The Role of Stress, Self-Care, and Holistic Health on Mental Health
For many, this year (2020) has been more stressful than normal (ie: Covid-19, job and school changes, social isolation, health concerns, unemployment, election, etc.). Stress, especially when chronic, has physical, mental, and emotional consequences that affect health. Most people know some of the physical results of acute and prolonged stress; headaches, poor sleep, digestive issues, brain fog, tight muscles, low energy... and the list goes on. However, often overlooked are the mental/emotional symptoms which are created or made-worse by stress. Have you experienced any of these this year?
Below is a list of 7 common mental and emotional symptoms resulting-from or made-worse-by stress.
-lack of motivation
Have you noticed yourself feeling any of these symptoms this year? If so, you are not alone! And just like with physical symptoms, holistic healing should be aimed at both managing the underlying stress, improving your body's stress handling systems, and improving the symptoms. Oftentimes the underlying stress cannot be immediately removed or dealt with, so working on handling stress and dealing with the symptoms of stress are most important.
Here are 7 tools, techniques, and therapies to help you manage and process stress.
Practice Daily Meditation. There is a ton of research exploring how mindfulness and deep breathing can calm the nervous system and decrease stress hormones in a matter of minutes. I recommend starting with a 15-minute guided meditation on YouTube and doing that every day and working up toward more advanced work.
Tap It Out. Emotional Freedom Tapping (EFT) is a therapy designed to help lower anxiety around a specific circumstance. Here is a great resource link to learn more.
Create a Diary. Writing down your thoughts can help sort and identify specific emotions and situations which are troubling you. It can also be helpful to intentionally journal specific things you are grateful for, positives that happened that day, and "high-points" for the day.
Exercise. In addition to mood-boosting endorphins being released, activity can create a sense of routine and accomplishment.
Focus on Nutrition. A lack of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can impair stress handling systems and decrease adaptability. Start by removing inflammatory foods/drinks and substituting them with whole foods. Learn more about the basics here. In our clinic, we use a technique called Nutrition Response Testing to help identify other deficiencies in the body. Learn more about NRT here.
Try Chiropractic Care. Neurologically-based chiropractic care is aimed at improving overall nerve function by removing misalignments in the spine that cause nerve dysfunction. This can help rebalance the nervous system out of a stress response and improve stress adaptability. In our clinic, we use a variety of chiropractic techniques to adjust the spine. Learn more here.
See a Mental Health Practitioner. Clinical psychologists, licensed therapists, and certified counselors are all important mental health professionals who are trained specifically in helping people work through trauma, stress, and negative thoughts. In the Victoria area, I often refer people to Greg Walsh. Learn more about Greg here.
Mental health is important, and often neglected. Holistic healing is often less about treating specific symptoms and more about supporting the whole-body... which often leads to improved symptoms as a result of healing and better function. If you'd like to learn more about what we do in our clinic, give us a call at 952-443-9000 and schedule a free consult.