It’s a holiday week, so hopefully no one is feeling stressed. Here in Minnesota, we are waiting for our state government leaders to overcome their budget stalemate and resume operations. So we are on edge more than usual. This is just one example of the tradeoffs modern humans have made. Our lives are longer and easier (how far did you have to walk to find food this morning?) but we are consumed by stress.
A June 2011 study in Nature suggests that living in a city makes us more susceptible to stress. People who live in a city have increased sensitivity of the part of their brain that regulates fear and anxiety. People who were raised in a city show similar changes in their brain activity. The authors note that this helps to explain why anxiety and mood disorders are more prevalent in city dwellers than rural people.
Let’s interpret this in a positive way. City dwellers have advance notice that we are more susceptible to stress. Over the holiday weekend, most of us city folk escaped to rural areas. That is a great solution. What else can we do to ward off the effects of stress? Cut back on news media. Exercise. Cut back on sugary foods that cause accelerated aging. Eat nutrient-dense foods. Get your omega-3 fatty acids to support brain and nervous system health.
Having stiff joints and a compromised nervous system are sources of stress to your brain. The brain interprets these as injuries, and your stress hormones increase. Who needs that additional burden? One of the most frequent side benefits of maintaining a powerful nervous system is resilience to stress. “Things that used to bother me just don’t anymore.” “I have less anxiety and am sleeping better.” “I feel more calm and focused.” Are you ready to see these improvements in your life? Then get adjusted!