This new “normal” and its challenges can drive us nuts. Working from home, limited social interactions, not being able to go to church and pray, not having as many physical activities available to let go of the overwhelm can really affect our stress levels.
What is stress?
Stress is defined as “the physiological demand placed on the body when you must adapt, cope or adjust to life.” The idea is that stress represents a threat to our survival and hence our need to adapt. The adaptation starts in the brain, and the brain itself has an exceedingly difficult time differentiating between an actual threat to one’s life and just emotional or mental distress. The brain perceives both situations as the same, and so each situation elicits the same stress response from the brain – DANGER.
In the short term, there are no real problems because this system was designed to function in the short term. Health problems arise when stress reactions become chronic and we function in a constant state of fight, flight, or freeze.
What are the signs that you are stressed?
- A sense of being “out of it” and dizziness
- General aches and pains
- Grinding teeth, clenched jaw
- Indigestion or acid reflux symptoms
- Increase in or loss of appetite
- Muscle tension in neck, face, or shoulders
- Problems sleeping – falling asleep or staying asleep
It is extremely important for all of us to manage our stress, and even more so stress in our children as early as possible. Stress weakens the architecture of the developing brain, which can lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and physical and mental health. Watch for the signs of stress in your children.
We have a simple test at the San Clemente Vitality center, the Heart Rate Variability test (HRV), that can measure what your and your child’s stress level is and how well your body adapts to it. Think to book a session today to learn how badly stress is affecting you and your loved ones.
How can you manage your stress and your family’s stress more efficiently?
At-home stress managing tools include:
- Journaling – get those worries and concerns out of your head instead of spinning in your head
- Breathing SLOWLY – breathe in the nose and out the mouth slowly and gently. It is best to have your breath out be twice as long and the breath in (ex. breathe in to the count of 3 or 4 and breathe out to the count of 6 or 8)
- Just say “No” – A lot of stress comes from over-extending ourselves – whether that be from over-committing our time, our emotional energy, or our finances. Learn to say “no” and take control of your own life.
- Exercise – during breaks from class or work make sure your kids to go out and play and you go for a walk or do some stretching
- Focus on the positive. Yes, it is may be annoying your kids have to study online but they are safe and able to learn (I don’t like the “safe” part. How about “things could be worse”)
We have a handout ready for you at the office so make sure you ask for it at your next visit.
As adults, we have developed ways to manage our stress over the years, but we might not have access to our regular stress management tools. It might be time to revisit our toolbox and add some new tools so we can manage our stress better.
You can find ideas everywhere. One easy way is with Dr. Emma’s program “Transform Your Stress Into Energy”. It’s a 6-week online program to expand your toolbox.
At the San Clemente Vitality Center, we also have ways to reduce stress and correct the effects of chronic stress through:
- Empowerment – We help you identify your causes of stress by paying attention to your body’s responses, using muscle testing and other computer tests. When we know the physical, emotional, or chemical causes of stress we can correct them.
- Chiropractic Adjustments/Bodywork – Stimulation of the nervous system with a gentle impulse and energetic bodywork will rewire your nervous system to find and function in a state of peace.
- Our modalities, especially the Healy, can address your stress and help you regain your vitality.
If you want help getting started just send us an email or give the office a call. Getting started today will go a long way to creating a peaceful and happy home.