Working long hours.
Your child’s science project.
Trying to find a parking place.
Your phone battery dying.
Automated customer service lines.
Are you sweating just reading these? It’s because they are all examples of stressors that we deal with on a daily basis. And this list doesn’t even include major stressors like getting married, moving, experiencing a natural disaster or something that’s all too familiar at the moment, living through a pandemic.
It’s no secret that people are experiencing stress and anxiety at an all time high due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. These increased levels of anxiety affect your mental health, emotional coping abilities and take a toll on your physical body. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, stress and anxiety can have negative effects on your mood and behavior; including angry outbursts, lack of motivation, feeling overwhelmed, social withdrawal, drug or alcohol abuse and overeating or undereating.
Fortunately there are numerous ways that you can manage stress and more importantly, your reaction to life’s stressors. The first being meditation. Our brain is meant to keep us alive. And that means scanning the future to look for threats and comparing it to what happened in the past to make sure we’re safe. Your mind may never stop thinking during meditation but you’ll be able to see the difference between thinking and being lost in your thoughts. There’s also exercise. Twenty to thirty minutes of physical activity benefits both the body and the mind. And talk therapy. This doesn’t always have to be done with a licensed counselor, although we like to think that’s the probably the most fruitful conversation you will have. Just make sure you are sharing with someone you trust. Sometimes simply sharing the source of your stress, and expressing your concerns can help unload your burden.
Our favorite way to manage stress?
Acupuncture of course. “Animal and human studies suggest that the beneficial effects of acupuncture on health, including mental and emotional functioning, are related to different mechanisms of action.” says Psychology Today. These include changes in neurotransmitters involved in emotional regulation such as serotonin, modulation of the autonomic nervous system, and changes in immune function.
Acupuncture will create balance in the nervous system, re energize the body while relaxing and calming the mind. All of this without recreational substances or pharmaceuticals.
And for those of you who are afraid of needles… the process is relatively painless, a majority of the needles won’t be felt at all, and if you feel one it will be similar to that one uncomfortable eyebrow tweeze.
Essentially, if you can tweeze your eyebrows, you can get acupuncture.
And we promise, your mind, body and spirit will thank you!