Stress is a normal part of life. There are healthy amounts and unhealthy amounts. It is okay to be nervous before a big presentation or meeting, we all experience that. No healthy individual goes through life without dealing with some level of stress. It becomes unhealthy when we become stressed over long periods of time and do nothing to combat the daily stresses we receive. The more healthy strategies you use to respond to stress, the healthier you will be mentally and physically. There is no one magic potion for stress and anxiety relief. Outside of medications, there are recommendations of strategies and activities that can be used, but it is most important to know yourself and find what works best for you.
“Fight or flight” is a sequence of functions the body utilizes during a stressed state. Certain hormones are released, and the sympathetic nervous system begins to fire. The heart rate increases, digestion slows, pupils dilate, and sugar metabolism increases. These physical reactions are meant to help keep us alive in a dangerous situation. Daily life stresses cause similar reactions to occur. Especially the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Chronically high levels of cortisol are produced when a person is stressed for long periods of time. High levels of cortisol have been known to cause insomnia, fatigue, depression, heart disease, back pain, and neck pain.
As a chiropractor, I focus on alternative options for stress relief that do not include medication. For myself I personally choose regular chiropractic care, golf, 8-10 hours of sleep a night, and exercise to fight off my burnout symptoms. It is a lifestyle choice. None of these recommendations will be a one-time quick fix for your stress. Whatever you choose to do to relieve your stress, you must stay disciplined and make it part of your routine.
Some highly recommended options are: regular chiropractic care or acupuncture, hiking, exercise, adequate sleep, decreased screen time (laptops, phones, television), healthier diet, drinking less alcohol, utilizing days off for mental health, and hobbies that take you away from stressful thoughts.
If you have any other suggestions, or questions feel free to comment below. Rochester ChiroTherapy is here to take care of your health needs whether it be stress, anxiety, or pain.