Life = Stress, Stress = Life

Life = Stress,  Stress = Life

Living in this day and age, stress is a normal part of modern life. I’m sure you have encountered some (if not all) of the following stresses on a daily/weekly basis:

  • Waking up to an alarm

  • Driving in traffic

  • Standing in queues

  • At work

  • Running the kids to school and after school activities

  • Endless housework and home duties

  • Meeting deadlines

  • Endless emails, phone calls or messages to respond to


Sometimes stress can be so overwhelming, it feels like it is taking over our life. All of these stresses can take their toll.

Thankfully, the body has an amazing, protective stress response system to help you cope.

Our protective stress response was historically designed to kick in to save your life; but unfortunately, nowadays, our stress response is being activated every day rather than just when you come into contact with a hungry sabre tooth tiger!

Ongoing activation of our nervous system can lead to symptoms of stress and mood disorders that are becoming increasingly common. If left unchecked they may lead to chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, panic attacks, depression and even cancers.

We all want to reduce/avoid stress but do we recognise it in ourselves? We are often so caught up in life that we fail to recognise how stressed we really are. Do you recognise any of these symptoms?

 

Signs of Acute (Short Term) Stress

 

Signs of Ongoing (Chronic) Stress

 
  • Muscle tension, pain and headaches.
  • Increased heart rate and feelings of anxiety.
  • Sweating.
  • Energy fluctuations.
  • Sleep disturbances and restlessness.
  • Appetite changes; loss or increase and abnormal cravings for sweets, salt, caffeine or alcohol.
 
  • Fatigue.
  • Insomnia and sleep difficulties.
  • Cravings for salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.
  • Poor concentration or brain fog.
  • Weight loss or gain.
  • Mood swings, sadness, depression, lack of motivation.


So what can we do to avoid too much stress? It is all down to getting/using the right tools.

 

Getting the Right Tools

When we are under stress, our stress response system causes our adrenal glands (which sits above our kidneys) to secrete more of the stress hormones cortisol, adrenalin and noradrenalin. This increase in stress response requires even more nutrients than usual. This is because our body needs vitamins and minerals to produce these hormones and neurotransmitters (the brain’s messengers) required to adapt to the stress and bring the body back into balance. As much of our food is depleted in important vitamins and minerals it is important to supplement these during times of increased stress.

Some of the key nutrients to support our stress response are:

  • B Group Vitamins
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Adaptogenic Herbs
  • Zinc
  • Calming Herbs


In the next article we will expand on how these key nutrients work within our bodies. In the meantime, if you are feeling overwhelmed by stress don’t wait, contact a health professional like myself or a professional counsellor or psychologist to formulate a tailor made stress management plan.