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How to Reduce Stress for a Healthier Life

girl with arms up and blue skyThe cold, wet winter is making way for longer days and warmer weather which also means plenty of blooming flowers and trees. This usually signifies the beginning of allergy season for many of us, which can be a major stressor to your body.

3 Categories of Stress

Often when we think of stress, the work-life balance comes to mind, but there are actually three main categories of stress:

  1. Physical
  2. Emotional
  3. Chemical

The body typically does a great job of managing stress when one of those is impacted, but once you’re trying to navigate multiple stressors on top of a job, family, and other commitments, it can be overwhelming. According to a Harvard study, stress hormones can ramp up the already exaggerated immune system response to allergens – in other words, stress can make your allergies worse.

At this point, many people resort to over the counter medications in an attempt to control their symptoms. However, without addressing the cause, elevated stress levels, most people will not find long term relief.

Knowing that there are three primary types of stress – physical, emotional, and chemical, how does one go about managing these?

1. Physical Stress

Let’s start with physical stress. Did you know that joint dysfunction at the T3 vertebra can affect your breathing and may contribute to symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, and congestion? Fortunately, something as basic as adjusting your posture can help improve these symptoms. There are several solutions to this that may be surprisingly simple. For example, do you have the option to have a stand/sit desk at work? Try and take time during your breaks to go for a walk or at least get up from a static, seated position. Make it fun by creating a workplace challenge for “most steps” or another group fitness goal.

2. Emotional Stress

Secondly, we have emotional stressors. Have you recently made a big purchase such as a home? How about a adding a new member to your family? While these are exciting events, they can also elevate your emotional stress levels. Handling these can be a little trickier since they are more long term additions to your life. Setting aside “me time” to read, meditate, or creating lists can be effective methods of managing emotional stress.

3. Chemical Stress

Finally, there is chemical stress. This comes in many forms including the food you put in your body, environmental factors, and “toxic” products such as drugs and alcohol. One of the best chemical solutions is dilution: drinking water! A good rule to follow is to drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces every day (e.g. a 120lb. person should drink at least 60oz. of water daily), and of course more if you are partaking in physical activities or consuming dehydrating or inflammatory foods and beverages. Always speak with your primary healthcare provider before making any changes to medications you are currently taking and talk to them about specific tests they can perform to determine what your personal health baseline is.
Chiropractic for Stress Management

Overall, stress management is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Chiropractic care has been shown to boost the immune system by up to 400% in a variety of studies.

Additionally, chiropractic and other holistic practices are non-invasive and help facilitate the body’s innate ability to self-heal, which includes managing internal and external stressors. This year, help your health blossom by taking control of your stress. In conjunction with some of the tips we have offered, chiropractic can make a significant difference in your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Schedule an appointment at our office and see how it can improve your quality of life.

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