Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stress, how to use it to win, not lose

With the tax season upon us and the economy being down many people are stressed out of their minds and as a result are experiencing aches and pains all over their bodies. We as humans tend to store our stress, whether physical or emotional, in our muscles. So as a result we start developing muscle tightness which can lead to headaches, general pain, decreased range of motion, altered sleeping patterns, altered bio-mechanics and very easily affect our immune systems. So here are a few tips on how to avoid these problems before they start affecting our daily lives.

Exercises regularly:

o Physical activity plays a major role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week.
Exercise can decrease ‘stress hormones' like cortisol, and increase endorphins, your body's ‘feel-good’ chemicals, giving your mood and body a natural boost.

Progressive muscle relaxation:

o By tensing and relaxing all the muscle groups in your body, you can relieve tension and feel much more relaxed in minutes. Start by tensing all the muscles in your face, holding a tight grimace ten seconds, then completely relaxing for ten seconds. Repeat this with your neck, followed by your shoulders, etc. You can do this anywhere, and as you practice, you will find you can relax more quickly and easily, reducing tension as quickly as it starts!

Get adjusted:

o Anxiety and stress frequently attack the weak spots of the spine, and as a result you can get general muscle tensions, headaches, neck pain and back pain. This pain can then aggravate the stress and anxiety. A chiropractic treatment which includes adjustments, soft tissue and muscle work is aimed at relieving any physical complaints which will in turn help with the mental conditions.

Eat a healthy diet:

o Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.

Reduce caffeine and sugar:

o The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.

• Get enough sleep:

o Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.

If you guys have any question or want any advice on proper nutrition, specific exercises, or other stress reliving techniques feel free to comment and I will give you the information.

Dr. Amir

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