In our last blog post, we explored the first five tips that can help you reduce the stress and anxiety in your life. As much as stress can feel like an essential part of your modern life, without proper management, it can lead to health challenges and ailments that should not be a normal part of your life.
If you have just joined us, do check those first five tips out, but without further delay, here are five more.
6. Move Your Body
When mental and emotional stress continuously strike, your brain will cause the release of adrenaline (and other hormones) in your blood stream to stimulate your stress physiology.
Part of this innate stress response entails the contraction of specific muscle groups that will lead to stress posture.
What is stress posture?
Muscles in the front of your body will tighten and you will lean forward like a fighter bracing himself for a contest. Your shoulders, arms and neck will get tight to protect yourself from the perceived stressor.
This stress-caused muscle tension can get stored in various areas of your body — most commonly your upper back muscles, jaw, upper neck, and even your head.
The tension can radiate force into your spinal structure, causing your spinal bones to shift out of alignment, irritating the vital nerves that sit in a space between your spinal bones. Imagine using a straw to drink water out of a cup, with the straw being your spinal bone structure and the water being your nerves. If you were to take two fingers and pinch the straw, what happens to the water? Your nervous system can only be impacted by such tension. This can lead to localized inflammation and cause areas in your spine to be tender and painful as well.
Possible stress-related symptoms include:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder stiffness
- Back pain
- Numbness and tingling
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Weakened immune system
- Falling sick more easily
It’s important to do things proactively, and on a regular basis reduce this negative state of stress and tension. Exercise is a great remedy for stress.
7. Adopt a Positive Mind-Set
It can be difficult to consistently maintain a positive mental approach to your life.
There are a variety of things in our lives that can dampen our spirits such as, financial challenges, difficult projects, competitive educational system, frustrating MRT breakdowns, difficult work colleagues, angry and demanding bosses, to name just a few.
Again, it is critical to be proactive in managing your mental state. Stress is a real thing that can have real health consequences. How you represent challenging events mentally can lessen the impact those challenges have on your psychological state.
Here are a few tips to cultivate positivity:
- Think about and write down the things you are grateful for
- Listen to upbeat music
- Laugh (even when you don’t feel like it)
- Read books with a hopeful message
- Eliminate negative people in your life
- Tell yourself positive affirmations in the mirror everyday (out loud)
You cannot always control the negative or challenging event that causes you to feel stress, but you can control your RESPONSE to those events. Positive thinking is like a muscle that needs to be exercised to develop. The more you do it, the easier it is to adopt that habit. Establish that habit today.
8. Be in Control of Your Time
Good time management is important to help you cope with your stress. Managing your time puts you in control and increases your productivity. Being efficient with your time helps you to create better work life balance and a greater sense of harmony in your life.
Poor time management can cause massive stress in your life and even lead to a state of significant anxiety or panic.
Here are eight tips to help you establish more ease in your life:
- Plan your day and stick to it
- Prioritize your tasks
- Work when you’re most productive
- Reduce the need to multi-task
- Remove distractions
- Set reminders
- Keep your email in-box clear
- Use a to-do list app
Managing your time takes effort as well. Setting up systems and guardrails in your life to manage your time and boost your productivity can save you a ton of stress.
9. Don’t be a Slave to Your Phone
Are you constantly on your phone? Do you suffer from separation anxiety when your phone/ipad/laptop is not with you? Are you continually checking to see if emails, messages, texts, or tweets just popped up? I can definitely relate to this.
This cycle of being constantly interrupted by incoming messages is one of the downfalls of modern life—and a major trigger of your innate stress response.
The fear of losing your phone has become so common that experts have created a new term to describe the state of anxiety: nomophobia.
Nomophobia is defined as anxiety or fear of being without a mobile device; it is also an addiction to your mobile phone.
Constantly being tied to your mobile phone causes extreme pressure to reply to emails, respond to texts, or answer calls immediately. It may not seem like it, but this is an insidious stressor that has significant effects on your health.
Learn to break away from your phone; schedule dedicated time to check your emails and messages. Turn off your push notification so you will not be tempted to constantly check them. This will take some discipline, but you’ll be glad that you took this step.
Use technology to enhance your life; don’t let technology dominate every aspect of your life!
10. Don’t Say Yes to Everything!
Agreeing to do things beyond your means or that exceed your capacity will certainly drive your stress levels to spike. You may know that the task will be very difficult, but you say yes anyway.
Here are some common reasons why people find it hard to say no:
- They don’t want to disappoint
- They fear conflict
- They fear lost opportunities
- They desire to conform
Instead of blindly saying yes and feeling the resultant anxiety, focus on the things that are important to you, and don’t agree to things that your gut instinct says “no” to.
Be honest with the person that is making the request and explain to them why you have to say no. I’m sure that, in most cases, they will understand.
Saying “no” can lead to greater freedom and less overall stress in your life.
Stress Management as a Lifestyle
Remember, mental and emotional stress is a real problem that can lead to a variety of unwanted, concrete health problems. Mental stress may seem like a small matter, but stress-related health breakdowns can be profound.
Be proactive and do things on a regular basis to mitigate this silent killer. Prioritize your stress-management strategies and feel your vitality skyrocket.
And if you are already feeling pain or facing health challenges induced by stress, a natural way to get your body back on track is to get chiropractic care. Contact us if you want to check the health of your spine and see if chiropractic is right for you.
Don’t let stress dictate your life. Understand it, manage it, and allow yourself to be at your best!