We have all heard that stress is bad for you, but do you know why? I think it's important to understand what is going on so that we don't just dismiss it.
When we are under stress, our body goes into "Fight or Flight" mode and a series of things happen to your body...
Your brain tells your body you might need more energy, so your blood sugar goes up.
Adrenaline is released to keep you focused and alert
Digestion is effected as resources are diverted to other body activities
Immune function changes
FEAR becomes our focus. This is very important. Many people don't realize how negative the lens becomes when they are under chronic stress. Fear, anxiety and depression can take root in this situation.
When these things happen, our body is geared toward running and/or fighting. In modern times, however, our stressors are not physical. They are mental and emotional. Things like financial insecurity, uncertainty, rush hour traffic, relationship stress, etc.) So, we are all geared up to run or fight and that doesn't happen.
Symptoms of prolonged stress include things like Headaches, Increased Blood Pressure, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Hormonal imbalances, Immune challenges including auto-immune conditions.
As you can see, stress really is a big deal. So, what can you do to reverse this?
Change your external environment if necessary. That may mean ending toxic relationships or switching jobs if necessary. Surround yourself with positive people
Change your perception of reality. Sometimes you can't actually change anything EXCEPT your attitude and that's a huge thing. You can't control everything, but you can control how you react to it.
Physical exertion. Because our bodies are geared to release energy at the end the stress response, exercise helps to clear the body of the hormones released in response to stress. Lower cortisol, for example. It's great if you can exercise 30-40 minutes per day. But, even if you can just do a quick set of jumping jacks, squats or pushups, it will help. Every little bit helps!
Watch the "Mind Chatter". This is the internal dialogue that we have with ourselves. We need to keep it positive and gratitude-focused. What we focus on will expand in our lives, so focus on the good! We will become our thoughts, so choose wisely.
Meditate and focus on a favorite scripture or mantra that helps create a sense of peace and well-being. Maybe it's just the word "peace" or "joy" that you repeat over and over to yourself when you catch your mind wondering into negativity.
Deep Breathing. This signals the nervous system to relax and helps turn off the stress response.
Eat in ways that heal and support the body. Healthy, low carb, moderate protein and higher amounts of healthy fats are super important. Think lots of vegetables, some fruits and high-quality meats. Anti-inflammatory foods that build up the body. If you feel like you are under significant stress, it also helps to eat every few hours to keep blood sugar stable.
Strategically use supplements and adaptogenic herbs to help restore balance and support healing and recovery.
If you have any questions about this or feel like you need some guidance, please click here
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To your health,