Are You Stressed?

Are you stressed? Sounds like a dumb question. It seems today everyone is stressed. With the number of “things” happening in our lives on a daily basis it can begin to wear on us and kick in our stress response.

The inborn stress response is part of our DNA that helps to deal with threats. It is made up of 4 stages:

1. You perceive some type of threat. Your body kicks in a complex hormonal reaction that prepares you to fight or run away. It has also been called “Fight or Flight.”

2. Once the threat is gone, your body’s systems should begin to normalize.

3. Your vital signs, IE: blood pressure, respiration, etc. may dip below normal to make up for the sudden extra demands.

  1. 4. Your body returns to a calm, normal resting state.

In our daily lives, we may not have many physical threats to deal with, but we still experience social and emotional events that will trigger this stress response.   Our daily dealings with family, spouses, jobs, finances, schedules and unmet expectations of life, can keep us busy, on edge, worn out – stressed.

These ongoing stressors can keep us stuck in the stress response; keeping us from really being able to relax. This results in long-term or chronic stress. While acute stress is an event that we can recover from quickly, chronic stress is an ongoing, moderate to low grade response that can last for weeks, months or years.

Effects On Your Health

Chronic stress can have long term effects on your health. Some of them include:

  • * Irregular or rapid heart rate
  • * Chronic high blood pressure
  • * Shortness of breath
  • * Headaches
  • * Neck, shoulder or back pain
  • * Buildup of fat in the blood vessels in the abdomen

Further, chronic stress can contribute to other serious health conditions, making them worse. These include:

  • * Heart Disease
  • * High Blood Pressure
  • * Stroke
  • * Diabetes
  • * Cancer
  • * Depression
  • * Stomach and intestinal issues
  • * Chronic Fatigue
  • * Asthma

Your Optimal Stress Level

Managing your stress level begins when you determine your optimum stress level. This is when you feel challenged, in a good way, and excited to engage with life. Too much is when you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. This optimum level differs for each of us. When you feel yourself becoming stressed beyond the optimum level, try some stress management skills or actions to help reduce your stress.

  • Try some of the following activities:
  • * Slow deep breathing exercises
  • * Take a quick walk
  • * Get up and stretch
  • * Journal what is stressing you
  • * Change activities for awhile
  • * Talk to a friend
  • * Get an adjustment

Getting an adjustment may initially seem like an unusual thing for our stress response, but it can help. Chiropractic adjustments help relax the neck, shoulders and back muscles as well as stimulating an increase of endorphin, our body’s natural pain reliever calming hormone.

Since graduating in 1984 from Life Chiropractic College, Dr. Martin Schmaltz has years of helping people find relief from many types of painful conditions. Call today at (314) 731-4383 or  CLICK TO CALL NOW