SHIFNAL CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC

Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

01952 460 947

Stress!

18/01/2016

It’s something that seems utterly unavoidable in our current society.  Whether you are in a high-powered city job, working at your local school or staying at home, there are always things which are going to stress you out.

I don’t  know whether this is genuinely becoming more common, or whether it is just that people are more willing to talk about it and  more attuned to it in their life, but if you talk to just about anybody they will tell you a list of things which are making them unhappy, affecting their sleep or generally upsetting their quality of life.

This has very obvious psychological implications, with depression on the rise and (in America at least) suicide becoming one of the leading killers of early-middle-aged men.  But it has a noticeable physical effect as well.  Headaches, poor posture and specific syndromes such as fibromyalgia are all commonly affected by stress.  A lot of people are aware that when they are tense, they become tight through their shoulders.  This can lead to headaches, but there is also a tendency for most muscles to tighten up when our body is responding to the stresses of life.  If you have a musculoskeletal problem already, you will often find it gets worse the more anxious you become.

So what should you do about this?

I won’t insult you by telling you to “chill”. Of course the obvious answer is to try and avoid stressful situations where possible, but it’s so obvious that I’m sure you will already have thought of it.  Besides, not all stressful situations are avoidable – yes, you can also try not to let things get to you as much, but again there will still be some things which upset you despite your best efforts.

There are a few things, however, which might help.

First, give yourself a screen-holiday.  For the last 45-60minutes before you go to bed, switch off all screens.  If you have to have your phone on (I use mine as an alarm clock, for example) then perhaps make sure it is on silent with vibrate off so that if an email, text or phone call arrives, you don’t know about it.  And DON’T LOOK!  Consider also doing a tablet/phone-free weekend – it’s amazingly liberating to put all communication devices in a drawer on Friday evening, and not get them out until Monday morning.

Find a scent that relaxes you, and use that on your pillows.   This scent can be different for everyone, so you might have to play around with it a bit, but it’s amazing how calming this can be.  A good night’s sleep will make everything seem better in the morning, and you will be much better prepared to deal with whatever comes your way.  A good place to start is with lavender, but you may also find other herbal scents such as rosemary help, or perhaps something more spicy such as sandalwood.

Is there an activity which helps you switch off? Whether it’s adult colouring books, embroidery, wood working or losing yourself in music, find something that you can turn to which helps you forget the chaos outside and focus on the calm within.

Finally, take time for yourself.  As I said above, stress has physical manifestations which can be quite painful.  You are never going to be able to calmly discuss the phone company’s latest screw-up if you have a pounding headache before you even start – and yelling at the call-centre drone on the other end is not going to get you anywhere.  Trust me.  So make sure you address any physical issues before they take over your life.  Whether it’s  a calming massage, a hot bath or visiting your chiropractor to get that niggle sorted out, it’s worth it.

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