With the advent of modern medicine significantly reducing the rate of death from infection and injury.  Our MAJOR killer is stress.  You’ve heard it before, but what is stress, where does it come from, what does it do to you, and how can you reduce it’s negative effects on you?

Stress comes in three forms:  physical, chemical, and emotional.  Stress from any of these sources creates a physiological cascade of events in your system originating from the fight-or-flight response which evolved to help us stay alive when faced with danger throughout history.  The problem is that many of today’s problems, e.g. sitting at a computer all day, processed foods, and constant cell phone and e-mail alerts, are not solved by shutting down our brains and ramping up muscle abilities.  Further, unlike escaping a predator we can’t run away from modern types of stress.  We are exposed to chronic stress!

You could easily identify the typical feeling of ‘stressed out’, but do you know the effects of stress on your body?  They include:  decreased sex drive, impaired digestion, slowed growth and healing, lowered immunity, increased blood pressure and heart rate, fat storage on your hips and thighs, elevated blood glucose, breakdown of body proteins, decreased HDL (good cholesterol), increased LDL (bad cholesterol), increased cardiac output, decreased learning ability, decreased focus, formation of anxiety memories, decreased logical behavior, increased sensitivity, concentration inhibition, poor short term memory, poor sleep quality.  These symptoms can lead to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease.  Chronic stress also leads to depression, tension headaches, and accelerated aging.

You can’t always avoid stressors, but you CAN reduce their impact and mitigate their effects before the chronic stress slowly kills you.  Key things you can do to protect yourself include:  time in nature (a city park counts!), regular exercise, yoga, meditation, learn to say ‘no’ and pick your commitments mindfully.  Decrease your exposure to chemical stressors by decreasing your sugar and processed food intake and switching to non-toxic cleaning products in your home.  The best way to keep the effects of chronic stress that you can’t avoid under control is regular chiropractic adjustments on a treatment frequency that your doctor feels is appropriate for you.

Start decreasing stress and start optimizing your health!!!

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