Winning The Stress Game

The Stress Game is played by everyone - moms and dads, kids and grandparents. The great news is everyone can win. But how do you know if you’re winning? To keep score, periodically ask yourself: Am I genuinely happy?

It’s that simple.

You see, stress can make you happy or it can make you miserable. Some challenges are stressful but rewarding. In fact, I know many people who get quite grumpy if they are not busy challenging themselves. But too much challenge and not enough stress release can also make you sick. As humans we need to be productive at some level, giving something, or doing something that we love.

So, how can you improve your chances of winning the Stress Game? 

First, recognize that stress can send your nervous system into defense mode - sometimes called the fight or flight response. When this happens for a short period of time it’s rarely a problem. But if the stress to your nervous system is too extreme or lasts too long, your body’s healing capacity can weaken or even shut down.

Creating health is important. By strengthening health reserves, you can improve over time, rather than decline. Chiropractors have known for over a century that a healthy spine and nervous system are critical for optimal health. Lifestyle choices also make a huge difference, to maintain that balance, here are six questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I eating good whole foods? The more refined the food the more nutrients are typically taken out. In extreme cases - white flour, sugar and rice, for example - virtually all of the vital nutrients have been stripped out. So favor organic foods, especially lots of alkalizing fruits and vegetables and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Am I hydrated? Your body is mostly water and needs water as its primary liquid.
  • Am I sleeping well? Adequate, uninterrupted sleep each night is essential for cell repair.
  • Have I exercised? Your body needs exercise that increases heart rate, promote muscle activity and balances your nervous system. Excellent exercises that achieve all three are swimming or walking.
  • How is my breathing? Breathing that activates the diaphragm can improve heart efficiency. Start by using your diaphragm, this breathing muscle enhances stress handling reserves and keeps the stress out of your shoulders. Push your belly out to breathe in and squeeze your belly to exhale. This may be tricky at first, but is well worth the effort.
  • What am I thinking about? Like a magnet, we tend to attract to us the things that reflect what we think or have strong feelings about.
  • Instead of wasting time and energy on what we cannot change, focus your thoughts on what you want from life.

In the Stress Game, sweet victory can be as simple as a smile and having fun. Give it a try.

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