An article posted this week in the Star Tribune discussed how stress is just as contagious as germs. We are susceptible to what is being termed “second hand” stress and can pick this up from people around us, just as we can pick up the dreaded flu bug that is going around.
Stress is a topic that is talked about so frequently, we all have it and we know it is harmful. Research is showing just how detrimental it can be to all aspects of our lives, including, funny enough, decreasing our immune systems (hello flu!).
I know how to protect myself from the flu- wash hands, get enough sleep, keep my immune system strong by eating the right foods, acupuncture, etc. But, how in the world do we keep our “stress immune system” up and running. I know I experience plenty of stress of my own making, I definitely do not need any extra from strangers standing in front of me at the coffee shop!
The article goes on to talk about how we can protect ourselves from stressful people around us by either avoiding them, or changing the way we respond to them. While avoiding them is the easiest and quickest route this is not always possible. So, how do we boost our ability to let the stress slide off, not absorb it, not let it get inside of us?
There are many easy and simple tools to use. We talk about these in our clinic quite frequently: meditation, exercise, self-care, proper rest. These all will help boost your body’s ability to remain resilient.
In Chinese medicine, stress is recognized as a blockage of our energy, what we call stagnated Qi. When our energy can’t flow, but it wants to, it gives us a feeling of restlessness, fatigue, anxiety and irritability.
Many of you who have been in our clinic know the feeling you get when you have an acupuncture treatment. In fact, we love seeing the difference between when people enter the clinic and when they leave. People feel calm, centered, relaxed and rested. The world becomes less “intense.” This is the feeling of resiliency. The stressors are still present, but by doing acupuncture we can help your body let go of what it is holding on to and build up a shield to keep you protected. This place of calm, this resiliency, it is also the state of being when our bodies can heal.
Stress is a big deal. Our world is becoming crazier by the minute, and our health and well-being are taking the hit. Protect yourself. Take your well-being seriously. Know that you can be enjoying your life and if you are not, strive for it. It is worth it, it is attainable. And, get some acupuncture. It helps.