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Conquering Stress And Anxiety

Lately I have been having this stirring in my heart to really make an impact on the health and wellbeing of every single woman, no matter if it is a working mom of 5, a stay-at-home mom of 1, a woman who wants to be a mom so badly or doesn’t want kids at all, or a single woman who is just living their best life. This stirring lead me down this thought process of what is a topic that will cover every type of woman and be beneficial for them? In a moment of perfect clarity I had it. Stress! Stress touches every single woman (and man too, of course) when we really think about it. We are in a world where stress plagues all of us.

CC | March Shoot

Stress is at the root of every single emotional and physical struggle we go through. It is the why behind all the guilt, shame, inadequacy, and other negative thoughts we feel. Studies have shown that it is the why behind every sickness, disease, or other physical struggle we endure. Stress is the root of all things negative in our life. Stress is the way that our circumstances hijack our quality of life. So if I want to make an impact on women, and radically change their trajectory I have to start with conquering stress.

I used to struggle with debilitating anxiety. While I was in graduate school I nearly dropped out because the anxiety was making it impossible to do well. I had let anxiety that began at 16 years old get worse and wreak havoc on my goals and dreams. Stress almost took control of my life, until I took back control of my stress. This journey changed my outlook on health and wellbeing. I now knew that I was in control, and I made radical changes to reflect that. This stirring on my heart was because women all around the world are struggling, and believing that stress controls them. Or even worse, not understanding how much stress they are under and what it is doing to them.

I hear the same struggles in my office everyday from women that are overwhelmed by stress. A lack of body awareness. They feel like their brain is on high alert all the time and their mind is racing. So now of course you can’t focus, let alone sleep. So now you have low energy, chronic fatigue that no amount of sleep could get rid of. A constant negative mindset and mood swings. Tension in the body especially in the neck and shoulders. The of course headaches and clenching your jaw constantly, digestive issues, rapid heart beat, and chest pain, low self-esteem, difficulty losing weight, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, and miscarriages. Then we go through all of this and feel like we constantly have to hide it and resist it which ensures that we stay in this constant cycle of struggle. It strengthens the feelings of guilt, overwhelm, and not being enough.

My favorite way to empower you to take control of your own stress and anxiety is to teach you the why and the science behind it. I have always and will always be a why girl. I want to get to the root of the situation to address the true cause. 

First it is important that we know that stress comes in three different forms. With the mention of stress we all immediately think of emotional stress, but there is also physical and chemical stress. Physical stress comes from the things we do with our body like sitting too long, working out, travel, car accidents but also all the bumps, falls and injuries we had as a kid. Chemical stress comes from the things going into our body like food, makeup, chemicals, pollution, but ALSO hormones that are out of wack create a lot of stress. 

Our bodies and nervous systems are designed to handle stress, but we all have a threshold for the amount we can adapt to. Think of your stress as the volume control in your car. Each stressor turns up the volume a bit more, and then a bit more, and a bit more until it hits a level where it is so loud you can’t stand it. That is exactly what happens to our nervous system under stress. It builds up more and more until it reaches a level where your nervous system can’t handle it! As this stress builds up it actually shifts the nervous system to keep stress stuck on. Your brain actually  becomes wired for stress, and now finds the stress in every single situation.

Our brain is so complex and amazing! It actually filters out the information that we don’t need, and filters in what we do. Out of the trillions of bits of information we get per second it filters out a billionth of them. This is why we don’t hear our own heart beat, or hear the blood rushing through our veins, or why you can’t tickle yourself. When we are chronically stressed the brain learns to filter in stress which is why we become pessimistic, and normal situations that others can handle set off a cascade of stress and anxiety.

We all have two sides to our nervous system. We have a brake pedal (parasympathetic) side that is in charge of rest, relaxation, digestion, immune system function, growth, healing, and development. All of the amazing things we should be doing 80% of the time. And we have a gas pedal (sympathetic) side that is in charge of the fight or flight response and STRESS. When we are chronically stressed day in and day out we over activate the gas pedal side and literally shift our nervous system to be in fight or flight all the time!

This calls upon our bCC | March Shootodys three lines of defense for stress; our adrenals, thyroid and pituitary glands. We literally begin cranking out hormones that prolong the stress cycle, and wreak havoc on our bodies leading to the struggles we talked about earlier. Especially irregular cycles, PCOS, infertility, can’t lose weight, mood regulation and ANXIETY!

In this situation we have two options, to decrease stress or raise the threshold for ability to adapt to stress. This is where being a chiropractor talking about this comes in. As a chiropractor I don’t treat stress or cure anxiety. I do, however test the nervous system to see the balance between gas and brake, and how well the nervous system is adapting. 

We remove stress off of the nervous system, and stimulate the brake pedal side of the nervous system which naturally calms down the gas pedal side. We literally with every adjustment activate the prefrontal cortex in the brain, which reduces the cycle of stress and anxiety. It is so dang cool, and I fall in love with it more every single day! I see women’s lives radically change for the better every single day when we begin to calm the nervous system and rewire the constant perception of stress.

It is time to start a movement in women where we no longer let stress overtake and overwhelm ourselves. In a society that is finally obsessed with self care, chiropractic is the best addition to a self care routine. It is the absolute fastest and quickest way to raise our stress threshold and reclaim your life back from stress.

Photo Credit: Aly Carroll Photography

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