Alec Tinker Osteopath in Yorkshire – Back pain, Rehabilitation, Sports Injuries

How to manage stress

Following on from my previous article about the power stress has to affect our health and wellbeing this article is based on ways to reduce stress.

There are number of key things that enable people to become less stressed. A major factor is control. Feeling that we have control in our lives can make a big difference. Most people see stress as something that is happening to them when in fact stress is something that we create for ourselves. Our own brain decides what we considered stressful. Stress management is a skill that can be learned. Being able in certain situations and to learn to let go is important. Understanding that we can’t control everything and adapting to this knowledge by finding things that we can control in our lives will result in feeling less stressed. There are some things we will never be able to control or chose therefore our focus should be on what we can do.

This may sound like a cliché but just thinking positively can have a massive effect on stress. Learning to see the bigger picture or finding the positive things in a situation can make a difference. Our outlook on life has an impact on the values we place on certain things. Placing a high value on things we can control such as our hobbies, family and friends or certain aspect of our work will result in being less stressed. mindful image

A technique called Mindfulness is becoming common practice in the western medical world. This is basically the idea of finding some time to ourselves each day to switch off. Spending 10-15 minutes every day trying to get rid of all the busy thoughts of that day, focusing on relaxing and breathing from the diaphragm can help to reduce the body’s production of stress hormones  which will lower your blood pressure, taking the strain off your heart and blood vessels.

Think basic. Getting a regular amount of sleep, eating healthily, exercising all have an impact. We can’t expect our brain to function properly if we only give ourselves 5-6 hours of sleep a night. If we eat rubbish we feel rubbish. Exercise can be a great stress reliever, but remember that doing too much exercise can actually stress our body’s out even more.

Do good, feel good. This is a very simple concept which people have followed for thousands of years. When we do something for somebody else we feel good about ourselves. This feel good response is the result of our brain’s releasing a chemical called dopamine which is under produced in people who are chronically stressed.

There will always be challenges to overcome and events in our lives that test us to the limit. The best way to prepare and deal with these situations is to improve our thinking. The brain is the key. That’s where everything happens. If we can focus on the things we can control, live healthily and be positive then chronic stress will be a thing of the past.

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