Sunday, September 6, 2009

Beat Your Stress To Beat Your Back Pain

By Andrew de Bruyn

Because your muscles are always in contact with the central nervous system, emotions such as anxiety and anger will often make your muscles tense. As time goes by, these tense muscles will move less easily and lose their full range of motion. As they lose their range of motion they will be less able to keep your back stable and lower back pain will result.

Internal dialogue. We are all aware of the voice inside our heads-we think to ourselves most of the time. This internal dialogue is often negative, in that it exacerbates the negative emotions such as anger and fear. For example, you have an argument with someone and you are rightfully angry at the person. However, days later, you are still going over the argument in your mind, thinking things like: "How could she say that to me?", "The next time I see him Ill tell him where to get off" and so on. This internal imaginary conversation is not helping you to deal with the situation. You are fuelling the anger every time you rehearse the argument. By becoming aware of this internal arguing, you can then start to train yourself to stop it.

10 Step Controlled Relaxation Exercise. Sometimes it's very hard to relax. If you first tense your muscles, then release the tension, its easier to relax. These exercises are preferably done lying down. For each step, breathe in, hold the position for 5-10 seconds, and tense up your muscles as much as you can. Then breathe out and relax your muscles. 1. Curl your hands into tight fists and make your forearms tight. 2. Make fists again and curl your biceps, tensing all of the arm. 3. Shrug your shoulders up close to the ears. Move your head back slightly, tensing the back of your neck. Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, making the front of your neck tense. 4. Close your eyes tight as you can and frown. Smile as wide as you can. 5. Open your jaw as far as it can go without hurting. 6. Hug yourself, making the chest muscles tense. 7. Press your shoulder blades together. Keep your arms by your sides and press your palms into your thighs. You should feel your upper back muscles tense. 8. Pull in your abdominal muscles towards your spine 9. Keeping your legs together, tighten your thighs and buttocks. 10. Point your feet and tighten your calves .

Positive attitude The way we react to situations is as important as the situations themselves. A more positive attitude helps us accept difficult situations more easily. A negative attitude will also be compounded with a negative internal dialogue.

Get Enough Sleep The body needs 6-8 hours of sleep. Try to avoid over stimulating yourself before sleep e.g. watching violent movies makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Try to reduce your internal dialogue;if you are going over an argument, tell yourself you can think about it some other time.

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