Managing daily stress

Our lives are full of daily stress, some positive and some negative. How we perceive our stressors and respond to our stressors makes all the difference.  It may be helpful to think of stress as an energy.  Our daily stressors create extra energy in our body.  That energy is typically stored in our muscles.  Oftentimes the extra stored energy creates a state of internal imbalance.  This may cause us to experience tight muscles, muscle spasms, difficulty sleeping, forgetfulness, strange dreams or digestive upset.   So, how can we get back in balance?

Tips for Managing Daily Stress

  • Just….MOVE it, MOVE it – your body that is. Every time you move you use energy.  Stand tall and stretch, take short walks throughout your day. Have a walking meeting at work.  Walk outdoors with a friend, family or pet. Do something you enjoy!  Play your favorite music, dance and sing!  Just MOVE it, MOVE it.
  • Cultivate a “CURIOUS GEORGE” mindset. Be curious about your own thoughts. How does your body feel when you have a negative thought vs. a positive thought? Can I change how I view a negative or stressful situation?  Can I eliminate or modify it to make it less stressful? Is there someone I can talk to, to see how they manage the same stressor?  Can I find a positive way to look at the situation/thought?
  • Give yourself a MINDFUL MINUTE when you need it! Take 5 deep breaths while focusing only on your breath…inhale through your nose and fill your belly, HOLD, then exhale out your mouth and empty your belly. Or try something as simple as holding your morning drink in both hands, close your eyes, smell it and then taste it using all of your senses for 1 minute. Eat an orange mindfully…using all of your senses.

Eliminating stress is impossible – positive and negative stress is a part of our everyday life. It helps to accept that our daily stressors are a normal part of life and we are not alone. Remember, stress gives us the exciting ups and downs in life.  The tricky part is becoming aware of how stressors affect our body and making small changes to our viewpoints or situations to decrease the negative effects.  Strive for internal balance in life by incorporating daily movement, a curious mindset and giving yourself permission to take a mindful minute when you need one.

Did you know stress can have an effect on our physical pain?  Our unique rehabilitation program at PDR Clinics addresses the physical and stress components of pain and injury to improve function.  Learn more about our Biopsychosocial approach to treating musculoskeletal pain.