This early November will feature National Stress Awareness Day, observed since 2018 as a method to destigmatize mental and physical stress sources and help spread awareness around stress-related conditions, the results of stress on our day by day lives, and far more. Yet one underexplored facet of stress is the way it affects our ability to operate and the way we experience pain, sadness, anxiety, and other emotions. Physical and mental stress can immediately impact existing pain, especially chronic pain – and learning to mediate and manage your stress levels can, in turn, enable you cut down on pain and improve your quality of life.
The Connection Between Stress and Pain
In its modern sense, stress has only been defined for a couple of century. In that point, we’ve learned that each external and internal stressors can affect the mind and body, leading to symptoms of excess stress across multiple diseases and conditions. An overstimulated sympathetic nervous system, fatigued adrenal glands, and a weakened immune system – are only a few of the physical results of excessive stress.
They’ll affect how and when the body feels pain. In the identical way, being depressed physically affects our pain reception, stress, and anxiety can worsen chronic pain conditions like arthritis and slow the recovery from acute injuries and post-surgical pain. Affecting and managing your stress levels is crucial, whether recovering from an injury or fighting a long-term pain problem. Listed here are a number of essential suggestions to start out with and kick off International Stress Awareness Day:
Boost Physical Activity
One of the effective and reliable stress busters is movement. It doesn’t should be a lot of activity – even a 15-minute program, with a number of body weight exercises or a number of minutes on the treadmill or exercise bike, can have a right away effect in your physical (and consequently, your mental) stress levels. Consider making a quick home workout plan when you’re feeling agitated or anxious. You don’t need machines to start out – most body weight exercises only need an exercise mat to catch any sweat. In case your cardio options are limited, and also you’re not within the mood to go outdoors, consider skipping rope.
Purchase a Fidget Spinner
It doesn’t should be a fidget spinner. But research does tell us that doing anything with our hands can provide immediate and noticeable stress relief. Physical puzzles – from sliding puzzles to puzzle cubes – also make for a superb little distraction and a method to take a mental break from stress. Think popping bubble wrap, fiddling with a spinning toy, and even buying a dedicated tactile keychain, comparable to those metal sliders or so-called fidget clickers. Stress balls, slime, and clay are a number of other alternative examples.
Utilize Self-Massage Equipment
When you aren’t sure where or how you can knead your body into relief, then you definately still have a number of other options for reliable self-massage. Massage guns are excellent for getting began, especially when you are inclined to get tight across the neck and shoulders and experience frequent tension headaches. Relieving tension within the shoulders can do quite a bit to enable you calm down between stressful meetings or tasks.
When you aren’t willing to shell out the money for a massage gun, there’s all the time a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, or a dedicated massage ball. Use these against a wall to knead tight or painful spots along your back and shoulders for fast and lasting relief. Good points to attempt to concentrate on include between the shoulder blades, between the sting of your shoulder and your shoulder blade, the perimeters of your neck, near your armpit, and lower down the center of your back, along either side of your spine.
We’re not all rhythmically inclined, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to’t just take a number of minutes to maneuver to the beat. Whether you like to achieve this in private or invite a friend or member of the family, consider taking a break every so often to play a few of your favorite tunes and shake your body. Bang your head. Wave your arms. Dance like nobody’s watching – since it feels good and is a great and proven method to quickly relieve stress. Don’t worry if dancing isn’t for you! Some people don’t prefer to dance, whether around others or completely solo. That’s superb – there are many other options to try.
Use Essential Oils
No, there isn’t any extraordinary power in essential oils – but aromatherapy is a proven method to relieve stress within the short term. Research tells us that individuals experience a calming effect when smelling certain scents. Consider an investment in a humidifier in your predominant office or home office and a lineup of scents you’re comfortable with. A number of good ones to try include bergamot, lavender, and jasmine.
Improve Sleep Hygiene
Few things are as crucial for a healthy stress response as being well-rested, each physically and mentally. Yet it may well be difficult for some people to get a superb night’s rest, especially in the event that they’ve struggled with sleep issues for a very long time. Consider taking the time to see a sleep specialist or visit a sleep clinic to discover and address your specific sleep issues. Among the more common reasons people struggle to get good quality sleep include:
- Caffeine overuse;
- Poor sleep hygiene;
- Late-night screen time;
- Lack of physical activity;
- Undiagnosed sleep apnea.
Other than seeing an expert, a number of things you’ll be able to do to enhance your quality of sleep immediately include keeping the room cool at night, achieving near total darkness, avoiding screens an hour before bed, and staying away from the bed when not sleeping.
Observing National Stress Awareness Day in 2022 and Beyond
Managing your stressors is integral to long-term pain management, especially if you will have chronic health issues or pain conditions comparable to arthritis. Thankfully, there may be quite a bit you’ll be able to do to mediate how stress impacts your life and your pain levels – and with the correct support, you’ll be able to significantly improve your quality of life. Start working with pain management professionals today, and discover ways to get essentially the most out of life.