Coping with & Understanding Stress

By Colorado Integrative Neurology

To some extent, every person deals with stress. It’s virtually impossible to avoid challenges and difficult times in life. But there’s a limit to how much stress a person can experience.

This limit varies depending on the person, but what it truly comes down to is stress management. When stress becomes overwhelming or disruptive to everyday life, it can have ill effects on your health.

Many people don’t understand that too much stress, prolonged stress, or poorly managed stress can have genuine consequences on one’s physical and mental wellbeing. To avoid these issues, you can employ techniques to either diminish the stress itself, or the negative impacts.

The Dangers of Stress

Stress releases a kind of hormone called cortisol. While not intrinsically harmful, persistent levels of cortisol in the brain can cause inflammation. This wreaks havoc on many of your body systems.

For example, chronic inflammation decreases healing time for certain injuries. It can also lead to chronic issues such as insomnia, cardiovascular conditions, and digestive dysfunction. It can play a part in weight gain, immune system imbalance, and early brain degeneration.

Cortisol release isn’t the only effect that stress has on the brain, either. When you’re stressed, blood flow to the frontal lobes of your brain decreases, while blood flow to the midbrain increases.

When blood flow is decreased to the frontal lobes, cognitive and executive function is impaired. This means that you might struggle to hold onto a train of thought, and simple decisions may become difficult. You might struggle to start and complete tasks and reach goals.

At the same time, increased blood flow to the midbrain will also increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. You may become particularly sensitive to light and sound, find it difficult to sleep and suffer from headaches.

All of these symptoms can greatly impact your quality of life, especially when they are persistent.

Stress Management Techniques

When it comes to stress management, the first step is to cut out as much stress from your life as possible.

For some, this is as simple as a change in outlook. Try to accept change and strive to become more flexible. This will keep you from getting too stressed out whenever it does happen. Some other steps you can take include removing toxic relationships, and making sure to have a healthy social life.

Healthy sleeping habits also play a part in managing stress. Go to bed at a consistent time, stay away from electronics for at least an hour before bed, and keep your bedroom completely dark during sleeping hours. This will help to mitigate the sleep issues caused by stress.

Finally, take care of your body. This means you should move your body regularly, and eliminate processed foods and sugar, as much as possible.

How Colorado Integrative Neurology Can Help With Stress Management

If you still feel overwhelmed after you implement these techniques, you may want to seek professional help.

At Colorado Integrative Neurology, we offer customized neurological rehabilitation to address the areas in your brain that have been wound up by stress. We will also prescribe adaptogenic herbs, when necessary. Neuro rehab will also help you sleep, which will help with your stress.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment to help take control of your stress, contact us today!

Copyright © 2018 Colorado Integrative Neurology. All Rights Reserved. Shawn VanWinkle, D.C., D.A.C.N.B. is a Doctor at Colorado Integrative Neurology. To learn more about how we can help you with your health goals visit our website at or email us at A free initial consultation can be scheduled by calling our office at (720) 328-5076.