Are you an overly anxious person? Is worry a perpetual state of your thought life? Unfortunately, that constant fear of "what may happen" mentality can be creating the chronic pain you have in your body right now.
According to Hans Selye MD, well known author of The Stress of Life, brief anxious thoughts create a natural stress response in our bodies. Think fight or flight response. However, prolonged and persistent levels of anxiety can cause an OVER reaction in our bodies. Your muscles become so tight they unintentionally pull your spine out of alignment- creating posture distortions, chronic immobility and potential nerve damage. That's how constant fear may cause constant pain.
Now this may feel like a hamster in an anxious wheel you can never get off of but you can do something right now to take action.
First, take a deep breath; not in your chest but in your diaphragm- as you inhale push your belly out and then exhale and bring your belly in. Do this a few times. This is called cleansing breaths. When you begin to feel anxious start by taking a few cleansing breaths.
Secondly, if you have an anxious thought come into your mind do not allow yourself to run down the rabbit hold of "what if's." Instead, focus on something positive right around you. When you first start this process, it may be difficult to "get away" from the anxious thought. A simple way to help train your brain to let go of an anxious thought and focus on something else is to ground yourself. This can be as simple as: the wall color is tan, the sky is blue, that pillow is checkered, the blanket is orange. As you train your brain to release the anxious thoughts it will get easier as you become consistent in releasing worry and thereby releasing the stress on your body.
Lastly, because anxious thoughts can lead to chronic pain, it's important to make time for self-care. Seeing your chiropractor and getting adjusted regularly can help with the pain anxiety can cause.
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