It’s difficult to slow down and “smell the roses” in a society that is conditioned to believe it’s normal to be busy, overscheduled, and that we can have it all – and at the same time. While this may be true, it does come at a price. Initially, we may not even realize that we are paying anything at all for our hectic lifestyles. In fact, when everyone else is doing it too, it appears that we’re on the right track and destined for success whether it’s with our professional, personal, or family life. Unfortunately, there comes a time when we see, and feel, what it cost us to live that life.
Stress is not necessarily bad for us. There are times when stress can help elevate our game during an interview or important presentation, improve our performance, and help us survive danger. Stress releases chemicals that create more energy and strength, plus keep us sharp and effective. However, continual stress can take a negative toll on us, especially if we are not fully aware of it.
Every day we experience stress but many times that stress is barely palpable. It may ebb and flow depending on the time of day, peaking during the rush to work, multi-tasking to get the dinner prepared and the kids homework completed, or meeting that project deadline by 4pm. One moment of stress isn’t harmful, but if we look at our lives as an hourglass, where each grain of sand represents a stress, it quickly adds up. Before we know it, our baseline for stress becomes higher because we have become accustomed to that new norm. Our normal now is stress, we don’t know or feel any different. We have conditioned ourselves quite well.
The problem with extended periods of stress is the effect it has on our bodies and therefore our quality of life. The effects can be emotional, physical, and chemical. Symptoms of prolonged stress include:
- Muscle Tension and Contraction
- Upset Stomach
- Elevated Blood Pressure
- Chest Pain
- Sleeping Problems
- Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding
- Moodiness and Short Temper
- Frequent infections, colds
Being aware of the signs of stress is the first step towards improvement. Then next is taking steps to identify the stressor(s) and addressing the impact it is causing on our body. While there are many things we can do to recalibrate and improve things like:
- Removing or minimizing exposure to the stressor
- Improved sleep
- Better nutrition
There are times though when seeking professional care is needed to help alleviate the problems caused by stress. A Chiropractor can deliver that solution with their highly specialized training of the spine and the nervous system. Providing adjustments releases tension that allows the body to slowly return to the optimal balanced and relaxed state. It also improves blood circulation and reduces spinal nerve irritation that begins the process of healing. There are also other therapies that a Chiropractor can recommend like massage therapy, relaxation techniques, and nutritional supplements.
While stress might be a permanent fixture in all of our lives, living with its repercussions doesn’t have to be.