Traffic jams, paying bills, deadlines & pesky neighbours. These unpleasant or challenging situations create stress in our lives. So why is it some people deal with stressful situations better than others? The answer is complex and includes many factors from genetics to weather condition.
An interesting study in The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics indicates that there is a relationship between chiropractic and the effect it can have on dealing with stressful situations in your life.
This study revealed that nearly one in three patients viewed their lives moderately to severely stressful, and more than 50% felt that stress had a moderate to severe impact on their health problems. Additionally, 71% of the patients indicated that it would be helpful if their chiropractor offered advice to help them cope with these stressful situations.
Communicating with your chiropractor about dealing with stress is the starting point, and you might be surprised to find that your chiropractor is full of sound advice on ways to effectively deal with stress in your life. Most people know that improving nerve and spinal function has a dramatic impact on improving emotional, mental and physical function. Getting the most out of your chiropractic care may include talking to your chiropractor about effective strategies to deal with the stress in your life. Be sure to inform your chiropractor about your personal situation so he or she can help you improve your health and wellness to maximum levels.
How do you handle stress?
Stress is a fact of life. It can come from any life change or unexpected event, even a happy one such as a promotion. You need a certain amount of stress to keep you focused and motivated. When the stress level gets too high, it has the opposite effect - you feel upset and have trouble concentrating. If this continues over the long term, it can increase your risk of health problems including heart disease, depression, infections and sleep problems.
That's why it is so important to learn how to cope with stress. Everyone responds to stress in their own way. There is no "right" way to handle stress - you need to find out what works for you.
All subluxations are caused by stress that overwhelms the body's resilience and coping ability.
The chiropractic goal is to normalize function. By correcting vertebral subluxations, the chiropractor removes a significant impediment to your own inborn ability to heal.
Take our quiz to find out how you handle stress.
Choose the answer that fits you best:
1.In a stressful situation, what are you most likely to do first?
a) Deal with my feelings about the situation first.
b) Analyze the situation and deal with it right away.
c) Do something unrelated to the stressful situation to take my mind off of it for a while.
2.How do you act when your're under stress?
a) I may get impatient, but I'm pretty much my usual charming self.
b) I'm an open book. You can see how stressed I am by the way I look or act.
c) I keep a stiff upper lip and hold it all in. The stress doesn't show.
3.When your're stressed, how do you relate to your friends and family?
a) I just want everyone to go away and leave me alone.
b) I want to talk to someone, but also need to be alone some of the time.
c) I really don't want to be alone - I need to have people around me most of the time.
4.How do you treat yourself when life gets stressful?
a) I put my nose to the grindstone and push myself harder.
b) I may work a little harder, but I make sure that I still take care of myself.
c) I indulge myself in my favorite treats (food, shopping, cigarettes, alcohol, etc.)
5.When everything is changing around you, how do you react?
a) I try to stay in control of everything and keep things the way they used to be.
b) I go with the flow and adapt to the way things are now.
c) I don't really care about the change - nothing I do has any effect on the way things are.
6.Have you noticed any of these signs of stress lately?
Trouble sleeping Feeling irritable and defensive Headaches Trouble concentrating or remembering Tense, tight muscles Anxious, jittery, or nervous feelings Crying or feeling like I want to cry Avoiding social situations Sweaty palms, dry mouth, or difficulty breathing Acting more rude or impatient Upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation Having trouble making decisions Frequent colds, viruses, or infection Increased use of alcohol, drugs
Feeling irritable and defensive
Trouble concentrating or remembering
Tense, tight muscles
Anxious, jittery, or nervous feelings
Crying or feeling like I want to cry
Avoiding social situations
Sweaty palms, dry mouth, or difficulty breathing
Acting more rude or impatient
Upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation
Having trouble making decisions
Frequent colds, viruses, or infection
Increased use of alcohol, drugs
Answering yes to questions:
(a) You have trouble expressing your emotions. You need to take a step back, and find some outlet that will help you deal with stressful situations.
(b) You deal with stress in a healthy and productive manner.
(c) You are feeling helpless (you feel like anything you do will not make any difference).
How to handle stress
Having stress is not necessarily bad, but you need to be aware of your sources of stress and have a way to cope.
1. Take care of yourself
- Exercise at least three times a week. Exercise can relieve tension and put you in a better mood. The body makes "stress hormones" that can lead to health problems if they are allowed to build up. Exercise helps bring stress hormones back to normal levels.
- Eat well. Good nutrition can improve your mood and your ability to handle stress.
- Get enough rest, but don't stay in bed to avoid problems; you'll just end up with more stress.
- Try to avoid using caffeine, cigarettes, or alcohol as a way of dealing with stress. These may make you feel better for a while, but in the long run, they will cause you more stress than they're worth. They can also lead to health problems.
- Be sure to schedule some "quiet time" for yourself. Use this time to do something you enjoy, such as reading or listening to music, and don't let anything intrude on it.
2. Talk to a friend or family member. Even if you like to deal with your problems alone, don't let yourself become isolated from friends and family.
3. Simplify your life.
- Set priorities for yourself. Organize your time so that you spend it on what is most important to you.
- Learn to say "no".
- Don't try to do everything yourself. If someone else can do it, then delegate!
4. Learn to recognize situations that are stressful for you. When you become stressed, press the "pause" button. Step back from the situation and take a break.
Here's how to deal with stress:
Everyone has a different way of dealing with stress. No way is "better" than others, but each has its own ups and downs. Think about how your coping style affects your actions and emotions.
When to check with your doctor:
If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. You may be suffering from a more serious medical condition.
Depressed mood Sleep problems Loss of interest and pleasure Major difficulty concentrating Unexpected weight loss or gain Chest pain Feeling of worthlessness or guilt Trouble swallowing food Thought of death or suicide Changes in bowel habits Major changes in your activity level Heartbeat that is fast or erratic
Loss of interest and pleasure
Major difficulty concentrating
Unexpected weight loss or gain
Feeling of worthlessness or guilt
Trouble swallowing food
Thought of death or suicide
Changes in bowel habits
Major changes in your activity level
Heartbeat that is fast or erratic
Contact us with your questions. We're here to help and enjoy participating in life-long good health goals of our patients.