Learning to manage the three types of stress

There are many kinds of stress, but they tend to fall into one of three groups – physical stress, chemical stress, and emotional stress. Frankly, most of us experience all three at some time in our lives, but often there may be one or two main areas that can be dramatically improved upon, with tremendously rewarding results. 

Physical stress, also known as mechanical stress, is the wear and tear on your body, from daily activities, from the constant downward pull of gravity, and from the residual effects of injuries, falls, and traumatic events that all of us have sustained to varying degrees. Auto accidents, sports injuries, slips and falls, and repetitive motion syndromes all contribute to physical stress – but so does the alignment of the small bones of your spine, which interlock in a specific way to protect your nerves while still allowing movement. Misalignment of these spinal bones is one of the most common sources of physical stress.

Physical stresses are best handled by strengthening and toning the physical body, through exercise, avoiding injury, stretching, yoga, martial arts, and of course chiropractic care. Making your body stronger and more flexible will help you adapt to physical stresses.

Chemical stress, also called nutritional stress, is the wear and tear on your body chemistry, from toxic substances you breathe, touch, eat or drink, or from not nourishing your body with the optimal building blocks for good health and wellness. Air pollution, hair spray and cosmetics, unnatural food additives and preservatives, using pesticides or genetic engineering on foods, medications and poor dietary decision-making are only a few of the sources of chemical stress. 

Chemical stresses are best handled by staying away from noxious chemicals whenever possible, and adjusting your food intake so it is consistent with a healthier overall diet for you. If you have to work with toxic garden chemicals, for example, wear a mask or work in a well-ventilated area. Get into the habit of reading the labels on your foods – at times, you’ll be shocked to discover the stuff that’s in there. You may want to do a cleanse or a detox – your chiropractor can help you get the information you need. And likewise, learning to feed yourself healthfully is one of the most important steps to managing chemical stress.
Emotional stress, also referred to as mental stress, is the wear and tear that comes from the way you think and feel. Worrying, feelings of guilt or shame, unhappiness, loneliness, a sense of loss or a fear of failure are just a few of the many ways emotional stress shows up in our lives. Family issues, work issues, relationship issues, financial issues, health issues, all tend to weigh heavily on our psychological wellbeing. 

Emotional stresses are best handled by avoiding emotional triggers,
like stuff you’re afraid of or don’t enjoy, whenever possible. When you can’t do that, your best shot is to develop tools and resources that dissipate the harmful or challenging effects of the unresolved stress. 

For example, something as simple as taking a few deep breaths can be relaxing and bring you back to a more centered place. Or, you could learn to meditate, or if that sounds too involved, to simply learn to sit comfortably in a peaceful environment and get quiet inside. Or, you could take a more vital approach, by stretching, walking in a beautiful natural setting, or practicing yoga. There are even new technologies that steer your brain into relaxation. There’s plenty you can do to learn to adapt to emotional stress, if not all the time, at least much of the time, and that makes a big difference. 

There’s a fourth type of stress that deserves mention – it’s vibrational stress, like the radiation that comes from your cell phone, computer, microwave oven, hair dryer and just about every appliance or device we use. We’re constantly bathed in electromagnetism, except when you “get away” to the mountains, out on the ocean or out in the country, where the concentration of radiation is significantly less. There are even shields you can wear as a necklace, watch or bracelet – just do your homework to be sure the brand you choose is reputable. 

It’s impossible to completely banish stress from our lives, but we can do better at reducing some stresses and learning to handle others. Every step you take in this direction will add years to your to your life, and life to your years!



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