by holistic chiropractor specialising in the mind-body connection, Dr Aimee Brown.
We are all human, and constantly feel emotions and stress. Every. Single. Day. Which is good! We don’t want to be emotionless. But it is interesting to see how emotions and stress impact us physically! Stress can show up in our bodies in a variety of different ways. Think about it – from headaches and neck pain, to butterflies in your stomach if you are nervous, irritable bowel symptoms with increased stress, or tension in your jaw and face as you clench your teeth. These are all things that commonly have a link to increased occurrence with increased stress or heightened emotions. Increased stress can also lead to high blood pressure and increased heart rate, anxiety, chest tightness or insomnia!
We need to take a moment first and talk about what stress actually is. Things have changed and we aren’t all running away from tigers and lions these days. We are trying to do all the things, work, deadlines, family, kids, friends and housework. It’s all these everyday things that add up, and put our body into a constant state of stress or increased sympathetic control. Which isn’t good long term. You want your body to balance out into parasympathetic control, and for the stress to decrease, so it can function at its best.
So how do we do this? Firstly, you need to recognise the stressors in your life. Can you decrease them? Can you make changes? Or is it past that point? Then make an appointment to speak to someone to help you manage the stress and the impact on your body.
Here are some simple things you can do on an everyday basis to help manage stress in your body and mind:
- Slow deep breathing. This is a great way to get your body out of a stressed state physiologically and into a more calmed state. Just breathe, slow and deep for 5-10 minutes a day with no interruptions!
- Sleep – Your body heals and recovers while you sleep! Aim to get 8-9 hours sleep per night
- Exercise is great for both physical and mental stress release and getting those happy endorphins pumping! This all helps your body to be at its best physically so you can mentally deal with any stress and emotions better, which then lessens the impact they have on our bodies!
- Drink water and eat good nutritious fresh food. Your body will function better with this!
- Play music that makes you happy and sing your heart out! This again gets the happy hormones flowing and changes your state.
- Get back to nature. Get some Vitamin D, fresh air, and barefoot time if you can.
- Journal – get all the stress and thoughts out of your brain and mind and onto paper. You never have to read it, but it helps to get it out!
Always remember that this article has general information and advice and check in with your health care provider for advice specific to you!