How Do I Recognise That I am Suffering from Stress?
The classic stress Flight or Fright response is our self-protection mechanism for short intense 'danger' periods of time and can be life-saving. However, day-to-day stress works differently on our bodies with both positive and detrimental effects.
Good Stress is life's motivator to get up in the morning, get an occupation, feed and clothe yourself and meet friends for social engagement.
Bad Stress occurs when demand pushes you out of your comfort zone leading to a rise in blood pressure, heart rate increase, shorter shallower breathing patterns but all over a longer period of time.
With Chronic Bad Stress you may experience:-
- Feeling upset or angry over small things.
- Feeling Depressed or very emotional.
- Problems Sleeping.
- Chest pains and racing heart.
- Anxiety and Panic.
- Aches and Pains.
Behaviourally, you may be unable to concentrate at work or do your job well; need alcohol or pain medication to relax; be isolating yourself away from family or friends; be eating more or less than usual.
As Osteopaths we often see patients experiencing musculoskeletal pains at times when their lives are very stressful. This pain is real, not emotional, but can be an indicator that the body is struggling to maintain its balance during that time.
At K&T Osteopathy we will try to highlight ways for you to look after your body and therefore also give you a way to help manage your life during these times. For example: your Osteopath may recommend yoga/meditation for your long term bad back pain that flares up when work is demanding a lot.
To discount your musculoskeletal pains during times of stress is to ignore that mind/body link vital for our overall health.
How to Manage your Stress:-
Be Self-Aware. It is always good to mentally ask yourself "How am I today?". Be aware of both your mental state and physical body. If you are feeling down or upset, then it is time to speak to friends or a counsellor for support. If your body is aching, then book a massage; go for a walk or see your friendly Osteopath.
Exercise Regularly. Just 30 minutes brisk walking can alter mood and outlook. If you are able to do more vigorous exercise then try to fit in some stretch classes to counterbalance the higher impact cardio.
Know When to Ask for Help. Socially engage with friends and family and explain what is happening in your life. If you feel very stressed and down, then seek a counsellor for help. Just talking face-to-face with someone can change the hormonal structure in our bodies, thereby reducing stress.
Cranial Osteopathy in Times of Stress:
One treatment modality that can be very useful to help you relax, is Cranial Osteopathy. This gentle fascial approach to relaxing cranial, diaphragm and sacral tension can be wonderful to help relax and soothe tension.
All our Osteopaths at Kingston & Teddington Osteopathy are experienced in Cranial Osteopathy having done post-graduate courses to refine their skills. Should you be interested in this field of Osteopathy for relaxation purposes then please do not hesitate to ask your Osteopath for a session.