One of the most frequently heard complaints concerning our modern lifestyles is that of stress. Stress is everywhere, it seems, from excess pressure at work, to managing families at home, to finding and keeping relationships, and to managing finance and health. In every case, stress is a hot topic for many people, and there are books and magazines full of tips on how to reduce and cope with stress. However, stress management need not be over-complicated. There are a few relatively simple solutions that can be used as day-to-day habits or as occasional treats that can help to take the stress out of stress.
Why worry about stress?
In the first place, it is important to know why stress can be such an issue, in terms of both physical and psychological health. Prolonged periods of intense stress can, in fact, lead to serious medical conditions. The behavioral and psychological aspects can also contribute to a deterioration in relationships, working life, and quality of life generally. For example, the classic symptom of prolonged stress is probably high blood pressure. At its most severe, prolonged stress-related high blood pressure has been related to incidences of heart attack, arrhythmia, and hardening of the arteries. Stress can, quite literally, kill. Other symptoms that can develop from stress include peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and problems with the immune system, the reproductive system, and the pulmonary system. On a day-to-day basis, muscular tension can cause pain and irritability, exacerbating conditions such as arthritis.
This is a long list of possible effects from stress, and it is not exhaustive. Knowing the potential repercussions of stress is sufficient motivation for many people to move on to tackling stress, not just in terms of symptoms but also in terms of causes.
Everyday stress busting techniques
Tackling stress, however, can start straight away, and treatment does not rely on expensive medicines. Many of the methods that can be used to relieve stress are simple and free. A couple of ideas are given here:
Deep breathing is a classic stress-busting technique. Controlled breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth, can have a quick effect in lowering heart rate and helping to relax muscles. Breathing should be deep into the stomach, and controlled in a slow rhythm of a few seconds per breath, in and out.
Music can be relaxing for many people. There is evidence that music produces certain biomechanical effects that help to relieve stress, but perhaps more importantly, it can help you to feel good and relax. Special music for relaxation is available and can help alongside breathing exercises or yoga.
Aromatherapy is another environmental adjustment that can help in the relief of stress. Some scents work better than others, and lavender has been suggested as being particularly helpful in relieving stress, but scented candles or soaps that are pleasant to you, personally, are likely to have some helpful effect in stimulating pleasure and promoting relaxation.
Drinking black tea can be a good way to relax. Remember, though, that it is important to remain adequately hydrated, so also drink plenty of water.
Meditation is a slightly more advanced technique, incorporating some other elements, such as deep breathing. Meditating, through progressive muscle relaxation, to the point of complete but focused release of tension, is a popular method of tackling stress.
Chiropractors and massage therapists
As well as everyday routines at home and at work, more and more people are turning to professional services by chiropractors and massage therapists to assist in achieving a deeper state of relaxation and well-being. Increasingly, treatment options such as those offered in the therapeutic surroundings of Healthquest Chiropractic play a central role in personal programs of stress relief.
For example, if stress has led to physical conditions such as muscular tension or back pain, a professional health practitioner can be invaluable in assessing and treating any symptoms that have developed. They may suggest chiropractic adjustments to help in the reduction of stress, in conjunction with possible lifestyle changes. Alternatively, a steam bath or massage can have a deeply relaxing effect, helping to reduce stress and tension, and contributing to a plan to combat long-term stress or tension.
Stress can be a killer, but tackling stress need not be costly or difficult. A number of simple home treatments exist that can give some immediate benefit in tackling stress. However, professional help is also available for some more indulgent forms of stress-busting. Chiropractors and massage therapists can help, as can practitioners of yoga or other activities for advancing health and well-being.