In the modern world our levels of stress have sky rocketed. Stress is important within limits. Stress has helped us to survive on this planet! However, our lives have focused more on work and achievements, increasing our stresses above healthy levels putting stress on our bodies and minds.
How does stress affect our bodies and minds?
At healthy levels stress promotes us to grow (such as the stress of revision or exercising to get bigger and stronger), but when at unhealthy excesses it starts to wear us down.
“Stress makes us more tired, preventing us from healing and making it difficult to concentrate”
When we have more stress our brains release less dopamine (a happy chemical) and releases more cortisol (a stress hormone). Dopamine is what our body releases with regular exercise and fulfilment in what we do. Dopamine is directly related to brain function, the more we have the better we can learn. This is why we learn better when happy, compared to when we are depressed. Cortisol is not a bad thing in the body, in normal doses it regulates our metabolism to maintain or health, but in excess it is damaging. Excess cortisol will suppress our bone formation and even our immune system!
“In a stressful mind the connection in the brain can be confused and the changes in the chemicals will affect how well the messages are relayed, clouding our thoughts”
How can I reduce my stress levels?
Regular exercise will release endorphins and dopamine, chemicals in the brain that make us happy. If we exercise as we learn or work then it acts as a reward system and the brain learns that these are good actions. This has been shown in studies to produce students that learn more efficiently and employees that enjoy their jobs more.
Our body has what are known as circadian rhythms, often known as your body clock. Plenty of regularly timed sleep allows the body time to subconsciously improve our body systems (such as clearing waste products in the brain) and to perform vital day to day functions (such as digest food). You may notice having tired eyes or having a sick feeling when you haven’t got enough sleep, this is due to the eyes and stomach not having enough time to recuperate and perform their daily tasks to stay healthy.
If we meditate daily or weekly then this gives our brain a chance to turn off and calm our thoughts. If meditation is a bit too quiet and difficult for you, then it is advisable to try to be more present and mindfulness whenever possible. This requires not looking only at our tasks and what we have to do, but how we are truly feeling and taking into consideration others around us. Attending to our emotional needs and being polite and mindful to others will give us more peace.
See a Chiropractor!
Chiropractic is far more than just helping back and neck pain. Chiropractic is a healthcare profession dedicated to relieving interference in the body so that we can express ourselves as best as possible. This includes how well the brain works as well as how well the joints or muscles work. Many of our clients work in the city, one of the most stressful parts of any country, and report improved sleep and less stress. They are therefore more productive at work and more likely to get promoted!
Call us today to see how we can help with your stress and achieve everything you want to do