All posts in Stress

Holiday Stress Management via a Chiropractor

Does anyone else get stressed during the holiday season? All the time commitments, financial obligations, traffic – oh my!

Did you know that a chiropractor may be able to help alleviate some of that stress? It’s true! They can!

Regardless of the cause, when the body is under stress, the its fight or flight response is triggered. Your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is stimulated, which heightens your senses and increases your heart rate, which is a leftover defense mechanism from the time of our early ancestors.

Luckily we have chiropractors who focus on the spine, which is the root of the nervous system.

One of the effects of chronic stress is muscle tension and contraction, which can lead to uneven pressure on the skeleton. And that leads to subluxations.

Chiropractic adjustments can help ease muscle tension, which then can ease the stress on certain parts of the skeleton. Which, of course, can help ease subluxations.

Easing these subluxations — and achieving a balanced spine — is a very important element of managing personal stress.

Additionally, regular adjustments will help you deal with your stress better and help reduce your anxiety. A well-adjusted spine also helps boost your immune system and promotes better sleep habits, which also will help reduce stress.

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Save Time and Increase Happiness

You know how people are always saying that money can’t buy you happiness. Welllll, that may be wrong.

According to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, spending money on time-saving services may result in greater life satisfaction.

Time-saving services are things such as having a cleaning crew tidy up your home, having an auto detailer clean out your car, and having a chef come to prepare you meals.

We live in a society where business is expected, and some people actually get a sense of self because of how busy they are. However, we often don’t realize how much being busy increases the stress in our day to day lives.

If we can eliminate something that takes a big chunk of our time, we’re able to relieve a stressor, whether we realize it’s causing stress or not.

According to ABC News, “In addition to the first large study, the researchers performed a second, smaller experiment in a group of 60 working Canadian adults, giving them $40 to spend on a time-saving purchase one week and $40 to spend on a material purchase the second week. People who decided to spend money to save time, the researchers found, reported greater well-being than when money was spent on a material purchase.”

So, if you’ve been thinking of hiring your teenage neighbor to cut your grass but feel guilty about doing so, just remember this study – use your money to buy you a little bit of happiness and less stress!

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Travel Comfortably at Thanksgiving

More Americans travel during the Thanksgiving holiday than any other time of the year. Nearly 50 million of us will climb in trains, busses, cars and airplanes to spend the day with loved ones near and far. Unfortunately, stress often accompanies us – and that stress can bring with it physical pain.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Especially on airplanes.ba-cs300_02

There are way to make the ride more comfortable, whether it is selecting airlines noted for customer service where it counts, reserving the perfect seat, or selecting minor upgrades à la carte.

First of all, travel light and wear comfortable clothing. Aside from flight attendants and those going to and from business events, no one should feel the need to wear high heels!

A good travel pillow can increase your comfort level significantly, and it can also help you get in a nice nap! You no longer have just a U-shaped option; there are dozens available from one that looks vaguely like a guitar to one that turns you into a human ostrich.

Sitting for long periods is already hard on your back, and without lumbar support, your spine and the muscles in your lower back have to work even harder to maintain healthy alignment. Counteract the crush by wedging a blanket, scarf, or rolled-up sweater behind you to allow your lower back to maintain its natural curve.

Stretching can help combat muscle cramping and fatigue and is an important protective measure against deep vein thrombosis, which can develop when you sit for long periods. Whenever possible, get up every hour or two.

Happy flying!

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Stressful Job? Here’s How to Relax at Work

Jobs can be stressful. Even if you really, really like your job, it can still be stressful. Managing stress as it comes is one way to avoid the negative health impacts of a stressful lifestyle.

Believe it or not, whether you’re stuck behind a desk all day or are out and about during your nine to five, there are a bunch of great ways to minimize your workday stress and improve your mental health.stressful

You can take a short walk. For example, if you work in Research Triangle Park, there are walking trails all over the park. You can use them to talk walks, ride bikes, or even to hold meetings.

As long as it’s not too distracting, having conversations with coworkers is a terrific way to lower stress, get a break AND build camaraderie.

This is going to sound too good to be true, but if you take a break to drink a glass of water. Water’s free, you most likely have a water fountain or sink in your place of work, AND it’s one of the best things you can do for your body.

Getting a change of scenery can also do wonders. Perhaps you can sit on a bench outside of your office building or even simply look out a window at a view you don’t see regularly.

And please, don’t eat at your desk. Recent studies have shown that eating at your desk not only increases stress levels, but also makes you less creative.

For more examples of ways to quickly relieve stress, this site is a good resource.

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Stretch!

Back in July, we told you how important it was to stretch on this very blog. Today, we’re going to be a little more specific and give you three great stretches to try that can relieve lower back pain.

If you practice yoga, some of these may already be familiar to you.

Angry Cat Stretch

The angry cat stretch is fantastic for beginners.

Come down onto the floor on all fours, making sure your knees are under your hips with your shins placed firmly on the ground. Look down at your hands, which should be placed directly under your shoulders with your fingers spaced widely apart and facing forward. Look down at the space between your hands. You should be in a flat tabletop position in a straight line from your head to your tailbone.stretch

Start by taking a deep breath. As you exhale, use the muscles in your core to push your belly towards your spine, curving your back toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for a count of 10 before relaxing back into the original position. Repeat this maneuver another two to three times in order to achieve optimal results.

Two-Knee Twist

Here’s another easy stretch for beginners: the two-knee twist. Lying on your back, bend your knees into your chest and bring your arms out at a T. As you exhale lower your knees to ground on the right. Keep both shoulders pressing down firmly. If the left shoulder lifts, lower your knees further away from the right arm. Hold for 1-2 minutes each side.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing stress and fatigue. It gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while softly and passively stretching the muscles of the back torso.

On your hands and knees, sit back so your buttocks are resting on your heels. Reach your hands forward to lengthen your spine and feel a stretch in your middle back. You can reach your hands to either side to focus the stretch on the opposite side of your spine. Hold for 10-30 seconds and perform 2-3 repetitions.

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