Stress is a natural, human reaction to change that nearly everyone experiences at one time or another. Stress can be brought on by a number of factors, and tends to be a commonality for individuals struggling with chronic pain conditions.
Interestingly, everyone experiences stress differently, meaning there is no one definition of stress that exists in our world, making it difficult to measure. However, the most common definition of stress is “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.”
Stress can be caused by internal or external factors:
- Physical: Illness, inflammation, infection
- Psychological: Worry, melancholy, mental anguish
- Physical: Pain, changes in extreme temperatures
- Psychological: Stressful environment, poor working conditions, relationship problems
Ongoing stress can lead to increased irritation on the body, especially for those who suffer from chronic pain.
The good news is that stress can be managed and even reduced or eliminated. Managing stress can be unique to each person and may take exploring different methods before finding one that is right for you. Common methods for stress management include the following:
- Physical Activity: when the body is active, endorphins are produced. Endorphins reduce the signal of pain to the brain and also stimulate feelings of positivity.
- Relaxation Techniques/Meditation: Recovia utilizes HeartMath training, which is a breathing activity that helps connect the mind to the heart. This deep breathing can calm the mind and promotes positive management in reducing stress.
- Sleep Hygiene: Implementing a bedtime routine that allows you to get enough hours of sleep can help the body feel rested.
- Healthy Diet: the food that we eat can directly impact our pain levels and stress levels. Eating a well-rounded diet of food that feeds your body’s health can help reduce stress and pain levels.
- Professional Therapy: Speaking one-on-one with a licensed health professional can be therapeutic and provide structured guidance to reducing stress caused by pain.
The advice and information provided herein is for educational purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.