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Health Tip: Manage Your Stress

We all know that stress is bad for our health; it can even make us sick. The problem is that, in most cases, we cannot remove the source of our tension. So what should we do? Dr. Fisher always talks about managing your stress not getting rid of it because that is not a realistic course of action. It is possible to manage and reduce certain triggers that exist in our lives but first we need to be able to identify them. Since I like making lists (it helps me remember) I write them all down from the most obvious to the once in a while stress triggers. Once you have identified what stresses you out the most, asses what part is in your control and what isn’t. Focus on what you can control and find a solution.


(for example:) Personally, I hate getting stuck in traffic on the way home. I cannot control the traffic and my work schedule will not allow me to leave at a different time. Utilizing side streets just took longer so I had to accept the fact that there will always be traffic. This wasn’t easy. What was easy was figuring out what would make this reoccurring event more pleasant; fun music, good talk radio, or a conversation with my family back east. Although I still hate traffic I do not go with a horrible headache or attitude anymore – something my husband definitely appreciates!


The American Heart Association (2014) outlines ten healthy habits that can help you manage your stress levels:

  1. Talk with family/friends
  2. Engage in daily physical activity
  3. Embrace the things you are able to change (hmmm… sound familiar?)
  4. Remember to laugh
  5. Give up the bad habits (i.e. cigarettes, caffeine, or too much alcohol.)
  6. SLOW DOWN! (plan ahead and don’t rush)
  7. Get enough sleep
  8. Be organized
  9. Give back
  10. Try not to worry (I found this last one funny!)


When we fail to manage our stress it will manifest itself in different ways. Most often stress will rear its ugly head through our emotions or, even worse, our body. Some might experience sleepless nights, weight gain or aches (head, neck, back, stomach etc.); just like a building or a bridge, your body will feel the stress at its weakest point. Unfortunately, for us, stress has also been known to lower our immune system making us more susceptible to colds and flus.  This occurs because our stress levels are controlled by our central nervous system (CNS). The central nervous system immediately tells our body what to do, if we are consistently stressed the CNS will not be able to tell our adrenal glands to stop releasing adrenaline and cortisol (a steroid hormone). These hormones, left unchecked, can cause havoc in our bodies (Pietrangelo, 2014). The cortisol hormone will actually inhibit our immune system’s natural response to infection or viruses causing us to get sick.

At the end of the day we all need to do what is good for us and our families. Hopefully we can all learn to accept that stress is a part of a daily life but it does not have to be the driving factor. When in doubt…come see us at DC to get your Wellness adjustment!

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