Tips for easing stress and how Osteopathy can help

We all get stressed at some, or many, points in our lives. Have a look at these 20 tips for managing stress when it hits:

  • Be active – gentle cycling, swimming, walking, gardening or any other exercise works wonders
  • Breathe deeply – expanding your lower rather than upper rib cage when breathing in
  • Get plenty of sleep. Be aware of when you are tired and take steps to refresh yourself
  • Eat sensibly – fresh fruit and vegetables, wholemeal bread and pasta and cut down on fat and sugary foods
  • Take time to relax daily
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Remember to accept what you cannot change
  • Avoid self-medication – cigarettes, alcohol and coffee
  • Take time to play
  • Do one job at a time
  • Agree with someone for a change
  • Look at how you manage your time and set a timetable – do not overload it
  • Do something for others
  • Accept when you are sick and do not pretend that you feel fine
  • Remember that the answer lies with you
  • Delegate to colleagues, family and friends rather than trying to do everything yourself
  • Develop an absorbing hobby
  • Don’t be afraid to say ‘NO’
  • Be realistic about perfection and what you can achieve
  • Recognise that you are a person with worth – just as you are

These 20 tips for stress management should be tempered with the fact that it is sometimes difficult or impossible to remove a stressor from your life. It is important to remember that one of the tenets of Osteopathy is that the mind and body are interdependent and that the stress ‘fight-or-flight’ response of the body often directly results in negative emotions and vice versa. Osteopathic treatment of the body to relax the muscles and ease breathing can encourage a return to optimism and health and ease the stressful symptoms and emotions. Specifically, gently stretching of the ribs and releasing restrictions in the thoracic spine with massage, articulation and thrusting (as appropriate) can alleviate the restrictions and tension you experience when you are stressed and improve your sense of well-being.

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