In a world that never seems to stop, the Canadian Chiropractic Association has outlined 4 techniques to help manage stress. In a recent publication, the CCA has shared that according to the World Health Organization, stress, particularly work-related stress, is the second-most common health problem. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, diabetes, headaches, musculoskeletal pain, and clinical depression, just to name a few.
It is important to take a bit of time out of your busy schedule to unwind and relax, otherwise, your body will suffer both physically and mentally. Learning how to manage stress can take time, and everyone usually has their own unique way of relieving it. Here are a few ways to help get you started:
- Yoga: Yoga is not only used for pain management—studies have shown that practicing yoga regularly can help reduce stress and decrease the risk of injury in the workplace.
- Belly breathing: “Belly breathing” (or deep breathing) has been shown to reset the nervous system. Studies have shown a decrease in fatigue and anxiety with deep breathing exercises. In order to see the benefits of deep breathing, it should be done 3–4 times per day for at least 5 minutes.
- Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR): This technique involves engaging the muscles—actively contracting (for 10 seconds) and relaxing (for 20 seconds) muscles of the legs, arms, and abdomen with the eyes closed, focusing separately on each muscle group as you move up (or down) the body in full.1When practising PMR, it is important to mentally focus on contraction and relaxation. To maximize on its benefits, try doing the exercise 2–3 times per day (for as much as 15–20 minutes, if you can manage it). Studies have shown a decrease in stress hormones, anxiety, and blood pressure with the use of this technique.
- Meditation: Mindfulness meditation is a common technique used to combat stress, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and headaches. Check out this blog to see some tips on how to add mindfulness to your everyday routine.
Stress, although often viewed as a negative entity, can often be managed appropriately. Keep these tips in mind to help with your stress management and self-care routine. Should you want further tips, please consult Johnston Health & Laser Center the office or book a consultation.
Source – https://www.chiropractic.ca/blog/4-techniques-to-help-you-manage-stress/
This time of year, Halloween is over….we still might be rooting through some of the left over treats…and now we are prepping for the Holiday Season…lots of sweet seasonal goodies, rich foods and delicious warm drinks. Today we are sharing a study in the Huffington Post written by Alan Christianson that shows that there are some startling reasons why we are stressed out…especially this time of year. (and it isn’t just holiday shopping and season busyness) Read his full article below:
Recent studies have surprisingly shown that one of the biggest causes behind stress is your blood sugar. When it is kept between the glucose levels of 75 to 95, (ng/dl) you function at your best.  The more time you spend outside of this range or the more radically your blood sugar shifts within this range, the more your body feels stressed.
How can your blood sugar cause stress? When we experience regular stress, our adrenal glands make more of a stress hormone called cortisol. Along with managing stress, this hormone also manages your blood sugar. Whenever your blood sugar level changes too fast, your adrenal glands release cortisol to pull it back up again. Unstable blood sugar can make you feel the same as you would feel when an event makes you angry, frustrated or frightened.
Even when you cannot control every cause of stress in the world around you, the simple act of keeping your blood sugar levels stable will make you more resilient. Not only that, but stable blood sugar levels will help you stay lean and energized. This is because along with stress hormones like cortisol, unstable blood sugar causes you to make storage hormones like insulin, which causes weight gain and fatigue.
What makes your blood sugar unsteady, and what can you do to help it stay stable?
All throughout the day a large number of factors either help or hurt your blood sugar, but what happens in the morning has more effect on your day then events at any other time. This is true because your body sets its blood sugar regulation based upon the first events after you wake up.
Morning events that raise stress hormones include:
Skipping breakfast — Having no food lowers your metabolism in preparation for famine. This makes you less able to burn fat for fuel.
High sugar breakfast — In the modern world we have weird ideas about breakfast foods being desserts. You will function much better when you stay under 7 grams of sugar from all sources combined.
High amounts of caffeine — Why does caffeine in give you energy? Because it causes you to raise your blood sugar in the same way that sugary food does.
Morning events that help you reduce stress hormones include:
Physical activity — Anything works: walking, time in the gym, running, you name it.
A high-protein breakfast — Look at labels and get 25-35 grams for most women, 30-40 grams for most men.
Feeling psychologically centered — Take a few minutes to journal and mentally rehearse your day. Think how you would like to feel and what you’d like to have happen.
Your body and mind strive to reach states of balance and happiness. Even though you cannot control the world around you, you can help yourself become healthier and more resilient by making easy adjustments in your daily habits.
Maybe it is time to just get rid of the left over Halloween treats all together. Time to get ahead of things by doing some healthy meal prep and ensuring that you have lots of fresh fruit and veggies cut up in the fridge. Holiday season usually means more pressure on the schedule and less time to take to make healthy meals and snacks.
Use this weekend to get ahead of things and take some of the sugar stress out of the holidays coming.
Here are some quick and healthy meal ideas – Click on the image to be taken to the recipe source and details.
A good review of the benefits of proper posture can be found in this article from http://www.uprightpose.com/.
Most of the information really isn’t new to us, but it is often good to be reminded why our parents told us to “sit up straight”! There really was a reason! Actually there are ten good reasons according to www.uprightpose.com
Gal Nag explains:
1. Posture = Power
Across species, posture is often the primary representation of power. By now, most of us have heard about Amy Cuddy’s famous ‘Power Posing.’ Cuddy found that open, expansive postures reflect high power while narrow, closed postures reflect low power. These poses not only display power, but can actually produce it. People with high power poses have increased feelings of dominance, risk-taking, and power as well as reduced anxiety.
2. Say goodbye to back pain
Good posture is critical to reducing back and neck pain. Slouching can add strain to muscles and put stress on the spine. This can change the anatomical characteristics of the spine, leading to constricted blood vessels and nerves, as well as problems with muscles, discs, and joins. The Cleveland Clinic notes that people who suffer from back pain experience positive changes when they improve their posture.
3. Look good and feel confident
Needless to say, being upright does wonders for your appearance. You look taller, slimmer and more successful when you sit and stand tall. It is imperative to making a good first impression. A study by researchers at Ohio State University found that sitting upright actually reinforced confidence. Upright participants felt confidence in their thoughts whereas slumped participants were more unsure of their themselves.
4. Lose weight!
You can actually burn up to 350 calories a day by being upright! Chiropractor James Emmett explains that this is because by carrying yourself better, you are “taking tension off the whole body and everything starts to flow better.”
5. Build a stronger core
By sitting upright we extend the mid back, which leads to a neutral spine that allows the pelvis to position itself in a way that the core muscles can activate better. Once core muscles are working better, the abs will appear flatter and toned.
6. Breathe Better
Keeping an UpRight posture helps open up the airways and ensure proper breathing. This allows more oxygen to flow through the cardiopulmonary system. The blood is then able to carry sufficient oxygen to the whole body and ensure that your nervous system, organs and other tissues function effectively.
7. Improve your memory and brain
A study conducted by Indiana University focused on how words and memories are linked to posture and found that babies’ learning ability is in fact affected by their posture. Being upright improved their ability to map new experiences and remember things
8. Improve your mood
Erik Peper carried out a range of experiments to test how posture affects energy level and the ability to generate positive and negative thoughts. He found that participants who were upright and dynamic felt more energetic, happier and positive. By contrast, those who slouched reported feeling sad, lonely and isolated.
9. Reduce your stress
Stress not only causes poor posture, but also actually perpetuates it! A recent study compared different seated postures to evaluate how each affected emotions in the face of stress. Results found that adopting an upright posture when stressed can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture. Therefore, sitting upright might be a simple strategy to help build resilience to stress.
10. Be more productive
Sitting upright makes you more alert, concentrated, and productive. The reason is that when you slouch, your body takes in as much as 30% less oxygen than you’d take in with good posture. This means that when you slouch, it is much harder to keep your energy up.
There are ten great reasons for good posture! Our mission at the Johnston Health Center is to help you live your best life possible. Everyone has their own health challenges and at JHC we are experts at helping to guide you to better health. You may need our 12 weeks to Better Posture Program, our gentle chiropractic care, Bioflex laser therapy for arthritis or sports injuries, our Stress Relief Therapy Program or a nutritional assessment. We are here to help you with your concerns.
The Johnston Health Center team will Educate you on better health, Inspire you and help you Take Action.