When most people think of stress, they often focus on emotional stress. But there are four major categories of stress: physical, biochemical, emotional/mental, and energetic.
When one or more of these areas of stress are out of balance, it affects your health. There are many definitions of health, but we like this one: You are healthy to the degree you can participate in life.
Unfortunately, to avoid stress, you would need to avoid life. Life is full of stressors, but your body is meant to handle stress.
There is a tipping point and when stress gets beyond a certain level, health problems arise. Your body can no longer respond well, and it takes a toll on your organs. Stress also promotes aging and suppresses your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to getting sick.
Sometimes we don’t realize how stressed we are, but our bodies show the signs. Some common stress-related problems are:
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
- Pain and tension in your neck, shoulders, or low back
- Allergies and sinus problems
- Digestive trouble
- Anxiety and depression
- Excessive weight
How can you develop a more balanced life? Take steps to reduce your stress levels and improve your full-body health by addressing the four areas of stress.
Discovering the four types of stress
There are four areas of stress that contributes to your stress load: physical, biochemical, emotional, and energetic. When all four areas are in balance, it promotes good health.
- Physical includes your muscles and joints, creating stress in your body.
- Biochemical encompasses your nutrition and supplementation. If your nutrition is poor, it adds stress to your body.
- Emotional stress attacks your neurological weak point. One person may get headaches, or another may have trouble sleeping.
- Energetic stress can be lowered with techniques like acupuncture and chakra balancing.
Reducing the four types of stress
Supporting your body with proper posture and healthy movement helps relieve structural pressure on your muscles and joints. Here are a few key ways to reduce physical stress:
- Sit with a lumbar bolster. Put a beach towel behind your back or buy a lumbar support.
- Keep your ears in line with your shoulders. Picture an invisible line reaching from the bottom of your ears to the ground. Draw your head back until the line intersects with the center of your shoulders. This will keep your body in an optimal position whether you are sitting, standing, or walking.
- Position your computer mouse closer to your body. When you are working on a laptop or desktop, move your mouse closer to your body to keep your shoulders from slumping over.
- Get up and move every hour. Take a quick spin to the mailbox, walk up the stairs, or jog in place.
Eating well, including reducing refined carbs and sugar reduces the stress on your system as a whole. Try these strategies to eat well and decrease biochemical/nutritional stress:
- Remove dietary stimulants. Caffeine, sugar, and tobacco can ramp up your system and increase stress.
- Take supplements that support your adrenal glands. Focus on B vitamins, Vitamin C, and magnesium.
- Lower your sugar intake to reduce inflammation in your body. Too much sugar can stress your adrenal glands. The usual suspects like candy bars, cookies, soda, and desserts are known for being sugary, but eating fewer refined carbs like white bread and pasta can also help.
- Eat a moderate amount of fat. Too much fat can cause nutritional stress. Remember, though: your body needs fats, so do not go on a low-fat diet.
- Focus on eating unrefined, whole foods. A great place to start is eating calcium-packed green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach, as well as antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, raspberries, and green and black teas.
Practicing stress-busting habits can help reduce the burden of emotional stress. This helps support your neurological weak point and makes you less vulnerable to getting sick. Here are a few options for emotional stress busters:
- Learn to meditate. Try a meditation app like Insight Timer, Calm, or Headspace. Other options include walking meditation or daily life practice meditation.
- Exercise within your personal limits. If you have physical limitations, exercise as much as your body allows, whether it’s taking a walk up and down the hallway or doing five minutes of stretching.
- Don’t be afraid to giggle. Laughing can support your immune system. Mayo Clinic explains, “…[P]ositive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.”
- Get counseling. Many practices offer reduced fees and convenient video appointments.
Allowing your body’s natural healing energy to flow can help restore your overall health. Several energetic approaches can offer balance:
- Try applied kinesiology, acupuncture, or chakra balancing. These techniques can help reduce the energetic stresses in your body.
- Learn Tai chi. This gentle form of moving meditation can be an excellent complement to other energetic approaches.
If you’ve tried these techniques but you’re not finding relief, the Gelband SOS Stress Recovery Program Seminar can help empower you to respond with a healthy approach. Our doctors will share tips on food and nutrients, relaxing habits, stress-busting activities, and ways to help reduce your symptoms.
Anyone who attends the Gelband SOS Stress Recovery Program Seminar will also learn about our new stress level tests. We are introducing these tools to test your inflammation and cortisol levels, and we will see how they improve with stress-reduction strategies.
Gelband SOS Stress Recovery Program Seminars are ongoing. Call our office at (630) 505-4040 to reserve your spot for the next session!