In observance of Stress Awareness month, Gianni DeMichele, San Diego mental wellness provider at Your Healthy Spine shares practical approach to responding to stress. Read now or bookmark it for later.

Spring is a time of renewal and re-emergence. It is a wonderful opportunity for taking a moment to check in with yourself and ask what it is that you may be needing at this point in time, particularly when it comes to addressing stress.

By checking in with yourself, you can acknowledge the existence of stress and then take mindful action to address it. Another way of saying this would be to pay attention to your thoughts and notice if there is a connection between your thoughts and how you feel. 

Try this

Sit tall, relax your shoulders, place a hand over your belly, and take three breaths, drawing your inhale low into your belly, and relaxing your shoulders more as you exhale. 

Ask yourself, “What could help me feel better this month?” Feeling better may look like:

  • Incorporating a 15-minute walk on your lunch break
  • Calling a friend that you have not talked with in awhile
  • Enjoying a cup of hot tea during your daily routine
  • Taking a nap when you feel tired
  • Starting a personal journal
  • Trying a new experience
  • Receive expert, collaborative care

Respond, not react

If we can change the way we approach our stress we can improve how we respond to it rather than react. Authors, Jamieson, Nock, and Mendes (2012) of Harvard University and University of California San Francisco share in their research on stress that, “changing the way we think about our bodily responses can improve our physiological and cognitive reactions to stressful events” (p. 417). 

They send this point home more poignantly by quoting William James, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another” (in Jamieson, Nock, and Mendes, 2012, p. 417). 

May you choose self-compassion and kind thoughts for yourself and others, you will feel less stressed as a result. 

Need help managing stress? Book an appointment in our San Diego clinic. Our team of chiropractors, massage therapist, acupuncturists and mental wellness providers are all experts in stress relief and resiliency.

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Jamieson, J. P., Nock, M. K., Mendes, W. B. (2012). Mind over matter: Reappraising arousal improves cardiovascular and cognitive responses to stress. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,141(3), 417–422. Retrieved from