Let’s face it. We lead busy, hectic lives and things are not slowing down. There are many signs of stress – you may be preoccupied with your financial situation, family life, or your job.
Stress symptoms can include:
- Trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
- Muscle pain or tension
- Digestive issues
- Neck pain
- Low energy and fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety attack symptoms
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- GAD (General Anxiety Disorder)
While emotional responses to stress consist of:
- Feeling you can’t get things done
- Lack of motivation
- Sadness or depression
Being aware of the stress you are under can go a long way to helping you keep it under control. But how can you stop stress before stress stops you?
Following are 8 top strategies in Coquitlam to help assist you with stress management, which you can start using immediately:
1. Change Your State By Improving Your Posture
Be aware of your posture when you are sitting or standing. Despite everything you are feeling, sitting or standing straight can give you more confidence and may even change the way you are thinking about your situation. Your posture and movement affect your brain through what we call mechanoreceptors, sensors in your joints and muscles that send messages to your brain where positive signals can affect your mood.
2. Focus on What You Can Control
Sometimes you can’t control what happens around you and you have to accept the way things are. “Life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you respond.”
Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive, or passive. Stop and think before you speak; change it from negative to positive, i.e. instead of saying, “I am losing my mind.” try “This is not the best situation right now.” Try changing the word “problem” to the word “challenge”. This puts you in a more empowered state from where you can take action.
Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events and just daily life. It is recommended we get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Suggestions to help include, keeping your bedroom cool and dark, avoiding the use of electronic devices at least one hour before you go to bed and trying to rise and retire on a schedule; your body loves rhythm. Avoid eating or drinking two hours before bed can also help. Getting more sleep helps to improve your alertness, motor learning, and decision making as well as build, repair and form new connections in the brain.
5. Eat Healthy
Avoid the sugar crash and eat more lean protein like chicken, fish, fermented soy or complete protein powders (ones with all the essential amino acids), along with well balanced meals with healthy fats like omega -3 to increase your metabolism. Eating more and a variety of vegetables containing important vitamins and minerals and other nutrients boosts energy and helps with our sense of well-being.
6. Exercise Regularly
Emotion is driven by motion. Your body can fight stress better when you are fit and exercise produces “feel-good” hormones like endorphins. Learn and practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or tai-chi. Outdoor activities, including hiking, biking and gardening can help those dealing with anxiety. Just 20 minutes of exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce your body’s stress response.
7. Spend Time with Family and Friends
Today, we are becoming more and more reliant on social media to engage in connections with people we care about. Face to face interactions can be more fulfilling and give you the opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings, while also providing a much-needed break from stressful situations.
8. Hands-on Therapy
Manual therapies like massage therapy and chiropractic can reduce stress. Massage therapy relieves muscle tension and improves circulation, helping to relax the body. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to improve nerve function, which helps improve the body’s adaptation to stress.
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Westwood Total Health is a busy, award-winning chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage therapy clinic and has been providing health and wellness care to families in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody since 2006. Through our quality care and patient education, we have become one of the busiest clinics in the province. Since 2013, we have consistently been voted favourite natural health clinic by readers of the Tri-City News.
The goal at Westwood Total Health is to improve spinal and body alignment and function, which promotes overall health. At Westwood Total Health our mission is to make the Tri-Cities the healthiest community in the country. Won’t you join us?