Stress Reduction – While we are living knee-deep in the uncertainty and confusion surrounding COVID-19, it is safe to say that stress and anxiety are elevated for many people. While we have a general grasp of how we can manage stress in terms of our physical body, it is important to have an equal grasp of how we can manage stress mentally and spiritually. While negative thoughts, social distancing pressures, and self-isolation are at the forefront of our mind, there really is no better time to discuss some ways to bring positivity, productivity, and peace to our mind, body, and spirit.
Fitness, diet programs, and exercise equipment are advertised all over the TV, magazines, and social media at any given time. The physical body, in terms of nutrition and exercise, is discussed and understood by many. While of course, we all know that exercise and nutrition improve health and happiness, the components of mental and spiritual are hardly ever discussed and supported. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults 18 years and older. 18% of the population suffers from anxiety-related illness so it is important to understand if you are feeling anxious, have racing thoughts, or increased stress, you are not alone! Breaking the cycle of feeling anxious and having increased stress can be difficult, but let’s discuss a few exercises that may help.
Stress Reduction Exercises
There are actually several different techniques that research has found to lower stress and anxiety levels and promoting positive energy without our lives. We will discuss a few here!
Make a “to-do” list of achievable tasks to accomplish throughout the day. Many people suffer from racing thoughts thinking “how am I ever going to get all this done”. Keeping a notebook by your bed, carrying a notepad with you in your workbag, and having a paper at your desk allows you have something to write down all the tasks you need to perform from day to day. By actually writing tasks down, we have the ability to organize those thoughts into importance and necessity and then check those items off after completion. Physically seeing how much you have accomplished can reduce stress and anxiety about getting through the day.
If you are overwhelmed with negative thoughts, it has been shown by sitting down and writing down ALL the negative thoughts have reduced depressive symptoms. Write until you have nothing else popping up in your mind. Then, throw away or shred the paper. This symbolizes that you can acknowledge those thoughts and then discard them. After your brain is empty of negative thoughts, write positive thoughts to replace the negative ones. Hang the positive thoughts in an area that they can be viewed and read frequently.
Write about the gratitude and thankfulness for all the positive elements in your life. Write about what brings you joy, makes you smile, and what makes your life bright and full. Acknowledging the blessings in life helps create positive energy.
Listen to calming/empowering music and sing along
Listening to soothing and calming music has been shown to decrease heart rate, decrease blood pressure, and reduce stress hormones. The steady beat and calming/encouraging words encourage positivity into our mindset and decrease racing thoughts and negative thoughts. Once you find a song or playlist of songs that are encouraging and uplifting, sing along! Singing elevates endorphins, which helps us to feel happy. Actually speaking and hearing uplifting and positive words allows our brain to interpret the positivity differently than simply thinking it. The brain is really cool!
Spend time with friends and LAUGH
Humans crave companionship, support, and connection with other humans. Plan a time to gather with some close friends and family and talk about positivity in your life, how each of you reaches goals and ways to encourage each other to keep striving for those goals. Simply talking about life’s positive aspects, jokes, or the most viral internet video, laughing with friends reduces stresses and anxieties.
Meditation, Mindfulness, & Prayer
Meditation is a process of self-regulating the body and the mind. Mindfulness is acknowledging daily life. Prayer is the act of worship through communication. Meditation, mindfulness, and prayer practices have been shown to ease racing thoughts and improve overall mental health. These practices allow the time to truly slow down life and turn the volume down within our own thoughts. You can develop a flow that works for you or there are several guide books and audio guides available to help lead you and your mind into calmness.
How Miller Sports & Family Chiropractic Can Help
Chiropractic, massage, and nutritional support are all important components in aiding in stress reduction. Chiropractic adjustments release the nerve interference between the body, the spine, and the brain. When the nerves are able to send signals and communicate to the brain clearly, health is optimized. Remember, health includes the physical body but also the mental aspect as well! While the office does not offer traditional massage therapy, Dr. Miller and Dr. Murdock often perform trigger point therapy massage before an adjustment. If a traditional massage for relaxation is what you seek, don’t worry, the docs can point you in the right direction!
Nutritional Frontiers is the nutritional support company carried in the office. There are several supplements that aim to reduce stress and tension. One is called Calm Day. Calm Day is filled with something called GABA. GABA is a transmitter that attaches to a protein in our brain. When attachment happens, a calming effect occurs. Stress, anxiety, and fear all start to reduce!
Another great option is called Adrenamaxx. The adrenal glands are two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. These glands produce a hormone called Cortisol which is released when stress occurs. When our anxiety and stress is increased, cortisol is being released in overload. However, when stress is prolonged, after time the adrenal glands stop releasing cortisol! When cortisol release is depleted, the body experiences low energy, depressive moods, food cravings, etc. Adrenamaxx helps to support the accurate release of Cortisol, which helps support our stress management!
Think better, feel better
While the world around us seems to be changing by the minute, it is important to take active care of our mind, body, and spirit. Implementing some of the techniques above will encourage stress and anxiety reduction, overall just making us feel better! Now, take a nice deep breath in, hold for 4 seconds, and let it out. See, you’re already on your way to improved health! Please contact us to help you get started in your stress reduction.