stress without relief, tangible negative health effects are inevitable.
Stress affects your body through:
Stress affects your mood:
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Irritability or anger
- Sadness or depression
Stress affects your behavior:
- Overeating or undereating
- Angry outbursts
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Tobacco use
- Social withdrawal
Simple Ways to Manage Stress
Ideally, managing stress would be a simple matter of eliminating its source, but that’s often unrealistic. It’s not always possible to quit a demanding job or immediately solve a pressing family crisis. So when stress is inevitable, how do we limit its negative physical and mental effects. Here are few tips:
Exercise – Regular, vigorous exercise is one of the most important weapons against stress. Exercise improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, improves self-image, and provides a valuable outlet for negative energy. Exercising for 30 minutes everyday can change your life.
Meditation – Developing mental discipline can also help reduce stress levels. When life seems overwhelming, persistent, negative thoughts sometimes invade our minds. Taking ten minutes every day to focus your breathing and direct your thoughts towards positivity can be an invaluable tool when life gets hard.
Yoga or Tai Chi – Eastern disciplines like Yoga and Tai Chi combine focused breathing techniques with directed movements and deliberate thinking. Those who practice these disciplines regularly enjoy improved health and fitness and calmer minds.
Chiropractic and Stress
In addition to exercise and thought discipline, regular chiropractic care can be an excellent way to reduce stress. A recent scientific study out of Japan followed 12 patients with neck pain in an effort to find if chiropractic care would affect their stress levels. In an effort to get the most objective results possible, scientists used PET scans to monitor patient’s brain activity and saliva samples to track changing hormone levels.
After receiving neck adjustments to treat their neck pain, patients showed reduced brain activity in areas that control pain processing and stress reactions. Patients also showed significant declines in cortisol levels, which indicates decreased stress. Participants also reported lower pain scores and a higher quality of life after treatment. This evidence suggests that chiropractic care is another great way to fight stress.
Come Say Hi
Regular visits with your chiropractor are a great way to manage stress and take care of yourself. If you’ve never been treated at Hannahs Chiropractic before, give our office a call at (360) 573-0730 and make an appointment or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch. If you’re a regular patient, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you’ll be up-to-date on all the latest news and events. Our goal at Hannahs Chiropractic is to help everyone live healthy, pain-free lives. Contact us today and we’ll get to work!
Ogura, Takeshi and Manabu Tashiro, Mehedi,Shoichi Watanuki, Katsuhiko Shibuya, Keiichiro Yamaguchi, Masatoshi Itoh, Hiroshi Fukuda, Kazuhiko Yanai. Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain. Alternative Therapies. 2011, November/December; 17 (6): 12-17.