Are you stressed? Do you understand what stress is and what it’s designed for, why it is switched on too much in almost all of us, and what can you do about it?

Stress can be physical, chemical or emotional. Physical stressors like heavy lifting or trauma are common, however, micro traumas such as the repetitive things we do day in and day out are often more problematic. Sitting hunched at a computer for hours, constant bending and our sedentary lifestyle also cause stress. Chemical stressors from a poor diet, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugar or food additives, pollution, and drugs. Psychological stressors, such as anxiety, pressure, conflict, loss, threat or frustration.

These all trigger an area of the brain, called the hypothalamus, which responds to signals of stress, that activates the sympathetic nervous system. The stress response also known as the “flight or flight” response is then initiated. It is designed to get you out of a sticky situation, in other words, you either stay and fight or run away from the danger (flight).

Whatever the stressor is, physical, emotional or chemical, they all result in activating the stress response.

So, when your stress response is activated, say from a loud bang in the middle of the night or being stuck in traffic. Hormones are released, causing blood to be diverted away from non-core organs, such as your gut, to your muscles. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate all increase.

In today’s world, stress can be relentless, and the trouble is, you can’t sustain this “fight or flight” state for long periods. If you do, then it is to the detriment of your health and signs and symptoms such as; suppression of appetite, cravings for carbohydrates and fats, inhibition to food absorption, inhibition to growth and reproduction, insomnia, poor immunity, and an increase in inflammation to name a few, begin develop.

So how can we decrease this stress response? Here are a few tips that might help.

1.Exercise, especially outdoors and make sure your spine is also moving well as this can decrease the stress

        response. Regular daily aerobic exercise of moderate intensity for 30min EVERYDAY, preferably outdoors.

2.Meditate or having “down time” (reading a book, relaxation techniques), EVERYDAY

3.Supplement with a multivitamin/mineral and fish oil to help give your body support.

4.Decrease your carbohydrate, sugar and hydrogenated heated fat intake.

5.Do a quick posture check. Hold your head and shoulders upright and avoid stooping or slumping. Bad posture

        can lead to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress. Chiropractic can help by keeping your spine moving well.

6.Let it go. Make a conscious choice not to become angry or upset. Do not allow yourself to waste thought and

        energy where it isn’t deserved.

7.Breathe slowly and deeply, before reacting to the stress.

8.Speak slower when you feel under stress, this helps to think more clearly and react more reasonably.

Please call us at BodyKey Chiropractic on (07) 3878 1110 or visit our clinic at Suite 1, 60 Coonan in Indooroopilly Brisbane for more information.