Stress has, unfortunately, become a regular part of life for almost all of us. Although the causes, levels, and lengths of time we are under stress may vary, we all feel the harmful effects of it at one time or another. Our bodies are designed to react to stress by increasing adrenaline in order to protect us against threats from predators and other dangerous circumstances. This was invaluable to our ancestors, but in today’s world can lead to our bodies feeling as if they are constantly under threat. Luckily, there are a number of extremely effective steps anyone can take to begin to improve their body’s response to stress and reduce its negative effects.
Causes of Stress
Understanding the cause of your stress is an important first step. In today’s hectic world, the causes of stress can be incredibly diverse. There can be physical stressors such as lack of sleep, illness, or injury. Many people also face job related stress due to long work hours and commute times, as well as deadlines and working conditions. In many cases, family responsibilities can also have a huge impact on stress levels. Caring for young children and managing the schedules of school age children on top of your own can feel like a full time job itself. Caring for elderly, sick, or disabled family members has also been shown to increase levels of stress. Even changes such as moving or switching jobs can elevate stress levels in our bodies.
Effects of Stress
Having an increased stress level can negatively impact almost every aspect of our physical well-being. The higher levels of adrenaline caused by stress can raise blood pressure and heart rate, which can ultimately lead to cardiovascular disease. It has been shown to cause headaches, weight gain, fatigue, and depression. Back and muscle pain are also common symptoms of elevated stress levels. Studies have even shown that suffering from stress can lead to a multitude of stomach problems. Although we may not be able to eliminate the causes of stress in our lives, because its effects are so far reaching it is incredibly important that we do what we can to reduce its impact on our bodies and our health.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
By targeting subluxations along the spine, professional chiropractic care can help you manage many of the symptoms caused by increased stress levels. Muscle tension caused by prolonged stress can lead to uneven pressure being applied to the vertebrae, resulting in misalignment. Correcting this misalignment can not only relieve back and muscle pain, but, because the spine is central to so many of our bodies systems, it can also improve the functioning of the immune and nervous systems, reduce nerve irritation, and improve blood circulation. When these physical symptoms are relieved, many patients report that it actually reduces the stress they feel, beginning to break the stress cycle all together.
Other Tips For Reducing Stress
Chiropractic care goes hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle and your chiropractor may also recommend activities to supplement the progress made by correcting the misalignments along your spine. Exercising and having a balanced diet are essential elements of a healthy body that is effectively able to cope with stress. Meditation, yoga, and daily stretching can also help your body improve its reaction to stressors. Massage therapy, often offered at your chiropractor’s office, is another excellent way to relieve the negative effects of stress.
Take control of the stress in your life and contact a professional chiropractor to discuss what he or she can do to help you achieve your goals and live your life to the fullest!