Everyone has stress in their lives, and we all experience stress differently. Some people are able to use calming techniques or seem to simply let stressful situations flow over them without worry. Others think about the situation or crisis and resolve stress by finding solutions. Sometimes, however, there are no easy solutions, and stress can begin to build up. When stress causes tension, it can produce a myriad of problems, including tension headaches, migraines, stiffness in the muscles, and back pain.
A Heavy Load
Not all weight is physical. People often talk about stress as a “weight” on their shoulders, and the metaphor is rooted in truth. The physical response to stress is a “flight or fight,” and when we are unable to physically release the buildup of tension with action, our muscle tension can aggravate the nerves, causing back pain.
How to Solve Stress
There are some steps you can take to reduce stress in your life. First, obviously, is dealing with whatever situation is causing stress. This is not always possible, however, and sometimes it’s necessary to learn to live with a situation while releasing the tension. Depending upon what’s stressing you out, you may need to address work, relational issues, or time management.
- Focus. When dealing with work issues, try focusing on what you’re doing. Don’t try to juggle too many tasks at once. Try making a list of your tasks, rating each by its importance, and tackle one at a time.
- The 3Ds: Deal, delegate, or dump. Rather than allowing tasks or problems to pile up, consider how you’re going to handle them, and set yourself a time limit or goal. Having a concrete plan for dealing with a problem helps reduce stress.
- Ask for help. If you’re stressed out over work or chores, consider getting some assistance.
- Remember to make time for yourself.
Take Care of Yourself
Healthy eating, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep can all help reduce tension caused by stress. Indulge in activities you enjoy regularly and spend time with friends. Stress may be inevitable, but it doesn’t have to leave you in pain. Call us today to schedule a consult with Dr. Alexander, to determine if stress is causing your pain and what we can do to help.