How Stress Jerks Us Around and How to Bounce Back
By Sandy Schroeder
If you feel like you are losing your balance in the fall rush, join the crowd. I think many of us see demands mushrooming and energy fading as we try to keep our lives together. Kids may feel stress with new school events and approaching holidays. Adults absorb their children’s stress, and their own, as they cope with a complicated world.
How Stress Affects Us
A little stress can motivate us, but too much can harm the mind and the body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stress symptoms can affect feelings, thoughts and behavior, creating headaches, insomnia and listlessness. Unchecked stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
How Stress Impacts Mood
- Lack of motivation
- Overwhelmed feelings
- Anger or irritability
- Depression or sadness
How Stress Affects the Body
- Chest pain
- Stomach pain
- Muscle tension
- Changes in sex drive
How Stress Triggers Behavior
- Angry outbursts
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Tobacco use
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Skipping exercise
How to Reel In Stress
Mayo Clinic tells us to take steps to manage stress to improve and protect health. Here are some ways to get started.
Reach out to friends and family - When stress hits it’s tempting to hibernate, but contacts can make a difference. Talk to your family or meet a friend for coffee and share your concerns.
Stay active every day - Burn up some of that stress with walking, biking, or gym workouts, and household tasks.
Hang onto your sense of humor - It’s amazing what laughter can do to relax the body and the mind, chasing stress away.
Take a deep breath - Use meditation, yoga, tai chi, or deep breathing to let the tension go.
Pause to refuel - Make time for reading, hobbies and music.
Get enough sleep - Try for 7 to 9 hours every night. If possible, keep the same bedtime seven days a week. Make your bedroom a sleep retreat, removing electronics and screening out blue light and noise.
Eat healthy - Strengthen your body with fruits, veggies, fish, poultry, lean meats, nuts and healthy oils such as olive oil.
Avoid tobacco - If you smoke, stop. Get help to deal with nicotine addiction.
Limit alcohol and caffeine - Keep coffee, energy drinks, wine, beer and cocktails under control.
Limit screen time - Cut back on television, video games, online surfing.
See how stress affects you, then take steps to get it under control. Be sure to keep your chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in the loop. If stress persists in spite of your efforts, you may need to see your doctor or counselor to work through the issues.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Colorado Springs, Colo