Beat Stress Before It Beats You

Stress

This blog explains how stress causes problems with your hormones, weight, bloating and digestion, ...

Is Stress Getting in the Way of Achieving Your Health Goals?

Modern living and stress seem to go hand in hand and it may be no surprise to you that the effects of stress can have a significant impact on mental health.

Nevertheless, you may not know that the effects of stress can impact other body systems, potentially hindering the achievement of health goals such as losing weight, balancing hormones or improving digestive function.

YouTube Video

Watch my new YouTube video on beating stress here

Fight or Flight – the Ancient Coping Mechanism

The stress response is an evolutionary strategy to cope with immediate dangers, such as an approaching lion! In response to an external threat, the chemical messengers, adrenaline and cortisol are released from your adrenal glands, which enables you to either stand and fight or flee as fast as you can.

In modern times, the feeling of being under constant stress, whether from work, family or financial pressures is interpreted by your body in the same way and can therefore lead you to be in a permanent state of emergency.

What is Stress Doing to Your Body?

A chronic state of stress can have widespread negative effects, such as:

• Poor digestion – reduced digestive enzymes and stomach acid secretions can lead to bloating, abdominal pain and reflux.

• Irregular blood sugar control – cortisol signals the release of sugars into the bloodstream in anticipation that muscles will need fuel to help you run away. These    sugar spikes can lead to weight gain if the sugars are not utilised as muscle fuel and instead converted to fat.

• Hormonal imbalances – adrenal and thyroid problems, lack of libido, menstrual irregularity and fertility issues can all arise when your body switches to making stress hormones in preference to sex and other hormones.

Breaking the Cycle

It doesn’t have to be this way.  There are several nutrients and herbs that can help calm an overactive stress response, which may be hindering you from achieving your health goals.

For example, magnesium is essential for the nervous system by supporting the appropriate functioning of your brains chemical messengers, the ‘neurotransmitters’. Magnesium also produces energy, helping you resolve the fatigue that may come with being stressed.

In addition, the B vitamins (often taken as a complex) work as a team with magnesium to support your nervous system as well as play a role in energy production themselves.

A class of herbs known as ‘adaptogens’ may be helpful to increase your body’s physical and mental capacity to cope with stress. Traditional adaptogenic herbs include withania, rehmannia and rhodiola.

If stress makes you uptight you may also need anxiolytic herbs. These help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote more restful sleep so you can handle the challenges your day has for you more easily. Passionflower, zizyphus, and magnolia are all anxiolytic herbs that have been extensively studied for their calming effects. I can recommend formulas that contain combinations of these herbs and nutrients depending upon your needs, so you can break the cycle of chronic stress and get back on the path to wellbeing.

A Life Less Stressful

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can employ to help manage your stress and optimise your wellbeing:

• Eat healthy. Choose lean proteins, antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables and essential fatty acids from oily fish, nuts and seeds. They will nourish your neurotransmitters.

• Exercise regularly. Exercise is a fabulous stress buster. It helps burn up excess adrenaline whilst releasing ‘feel good’ endorphins.

• Get seven to eight hours of quality sleep. Practise good ‘sleep hygiene’ techniques such as no TV or computer time for at least half an hour before bedtime. Avoid caffeine in the afternoons.

• Meditation is particularly helpful if you cannot “switch off” your brain at night. Lots of programs and techniques are available.  The aim is to find one or more techniques that work for you.

What This Means To You

Stress is an inevitable part of modern lifestyles, but it needn’t get the better of you nor keep you from reaching your health goals. Make a time to see me about strategies and supplements you can use to regain control over the stress in your life.

Other blogs you might be interested in

Improve Your Sleep Hygiene for a Great Night’s Sleep

Quality rest is an important part of getting through the daily grind, yet nearly 50% of Australian adults experience two or more sleep-related problems, including difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and daytime sleepiness. Find out how a sleep hygiene overhaul may help you secure a blissful date with your pillow...

Read More

Beat Stress Before It Beats You

This blog explains how stress causes problems with your hormones, weight, bloating and digestion, ...

Read More

After COVID-19, what will ‘normal’ life be like?

Life will be different after lockdown....

Read More

Practising Gratitude - The Power Of Positive Experiences

Gratitude is a great way to help you become more resilient and adaptable in times of stress

Read More

Do You Feel Out Of Control? - The Covid-19 Pandemic

Feeling out of control is a common emotion in these unsettling Covid-19 times. Find out what you can do to boost your energy, mood and resilience.

Read More

One Way to Help You Better Manage the Fear and Anxiety of the Coronavirus Pandemic

How to boost your emotional resilience..

Read More

Health, Wealth and Relationships

Health, wealth and relationships can get complicated,....

Read More

Is Anxiety Getting the Better of You?

Anxiety is a common problem that often needs help....

Read More

What do you say to your bathroom mirror?

Find out about the power of language..

Read More

How to Boost Your Communication Skills

How to boost your ability to manage difficult people or situations in this blog...

Read More

Setting Boundaries - Ways to reduce anxiety, depression and stress during the Festive Season and life in general

Reduce anxiety, stress and depression by setting healthy boundaries. Find out how by reading this blog....

Read More

Is your home making you more anxious?

This blog discusses how to make your home calming and tranquil. Read on ....

Read More

Cultivating happiness

This blog describes 5 simple ways of creating happiness....

Read More

Welcome to 2018!

Welcome to a New Year of possibilities and an opportunuity to review your goals and resolutions. Read more...

Read More

Is stress getting the better of you?

Stress is a big problem for many people. Click below to find out more.

Read More

How the weather can affect your mood and wellbeing

This blog post discusses how the weather can affect your mood. Click below to read more.

Read More

Stand up and protect yourself from the harms of desk jobs

This blog post discusses what you need to know about healthy work posture. Click below to read more.

Read More

How yoga can reduce stress

Yoga has been proven to have a really positive effect in reducing stress as well as improving fitness.

Read More

Does Pyrrole Disorder Affect Your Energy, Stress or Mood?

Pyrrole disorder, pyrroluria or “Mauve Factor” was first identified in the 1950s by Dr Abram Hoffer. Some people have persistent elevated levels due to abnormal haemoglobin metabolism or synthesis. Elevated pyrroles have been linked with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression. Stress, nutritional deficiency, and heavy metals such as lead and mercury can significantly increase pyrrole levels.

Read More

Natural Medication to Boost Your Mood

Anxiety and depression are common concerns for many of my patients and certainly affect millions of people in our country and around the world. Natural remedies can help address stress, anxiety and depression. They can also be used to help support people taking pharmaceutical antidepressants.

Read More