A Simple Stress Management Technique

by Practice Principal Rebecca Taylor


When I was at chiropractic college we were taught that subluxations (aka spinal misalignments, the things that cause nerve impingement) occurred as a result of traumas, tensions and toxins which over the years I have found to be absolutely true.   Why the traumas, tensions and toxins cause the subluxations can be summarised in one word – stress!   The obvious stresses are the bang on the head, the difficult birth, the heavy medication, the repeated lifting etc. etc. but what becomes interesting is how the individual patients deal with the simple stresses and their reaction to the more complex ones.

There is such a thing as good stress, it makes life exciting! Remember the time you fell in love?

That’s eustress (good stress).   Our ‘fight or flight’ stress response (distress) is entirely appropriate if we are running for a bus or dealing with an aggressor but is not healthy when it remains triggered for long periods of time by worry.  I frequently see patients trapped in a stress response because they are simply struggling with the difference between how life really is and how they think it SHOULD be.

‘I should be better by now’.   Well, you haven’t taken enough rest, drunk enough water and done your stretches so it is not surprising that you have not healed as quickly as you could have done.

‘I’m so fat’. Not really, but the fact that you have chosen to eat cake every day this week may have some bearing on your weight.

We seem to be unprepared to make our choices, live with the consequences and not beat ourselves up for the more human ones! People would seem to rather spend their time comparing themselves to unrealistic ideals than performing simple, generally enjoyable actions that would improve their real self and make them feel better, for example, going for a walk rather than watching television.

The most helpful technique I’ve found so far in terms of dealing with my real life is a gratitude notebook. Ideally every day but realistically when I have 15 minutes to spare I write a list of 10 things that I am grateful for, obviously in sparkly pen because that makes me happy, but you can use whatever you like.  Oh, and it’s a heart shaped notebook of course!  Having written the list you spend some moments focussing on each point and either in your mind or out loud saying ‘thank you’ 3 times for each.  It becomes increasingly easy to do and I find it shifts my mood to positive regardless of how I feel when I start, which then breaks the stress ( I should be….) cycle and makes for a better and more relaxed day all round.  Which is part of good general (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) health and will guarantee you an even better result next time you get adjusted!

So, give yourself permission to try it and prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the results. Enjoy x