Stress, Stress, Stress

Even just looking at the word stress is stressful. Every adult knows what it feels like. Many of us have to deal with it on a regular basis. It causes emotional and physical symptoms for most people. In fact, when I first started dealing with chronic pain, a lot of people asked me if it was due to stress. It’s a common and logical thing to think. When you are already dealing with chronic pain, stress can easily set off a flare (as major stress events have done to me as recently as last October). What are the best ways to deal with these physical and emotional symptoms? There may be no easy answer but here are some things to try.

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… I’m sure you guessed what I’m going to start with…. mindfulness and meditation. Focusing on your breath in particular is something your body likes, and it will immediately calm down. Step aside or lie down and do some deep breathing. Anywhere from two minutes to ten minutes can have a profound effect on your body and your mind.

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Exercise. Get those endorphins going. Go for a run or walk or hike. Head out to the gym. Do some yoga. Move your body in some way! If you’re feeing a lot of physical symptoms (or dealing with a lot of chronic pain) make sure the exercise you’re doing is within your limitations, and of course, work with your health care professionals. In the end, something, even light exercise, is better than no exercise.

IMG_1036hey, hey it’s yoga time.

Try to get more sleep. Head into bed a little earlier than normal. If stress is keeping you up (which it often does for me), try some night time meditations to fall asleep. Or if you’re up for it, smoke some marijuana (or if you’d prefer take some CBD or melatonin). Your body and mind will function better with sleep.

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Talk to someone. A friend or family member, or hopefully, you’re already seeing a therapist who can be an ear for you. Finding the root of your stress (which is likely being piled upon with all the other things happening in your life) and dealing with it, can be truly helpful. Deal with the cause, not the symptoms, as my dear chiropractor friend always says.

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If you have more tips and tricks, feel free to reply to this article. Also, if anyone is interested in being a guest contributor to this blog, feel free to email me.

The Loveliness of Baths

I get it, you may not be a “bath” person. I have friends who hate them, for many reasons, including “you’re bathing in your own filth” and “I’m too tall for a regular tub.” I’m not disagreeing that these are valid points. They may be great reasons for you to hate taking a bath. Showers are also fantastic. But there are some great reasons to take baths…

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  1. Water therapy is great for pain management. Throw some Epsom salts into a medium warm tub and soak for half an hour. It’s a great N.D. recommended cleanse for your body. Epsom salts have a variety of benefits. They ease stress and relax the body, relieve muscle cramps and pain, relieve constipation, and eliminate toxins from the body. Even a hot bath without any Epsom salt can relieve aches and pains.
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2. They are some great psychological benefits too. Taking a bath stops your day, and there have been studies that it reduces pessimism and increases pleasure. They allow you to relax and unwind. You can even use them as an opportunity to practice some mindfulness. Meditate – just don’t fall asleep. Do some deep breathing. Just be still and listen to the world around you. You’ll likely feel calmer and clearer when you get out of the tub.

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3. You get to take some time for yourself. If you jump into the tub for 45 minutes or an hour, that is the amount of time you can be unbothered by the rest of the world. Personally, I like bubbles (or epsom salts), a glass of white wine (or a cup of tea or a glass of lemon water, depending on the day), and a book. Maybe add some candles, or substitute music for the book. Take the time for yourself. It will improve your physical health, your mental healthy, and probably your relationship health (as it gives you and your partner some alone time).

I’ll take a little wine with my bath

Don’t scoff on bathing until you’ve really given it a chance. You just might find what you need in that tub of water.


The Physiological and Psychological Effects of Bathing