At Roper Physical Therapy, we are focused on the importance of physical well-being for overall health, productivity, and happiness as part of the Pentagon of Wellness. The Pentagon of Wellness is a bio-psycho-social model that includes the intellectual, physical, psycho-social-emotional, energetic, and spiritual aspects of ourselves. Through our patient appointments, classes, and workshops, we are dedicated to educating our patients to understand how external factors affect our physical well-being as well as the data behind those factors and ways we can improve our overall well-being.

In this post, we want to focus on ways you can improve your overall well-being by specifically addressing the detrimental effects of stress. Health is just not the absence of disease in our lives; you want a state of optimal intellectual, physical, pyscho-social-emotional, energetic and spiritual well-being!

Stress Stress activates your body’s Fight or Flight response, which includes: • Your heart rate increases • The bronchial tubes in your lungs dilate • Your pupils dilate • Your muscles contract • Your saliva production is reduced • Your stomach stops many of the functions of digestion • Increased cortisol levels

No one can avoid stress entirely, but learning how to better deal with stress leads to a healthier, happier life and contributes to increased wellness. Everyone has different ways to deal with stress. Mediation, Adequate Sleep and Gratitude are several interventions that you could implement to reduce stress. What are these interventions?

Meditation Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Originally, meditation was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life, but, today, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction. Meditating calls you to focus your attention to your thoughts in efforts to be present, and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. Additionally, anyone can practice meditation. There is no special equipment needed and you can practice almost anywhere!

To experience a meditation session led by Roper Physical Therapy via our YouTube channel, click here

Sleep Do you know that only sleeping 6 or fewer hours per night is the same as being up for 2 days? Sleep is an essential period of recovery for the body and brain and facilitates memory, learning, repair, productivity, boosts creativity, resilience, emotional health, and decreases stress. Roper PT specifically addressed how important sleep is to our wellness in a previous blog post.

Create a Culture of Gratitude We spend 2/3’s of our lives at our jobs, so bringing a regular gratitude practice into the workplace can have a big impact on wellbeing, life satisfaction, and productivity. Stress and gratitude have a difficult time co-existing, so bringing gratitude into our lives often decreases the space we hold for stress.

Ways to cultivate gratitude: • It’s “the thought that counts” attitude • Citizenship environment in our home, workplace and communites • More consideration of needs of others • Appreciation of what others contribute