Tips for Stress Relief
Written by Dr. Lucas Szczepanik B.Sc., D.C.
This is still one of the best ways to combat stress. Emotional and mental stresses can be handled better by your nervous system with proper food and nutrition. Try to stay away from artificial foods such as T.V. dinners, fast food, chips/cookies, pop, etc. Additives and preservatives, such as aspartame, can be found in many types of foods. Some are added to preserve freshness and others are added to make up for a lost ingredient (ex. Diet soda...sugar is replaced with aspartame). These additives are stressors to the body and alter how your body handles stress. Natural, fresh foods will give you the nutrients needed to help your nervous system function better. If it didn't come from an animal, or was grown from the ground it is probably not that great for you. Fruits and veggies ideally should be eaten raw, but lightly cooked, frozen, or canned is better than nothing.
Consistency is the key here. Regular exercise, rather it be a brisk, weight training, or cardiovascular work-outs, benefit the body greatly and allow for proper stress maintenance. Take 30-45 minutes over your lunch break for a walk with a friend or co-worker. Make this a part of your schedule during your work day. Resist the temptation to use the excuse "I don't have the time". If you make the time your daily exercise will become part of your schedule and greatly improve your mood and performance.
Relaxation without assistance
Finding ways to relax and de-stress without alcohol, tobacco, or comfort foods is ideal. Using these options has a tendency to make the stress worse than it actually is. A relationship develops between the intake of food/alcohol and your stress levels. Your stress will continue to rise because of the satisfaction that comes with the de-stressing methods used. Taking 30 minutes of your own "Quiet time" to do what you enjoy or haven't had the time to do is an excellent way to take your mind off of the rest of the world. Common methods include music, bubble baths, reading hobbies, etc.
The Couch is your Enemy
While many people enjoy television, it too can be a harmful crutch. The television is a device to communicate to the public. It tells you about violence, health/lack of health, political entanglements, and of course...what you need to buy. Although your body is relaxing, your brain is continuing to be stimulated with negative images and topics.
Far too often people associate health with a lack of symptoms. As the health industry continues to move forward, more and more alternative therapies have been presented to help MAINTAIN health before it deteriorates. Maintenance of the spinal column and nervous system is an excellent way to keep your body prepared for upcoming stress.
Signs of Stress to the Nervous System
• Sleeping Problems
• Mood Swings
• Digestive Troubles
• Tension in the neck, shoulders, or lower back