Things that impact pain will vary for everyone. It depends greatly on the type of injury and the cause of pain. However, there is one thing that is common for everyone, no matter the injury… Stress!
LET’S TALK ABOUT STRESS!
When our mind perceives stress, a change occurs in our nervous system and our hormones react accordingly. An increase in the stress hormone cortisol has been linked with an increase in pain felt.
Our immune response is also dampened when we are in a state of ongoing stress, which means the healing mechanisms we need to recover from the pain is impacted significantly. This could prolong healing time and no one wants that!
HOW CAN I CHANGE MY STRESS LEVELS?
Firstly, it is important to understand that stress is a perception. You have the ability to change how your mind interprets the thing causing your stress, so it is no longer stressing you out! I know that makes it sound easy, but with practise and implementing some of our tips below, it can be as easy!
WHAT WE SUGGEST
1. RECOGNISE WHAT TRIGGERS STRESS FOR YOU
– Either avoid the triggers (not always possible)
– Learn to view it/perceive it differently.
Lets pretend the stress is something small, for example it stresses you out when your partner leaves the kitchen in a mess. You see it, get tense, work up a frenzy in your head and then BAM – your shoulder ache is back.
In this situation, you need to decide if the mess is worth the stressful reaction that caused your shoulder pain.
A great book to help you delve into this deeper is called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
If your stress is bigger than a messy kitchen, you may find help in talking about it with someone you trust (friend/family or professional)
2. STAY PRESENT
Keeping your mind focused on now, and not what happened in the past, and not what you expect to happen in the future.
Mediation can help you learn to be present and mindful in day to day life. It has also shown to have significant results in lowering pain (win, win!)
Note: Not all mediation has to be sitting still with a straight back for 20 minutes. It might be, observing your breath, going for a mindful walk or journaling. Find what feels natural for you, it shouldn’t stress you out!
QUICK TIP: Taking long breaths helps calms the mind quickly. We prefer the 4–7–8 Method. Sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and place hands on top of your knees. Breathe in while counting to 4 slowly, expand your lungs fully; hold for 7 counts; then exhale out slowly while counting to 8. Repeat at least 3 times.
3. OTHER EASY HELPERS
Sometimes we can be so stressed that we need to use things to help lower it back down.
– Try diffusing lavender oil
– Take a hot bath filled with Epsom salts (or even better a float tank)
– Book in a relaxation massage
– Use a good quality magnesium supplement &/or use our magnesium spray
– Taking time to do things that make you happy
– Go to a yoga/exercise class
Written by Liana Ioannidis
699 Nicholson street, Carlton North 3054
(03) 9041 3332
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