Today we're talking about the #1 CAUSE of dysfunction in our central nervous system: EMOTIONAL STRESS.
Did you know? 80 - 85% of chiropractic - related problems originate from how we PERCIEVE or RESPOND TO stress.
Crazy, isn't it?
Most people assume their aches and pains are due to some sort of physical trauma, but more often than not those symptoms are emotional in origin. 🥺 Here's why...
When we allow our thoughts to dwell on the negative, difficult, or fear-based side of a situation, the “fight or flight” side of our nervous system is activated, cortisol (a stress hormone) increases, and our body's focus becomes one thing: SURVIVAL!
👉 Here are a few ways the body responds when our sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight side) is triggered by real or perceived stress:
❌ Inhibits saliva production
❌ Increases heartbeat
❌ Inhibits digestion
❌ Inhibits gallbladder
❌ Inhibits intestines
❌ Secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine
❌ Relaxes bladder
❌ Increases blood pressure
❌ Lowers libido
❌ Increases anxiety and depression
❌ Impairs sleep quality
❌ Increases irritability
❌ Slows recovery from exercise
This is why it’s critical to be AWARE of your thought patterns and intentionally CHANGE negative, critical, or anxious thoughts to more positive and helpful ones.
Doing so will help guide your nervous system from "fight or flight" mode to the parasympathetic side, helping your body REST, DIGEST, and HEAL. 🙌
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, worried, or caught in a negative-thought cycle, use these strategies to reduce stress, uplift your mood, and transform your health one mindset shift at a time.
De-stress by Changing Your Thought Life: 10 Powerful Tools to Become a Positive Thinker
1. Look for opportunities, not problems. It’s easy to focus on the problems in difficult circumstances, but every challenge has a silver lining. What possible opportunities for growth, good, change, or blessing could come from the challenge you’re facing? Focus on that rather than the problem itself.
2. What lens or perspective are you viewing your situation from? Is it helpful or true? Is it possible your assessment of a situation could be misguided, that you’re missing information, or that you’re letting your emotions get the best of you? How could you SHIFT your perspective that would reduce tension, hurt feelings, or anxiety?
3. How true are your thoughts? When emotions run high, it’s easy to let our minds wander to worst-case scenarios, exaggerated thinking, or unnecessary criticism. Take a moment to consider if your thoughts align with facts (not your feelings) and what God’s Word has to say about you, other people, or how to handle a situation.
4. Talk to yourself like you would a friend. We tend to be our own worst critic. The words that we say to ourselves can be overly harsh and unkind. Pause and examine your self-talk. If you wouldn’t speak that way to a friend, don’t speak that way to yourself. Give yourself grace when you mess up, learn from your mistakes, and speak words of encouragement when things don’t go as planned.
5. Be your own coach. Counter negative self-talk by speaking positive affirmations in the 3rd person (as if you’d hear it from someone else’s mouth). For example, “[Your name here], you can do hard things! You’re going to do awesome at ____!”
6. Make Truth Cards. If you tend to struggle with negative thoughts about your abilities, self-worth, or body image, write on notecards something POSITIVE and TRUE for each critical or limiting statement you tell yourself. Each morning declare out loud with confidence your truth cards, and your brain will begin to believe what you tell it – helping you combat criticism and self-doubt to become the person God created you to be.
7. Pray. Prayer has the power to bring the supernatural peace of God that transcends all understanding. No matter what you are going through, God cares and wants to help you through it. He may not change your circumstances, but He will give you what you need to endure and get through a trial. He wants to be your comfort, hope, and peace – you just have to draw near to Him in prayer.
8. Watch something funny or look at heart-warming pictures. Laughing and smiling releases endorphins, the "feel good" chemical in your body, which promotes a sense of well-being and relieves stress. Laughing also decreases cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and defuses feelings of anger, all of which can help bring you to a more positive emotional state.
9. Keep a Gratitude Journal: When you focus on what you DO have and the GOOD things in your life, it's nearly impossible to stay in a negative emotional state. Every evening or morning jot down 5 specific things that you're thankful for.
10. Ask yourself, "What went WELL today and WHY?" These questions are excellent to ask before going to bed to uplift your spirits, help you notice small wins that might otherwise go unnoticed, and feel encouraged. Ending the day in a positive emotional state will also help your body relax, fall asleep faster, and sleep deeper.