By: Katie Lisbon CPLC
Tip #1: Monitor Your Stress.
How you start and end your day can be strong indicators your stress level meter is in the red.
Do you have difficulty waking up in the morning and the only thought in your mind is getting caffeine into your system?
Do you struggle with doing any activities once you get home at the end of the day. Besides binge watch TV and indulging in foods that shouldn’t be a staple in your diet?
These are all warning signs you’re under too much stress!
Now I realize eliminating stress entirely from your life is an impossible task, but you can not continue to live your life at the mercy of your stressors. It begins with learning how to adapt and not living in a state of reaction.
Just like with learning any new skill, it takes time and it take practice.
Meditation is a great way to start and/or end a stressful day.
Scientific evidence proves that meditation reduces stress and anxiety, alleviates depression, improves self-awareness, lengthens attention span, improves mental clarity, reduces memory loss, increases positive feelings, increases self-control, helps to fight addictions, improves sleep, controls pain, and decreases blood pressure!
Meditation doesn’t have to be just sitting there with your eyes closed. It can be anything that is meditative to you, such as crafts, dancing, journaling, spa treatment, playing an instrument, or listening to your favorite music.
How long you choose to meditate is up to you. Start small and work your way up. Many of our patients find their 15 minutes on the traction table a perfect way to unwind and meditate because they are already in a calm and relaxed state without outside distractions.
Bring headphones to your next appointment and try it yourself. If you are new to meditation or are having trouble meditating, try guided meditation. YouTube has many free options to choose from.
Tip #2: Exercise Regularly.
When your stress is high, you may not feel like exercising, but exercise is actually exactly what you need!
Exercise is a wonderful way to lower your cortisol levels (stress hormone), improve your brain chemistry to activate neurotransmitters that elevate your mood, and release endorphins (feel-good chemicals)!
Exercise is also a perfect way to distract you from stressful or negative emotions, give you more confidence, and help you cope with your emotions in a healthy way.
Did you know? Emotional stress can cause physical pain as well!
Simply find a type of exercise you enjoy, and be consistent.
If you are lacking motivation, remember the hardest thing to do is get started. The rest will come with time.
Tip #3: Avoid Sugar & High Sodium Foods
Coffee shop drinks such as Starbucks are loaded with sugar and caffeine to give you a buzz that will keep you coming back for more. Exercise caution with your caffeine intake, for caffeine stimulates your body’s “fight or flight” response, making you feel on edge and jittery.
Caffeine can also accelerate your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, increases your stress hormone (cortisol), and can even trigger elevations in anxiety. If you need your cup of Joe, replace your Starbucks with a less sugary option and limit your intake to one cup a day.
Alcohol and soda are two more examples of sugary beverages often overlooked when monitoring sugar intake. Alcohol might temporarily improve your stress levels, once it wears off, it can actually make anxiety and depression worse. Consider trading out your soda or adult beverages for a flavored seltzer water or an herbal tea with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
How often do you rely on eating out for your next meal?
All restaurants, no matter where you go will have higher amounts of sodium in their dishes compared to if you were to prepare your meal fresh at home. A great way to reduce your sodium intake is simply limiting the number of meals you dine outs.
Tip #4: Practice Good Ergonomics
Whether you’re working on a computer, tending to the garden or working a very physical job.
Good ergonomics are key to preventing injury and preserving the health of your spine.
Be sure to talk with Dr. Bob during your next appointment for helpful tips on how to practice proper ergonomics in your day-to-day life. It could prevent you from future injuries and speed up your recovery time!
Be sure to tune in to our Facebook Live workshops for more helpful tips!
If you ever miss a workshop, we record them and upload the recordings to our website so you can access them anytime!