30 Jun Living with Stress
Living with Stress
We all experience stress in various ways on a daily basis, and it is easy to take it for granted that certain stresses are an unavoidable part of life. Stress is ultimately defined by how you adapt (or not) to change, resulting from life’s physical, chemical and mental challenges.
The mental challenges are the most easily recognizable source of stress for most people. These include your attitudes, moods of happiness and depression, worrying, anxiety and fear, which all create varying levels of tension for different people. Other mental sources of stress stem from your perceptions about your job pressures, family dynamics, peer pressure, study deadlines and managing to balance your time, energy and focus optimally.
Stress also results from life’s physical challenges; including macro and micro traumas. Macro traumas are the more significant and memorable injuries and accidents. Perhaps you have been in a bad accident or suffered from a major illness. The micro traumas are the less noticeable, yet still highly significant repeated and cumulative physical positions and movements; like your sitting, standing and sleeping postures, and daily movement routines, be they exercise, sport, work or recreational.
Finally the most often overlooked source of stress is the chemical challenges associated with our daily living. This includes the food you eat, whatever you drink, and any other chemicals you put into your body; including drugs, cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine. It also includes the chemicals in your environment, such as the air and noise pollution, sunshine the climate, electromagnetic radiation and even the chemicals and fabrics you put on your skin.
As you can see there are many challenges which create stress in our lives every day. Identify at least 2 challenges in each of the 3 categories that you would like to improve, and keep those in mind as you read the rest of this article.
The Diskin Life approach to stress is to integrate effective whole-person lifestyle strategies that are sustainable, not just temporary ‘band-aids’. First we work with you to understand your underlying historical issues, and then provide strategies for you to break-free from your recurring cycles of stress.
When you are under any kind of stress, be it life threatening or just irritating, your body goes into defence physiology. This is known as the fright, fight or flight response. Your body is preparing for danger as if it is getting ready to outrun a lion. Organs and glands change gears, your adrenal glands are activated, blood pressure goes up, digestion slows, muscles tense, and your overall physiology prepares to help you survive.
Stress from a crisis or an emergency is over in a short time.
What if your “go” button was stuck?
Stress from anxiety, worry or anger can keep your body in defence physiology 24 hours a day. Every organ, tissue and cell works overtime. Eventually your body becomes exhausted and your normal healing processes may shut down. You become a candidate for chronic fatigue, depression and disease.
Recall your challenges from part 1: Are they stresses which are impacting on you daily, weekly, monthly or occasionally?
What are the signs that stress is negatively impacting you?
Your body will give you prompts to pay attention by giving you a variety of clues. Some common signs include changes to your typical behaviours and patterns, like altered sleep, moods, concentration, appetite, energy, productivity and lowered immunity. You might also be feeling a “knot” in your stomach, body tension, slumping posture, your heart pounding, feeling tense, anxious or nervous, involuntary foot-tapping, teeth-grinding, jaw-clenching, or having an untypical short fuse.
The three part key is to:
1.Be alert and aware to notice them;
2.To make sense of and understand what they mean;
3.To respond appropriately by changing your behaviours.
The alternative and common occurrence in our society is to ignore or belittle their significance, and solider on until a major crisis creates an even louder wake-up call.
5 simple ways to improve your stress levels
Structure your time management by prioritizing your time and other resources based on your life values. If you highly value your wellbeing, ensure you start your day with adequate sleep, nutrition, exercise and mental focus before embarking on work responsibilities.
1. Move Better: Intelligent and purposeful movement, to support your posture, energy levels and physical condition.
2. Eat Better: Be nourished with most of your food being fresh whole foods and less processed foods.
3. Think Better: Focus on what is positive, breath consciously, be mindful/present and turn off technology when possible.
4. Respond Better: Enjoy regular Chiropractic care, to optimise your nerve system function, which is a fundamental, as it is the integrator that controls and coordinates your entire body systems and functions. When all these strategies are effectively combined, change, evolution and sustainability more easily follow.
5. Be Natural: Connect with nature in the sunshine, fresh air and grounding with the earth.
Dr. Ari Diskin is a US trained Healthy Life Doctor of Chiropractic, with over 30 years professional experience, having cared for over 10,000 people. He uses Network Care as part of his 3 Step Vitality Program, in Melbourne Australia. For more information www.DiskinLife.com.