| Job loss. Betrayal. A relationship gone bad. Stress at work. Issues with children. A car accident. Or, perhaps a sports injury. What do all these have in common? They are all stressful events that can impact your back, neck, and spine. What Stress Does to the Body When the body is under stress, whether that is emotional or physical, it can cause muscle pain, headaches, fatigue, depression, irritability, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, and more. That sense of pain can have a negative impact on the entire body. It can cause your muscles to tense up and contribute to pain throughout your back. Most people carry their stress in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. Over time, if the body doesn’t cleanse itself of stress, the tenseness can cause issues in more long-term or chronic ways. It can affect your posture and the way you walk, leading to pain in the hips, knees, and feet. Additionally, over time, if the stress remains it can impact your bone movement and spine! Surprisingly, the spine can get out of balance even without a traumatic injury. A pulled or stressed muscle can lead to your spine getting pulled out of place. Subtle Effects of Stress While some of the effects of stress are easy to see, some are more stealthy. One of the most common ways that stress can impact you in a quiet way is through your breathing. When you’re stressed, your breathing patterns usually become shorter. Additionally, because of this stress, your muscles tense up and cause pain in the upper and middle back. Another subtle effect of stress is sleeplessness and digestion. Many people who struggle with stress are not able to settle into a deep sleep. Additionally, stress can slow your body’s ability to process food leading to irritable bowel syndrome. How To Get Rid of Stress While stress comes in all shapes and sizes, here are a few suggestions for how you can de-stress. Go to a Chiropractor! A chiropractor can help to reset your body and balance. As stress impacts muscles, it can pull your spine out of alignment! Get a massage. A massage can do a lot to release your muscles and body. Sometimes your muscles just need to be worked by a professional. Drink some water. Hydration does a lot to keep the body balanced. Drink plenty of water. Get some sleep. Sleep heals the body. It also resets the emotions, mind, and body. Try meditation or prayer. Spending some intentional time resting in your body, mind, and soul can be helpful to reset your mindset. Be Thankful. Spending time making a list of things you’re thankful for can help you to see the true reality of good in your life. Deep breathing. Practice taking a full minute or two of deep breaths. Slow your breathing and be intentional to take in lots of air. Take a break. Go for a walk, go see a movie, or perhaps do something fun. Stress can be overwhelming so give yourself some time to reset.