Stress today, unfortunately, has become synonymous with everyday life. We’re all juggling crazy schedules and it seems that the technology created to make our lives easier has also made our lives busier (buzz…buzz…new email…ding…ding…Facebook notification…). It’s a lot to manage, so take some time to re-adjust and re-evaluate, and ask: How Can I Reduce My Stress?
Re-think your to-do list. There are many things in your life that you have to do: paying bills, taking out the trash, attending parent-teacher conferences, etc. But what about all the things that you do—or think you should do—that aren’t absolutely necessary? Like killing yourself to make 37 cupcakes for the school bake-off or stressing over re-landscaping your “outdated” yard (just because Tom and Sarah next-door have the perfect yard); stop doing this to yourself!
Eliminate unnecessary tasks and commitments. Take a long, hard look at everything you’ve committed yourself to and cut, cut, cut. Ask yourself if this is really something you value, or something you feel like you should value because your neighbor, best friend or son’s friend’s mom does. (A word to the wise: Hang onto any of your commitments you have toward your health or your family’s health. Sometimes it’s easier to drop something you’re doing for yourself, instead of for someone else, but don’t do this!)
Learn how to say “no.” Technology keeps us connected 24/7. This connectivity is great for many reasons, it can really be a burden. If you find yourself often feeling like you have to say “yes” to something, ask yourself why? That’s nice that your old high school friend who you’ve only seen twice in three years invited you to her baby shower, but it’s time to ask yourself if you want to go or are just saying “yes” because you think you should (for some imaginary reason). Politely say “no.”
Spend “free time” joyously. You thought we were going to say “wisely,” right? Nope. Joyously. Life is not meant to be a chore or a never-ending list of to-dos! Spend time with your family; play games; ride bikes; go to the park; read that book you’ve been eyeing; join a local softball team; whatever your heart desires. Organized closets and PTO meetings are NOT the stuff of memories.
Kick the worrywart habit. How often are you worrying about: a) something that hasn’t happened yet (or might never happen), b) an upcoming responsibility or commitment or c) other people’s perception or opinion of you? Worrying is a bad habit and can be hard to break, but stop yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed and see if any of your worries fall into these three categories, and release yourself from the destructive thinking.
Stress and Your Health
Stress will not only wreak havoc on your mental health, but your physical health too (which in turn causes more stress!). Countless studies have connected stress to major health issues, and as chiropractors, we know that stress is one of the leading causes of subluxation, which is when one or more spinal vertebrae move out of position and create stress or irritation on nearby nerves.
While we know it’s impossible to eliminate stress altogether, but if you make changes in how you think about and approach life, and care for your health through methods like chiropractic, it’ll make all the difference in the world.