Stress: Having fun can save your life!
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Stress: Having fun can save your life!

The research is clear. Chronic stress is bad for your health. There are two major kinds of stress.  Eu-stress: positive stress that keeps us healthy and vital such as the stress you feel when involved in a sporting event, competition, meeting a deadline, family football game during Thanksgiving etc.  This stress is the ‘fun’ that can really improve your health and keep you vital.  These kinds of stressers on our body increase blood flow, enjoyment, happiness and more.  Chronic stress on the other hand can have long lasting and debilitating affects on our emotional and physical well-being.  Chronic stress has show to cause numerous diseases including but not limited to: ulcers, tooth and gum disease, muscle pain and subluxations, depression, diabetes, hair loss, hyperthyroidism, obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual dysfunction, increase belly fat and more.  So, lets stop stressing, at least the chronic kind.  Here are four great tips to lighten the mood.

1. Take a walk: exercise, even a light walk can severely change your outlook for the day.  Walk on you lunch break, park you car a little farther away each day, take the stairs, just get moving.  Not only is this beneficial for you heart it is beneficial for your mind.  You can decrease your stress level significantly by getting out each day.  Studies also show that people that walk 30 minutes or more several times a week also have better memories and cognitive function. 

2. Take a deep breath:  No time for a walk and you are feeling stressed.  Learn to take a few minutes for deep breathing.  Stand or sit in a comfortable position.  Breath in slowly through your nose for the count of five then slowly out your mouth for the count of eight.  Repeat this several times.  When you breath in let your belly relax, be sure to breath with your belly, not your rib cage to ensure you are truly relaxed.  That’s it.  Take the time to just breath and soon you will melt away the immediate stress.

3. Re-evaluate your situation: Pessimism can really increase your stress level un-necessarily.  Try looking at you current situation from another perspective.  Maybe you will see the current situation is not as monumental as you thought.  It is easy to get caught up in the moment, when in reality the issue is just not that important. 

4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: PMR is a great way to relieve stress.  The idea is that you tense up all your muscles and then purposely relax them all head to toe.  This is a great technique for people that find it hard to fall asleep at night as well.  As you ly in bed (or have time to ly down on the floor mid-day) tighten up all your muscles- make fists, curls your toes, raise your shoulders to your ears, squeeze knees together, scrunch your face etc for the count of five, then relax everything TOTALLY for the count of ten.  Repeat a few times and you will be relaxed and/or more ready for sleep.  This is great for head tension, jaw pain and especially shoulder tension.

We hope this information helps, and remember, a good spinal adjustment is another excellent stress reliever!

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