In the last several weeks, we’ve been covering the topic of health issues that commonly affect college students.    More specifically, we’ve talked about How to Relieve Back and Neck Pain while in Class and Avoiding the Freshman 15.

Good Stress Vs. Bad Stress

In our final week, we will be covering the topic of stress. We feel it is especially important to cover because certain activities can have had a good effect on the body.  Examples of this include:

  • Studying for class
  • Managing time around your coursework
  • Engaging in regular physical activity

Conversely, other activities can have a negative impact on the mind and body.  Examples include:

  • Regular all night cramming for exams
  • Dealing with peer pressures through alcohol and other drugs
  • Financial pressures of paying off student loans

How to Take a Proactive Approach to Stress

Although stress can be a great ally in efforts to stretch ourselves, a delicate balance is necessary to make sure we don’t break under pressure.  Because of our holistic approach, we suggest taking a pro-active approach to stress instead of waiting for stress to build up. Here are three habits you can start considering.

  1.  Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is protective. It helps us regulate various metabolic and psychological processes in the body, including our sleep/wake cycles, moods and energy levels.  The key word here is “regular” exercise. Research from Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn show us that while exercise overall has a positive effect on the body, becoming a weekend warrior can have negative effects on health and longevity.  Regular daily exercise is the key. We suggest you read last week’s blog (Avoiding the Freshman 15) to review how true aerobic exercise can be implemented during the week.
  2. A Nutrient-Dense Diet and Supplementation:  According to wellness advocate and chiropractor, Dr. Axe, foods like wild-caught salmon, beans/legumes, leafy green veggies, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, avocados, and nuts are high in calcium and magnesium.  These nutrients can be important for relaxing muscles, relieving headaches and helping you get better sleep. Additionally, amino acids like L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine are known to reduce stress on the brain and helping people feel relaxed but not drowsy.  An herb like Ashwagandha is also an adaptogenic herb that has been studied and shown to help alleviate stress. At our clinic, we use a supplement called Stress Relief Complex that contains a blend of these clinically tested ingredients. Call us if you would like more information.
  3. Incorporate Mind-Body Strategies to Help Alleviate Stress:  Our office is located less than 1.5 miles from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Although students come to the office with issues like neck pain, back pain, and headaches, we also find that they are overwhelmed from things like the college workload, relationships with friends and being away from life with their family.  For these situations, we incorporate the use of mind-body strategies like the Neuro-Emotional Technique (AKA NET). This is a powerful way to help our patients identify their stress patterns and help them release non-serving patterns to make room for new and serving ones.  Check out their video to explore the development of NET and incorporate this free Mind-body technique to help you alleviate stress while in school.

If you are a college student, we hope this series of blogs has been helpful.  Remember, although college can be tough, the stretch towards independence can be an opportunity to lay down a foundation of healthy habits that will last you for the next 4 years and beyond.  If you have any other thoughts, questions, or comments on this blog or have suggestions for future blogs, feel free to comment below. Please remember to share this blog with others and schedule a free consultation if you need help exploring your health concerns.

In service,

Drs. Tran and Hsu