Stress is bad for your health, but everyone deals with it. That’s why it’s important to learn to manage your mental health. Here at Healing Hands Chiropractic, we have a few tips to help you out.
What is Stress a Sign Of?
This is your body’s natural reaction to any stimulus or change in your environment. Even just thinking about something can cause you to feel stressed. The body reacts emotionally, physically, and mentally to these changes in varying degrees.
However, it can also be positive. Sometimes good things will happen to us such as promotions, marriage, winning a contest or money, which all cause a different type of stress. These types of stress are known as acute stress. As mentioned earlier, it is a natural reaction but if it is not managed properly it can develop into chronic stress. It is important to have good coping techniques to reduce the impact of it on your body and your emotional health.
What Causes Stress?
Acute stress is caused by many different life events. Here are some of the more common stressors people tend to encounter:
- Job loss
- Lack of money
- Relationship problems
- Loss of a loved one
- Bringing in a new child
- Heavy traffic
- Uncomfortable environment (such as loud, overcrowded or unfamiliar)
- Worrying about possibilities
These are all events that we are likely to encounter at some point in our lives. By having good responses to these situations, we can effectively manage it. If it is left unmanaged, it can compound and end up causing chronic stress which can lead to health problems. It is ok if you aren’t sure how to deal with a stressful situation yourself. Be sure to ask someone you trust or find a counselor who you can talk you through the stressful event.
What Are Some Signs of Stress?
Acute and chronic stress have different symptoms and different events can cause different symptoms from person to person. If you undergo a stressor, you may or may not experience some of the symptoms listed below:
- Pains in the back or chest
- Nervous ticks (twitching)
- Sharp, tingly sensations
- Upset stomach
Depending on the severity of the response, you may also feel light-headedness which can lead to fainting.
People also tend to feel emotional reactions to it such as:
- Concentration difficulties
- Forgetting things
- Tiredness or fatigue
Some common behaviors associated with it are:
- Social withdrawal
- Mood swings
- Change in appetite (eating too much or too little)
- Misuse of drugs and/or alcohol
Someone experiencing it will likely exhibit at least one of the listed bullet points in all three types of responses. Sometimes you might not be aware that you are under distress so it is useful to know how you commonly respond.
By knowing how you respond and being aware that you are in a stressful situation, you can better adapt your response to something healthy rather than destructive.
Signs of chronic issues often include the following:
- Heart problems
- Chronic anxiety
- Blood pressure
- Weaker immune system
- Upset stomach
- Difficulties sleeping
- Body aches
- Loss of libido
If you are experiencing these symptoms, they could be a sign of it or other health conditions. See your doctor for a proper diagnosis before trying any self-treatment.
The Difference Between Good and Bad Stress
It comes in different flavors and can be good or bad. Most of us are familiar with what bad stressors are. These are the negative events in our life that we would like to avoid if possible. Good stressors can include things like marriage, births, promotions, or just genuine good fortune.
Bad stress usually triggers some sort of fear and activates our fight or flight response. This is what causes the symptoms of acute stress. However, it can make us feel excited and happy and is referred to psychologists as eustress. With good stress, your heart rate still quickens and there is a change in hormones.
How Does Stress Affect my Health?
Yes, absolutely. If we look back to the lists of signs and symptoms from earlier you can see the clear, defined ways that it can affect your health. It can have both immediate and long term effects on the body. The immediate responses to it aren’t usually a problem.
Once the event is over those symptoms will reside. If, however, we are constantly exposed to stressful situations or thinking, its impacts aren’t good. Our flight or fight response is meant to do just that: help us decide to run or push through the situation. If we are constantly in that state of panic, fear, or worry, our bodies can’t fully recover in between and that’s when the major health impacts start appearing.
What Can I Do About Stress For My Health?
When it comes to acute stress we can adjust the way we look at the situation. Self-talk is a common technique prescribed by psychologists to change the way someone views themselves. Just becoming aware of your self-talk is the first step.
This is commonly done when someone has a negative self-image. Normally their self-talk is very negative. If they can catch that and turn it around into something positive before it takes hold in their belief about themselves, they can start to change their self-image.
Use These Techniques For Other Common Stressors
The same technique can be applied to situations of acute stress especially when it is something that we know is coming. For instance, you may have to give a speech in front of a crowd and start to worry about how it’s going to go. If you don’t like this type of situation you may start to experience the acute stress symptoms. But if you remember, both good and bad has many of the same symptoms.
In either case, your heart rate will quicken and your hormones may start to race. Rather than focusing on how scared you feel about what is to come, it is at this point that you can flip that and tell yourself that you are excited to do it. This will trick your brain into reacting to the worry as something good.
Contact us Today
If you are experiencing chronic stress, please make an appointment with us at Healing Hands. We help our patients with many symptoms and health-related concerns. We’re a chiropractor office in Tennessee and we’re happy to see those that are in Murfreesboro and surrounding areas.