In a world full of hustling and bustling, stress is a part of everyday life that we have to deal with. There are many different types of stressors that we as people have to handle on a daily basis. Different types of stressors include chemical stresses, emotional stresses and physical stresses. Chemical stressors can include ingredients in and on your foods, chemicals in body products, and chemicals in the water you drink. Emotional stressors can be related to work problems, family problems, death of a loved one, among others. Physical stressors include car
accidents, sports injuries, slips and falls or repetitive injuries from jobs. With so much stress in our lives it makes it very difficult to cope but what’s amazing is that our bodies are able to handle this stress very effectively.
Our bodies have a series of stress-handling mechanisms that work together to allow for different stressors in our life; from quick stresses like having to slam on your breaks in your car to long term stress over time from jobs or financial burdens. As soon as our bodies are exposed to stress, hormones like adrenaline and cortisol kick in and allow us to deal with this stress by decreasing inflammation, temporarily. Studies are showing that when we are exposed to long-term stressors, these hormones continue to release but then our bodies become desensitized to them. Normally these hormones help us deal with stress but over a long period of time, they can become detrimental to our health by inducing more inflammation than before.
Did you know that right now is the first time in history that parents are expected to out live their children? In fact, a majority of the reason why our world is dying from chronic disease is due to inflammation levels that are too high and that have been there for a long time. Studies are showing that stress can increase the risk for diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and digestive problems, among many others. But how does having long term stress cause this? The answer lies within our own bodies. As previously mentioned, hormones are released due to a Sympathetic Nervous System response; the problem with this is that when a nervous system stays ramped up in a sympathetic state, it never allows for the normal resting phase. Another thing that many people do not know is that our spinal health contributes to this sympathetic dominant state.
Our spine has two main functions; first it supports us and keeps us upright which is known as our posture. The second function of our spine is that it encloses and protects the entire nervous system, which is essential for our overall health. Therefore when we have good spinal hygiene and posture, we are able to take on the stresses of our daily lives better and when we are able to do that, we can tackle life and disease in a more impactful way.
We all could admit that everyday can be stressful and we will do what it takes to make our lives easier. The best way to handle stress is to have a healthier spine and nervous system. Physical stresses in our life, some big or some smaller over time, play a huge role in inflammation in our bodies. Some big physical stressors include car accidents, sports injuries, or slipping and falling. Some smaller stressors can include sitting all day, our jobs that put us in poor postures, or sitting on our cell phones and tablets. By understanding that our posture can determine our physical health, it allows us to use better postures throughout our day to day lives.
Other ways we can decrease our overall stress and live a stronger, healthier life is to look at the way we eat and exercise and how we take care of our mental health. Eating a bunch of unhealthy foods (chemical stress) can irritate our digestive systems, circulatory systems and it can affect how our body functions on a cellular level and create inflammation throughout our entire body.
Another way we can impact our inflammation and our health is to make sure we maintain a healthy mental state. By keeping our mind at peace and ease, we are able to handle the stressors of our lives in an exact moment. The power of our minds is so powerful, in fact if we change our mindset on how we approach and handle the stressors of life, we may not have stress at all. How amazing would life be if we didn’t have to worry about stress? If we change the way we live physically, chemically and mentally, we can not only change the way we live our lives but we can decrease the risk of major chronic diseases that are decreasing our lifespans overall.