"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
Have you ever been so stressed out that you had insomnia? Broke out in a rash? Had stomach issues? I've been there and its not fun to say the least! Stress is a part of life but how you deal with it is what really matters. Its important to listen to your body and pay attention to the warning signs of being under stress. Stress over a prolonged period of time leads to a number of health issues all of which can be avoided! Here is what actually happens in your body when under stress and some things you can do to deal with it!
Cortisol is one of the adrenal hormones that helps us manage physiological and psychological stress. Managing stress is critical to our survival and we depend heavily on cortisol. So much so that we will die within 12 hours of not having cortisol in our blood steam. The more stress your mind (external stressors- financial issues, running late, getting cut off in traffic) and body (internal stressors- nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, poor digestion, parasitic infections, food sensitivities) are under, the more cortisol your adrenal glands must secrete into your blood. Eventually, the adrenal glands start to fatigue from being overtaxed and cortisol levels start to drop. This will also end up depleting all the sex hormones and cause a host of symptoms including weight gain, flu-like fatigue, muscle weakness, anxiety, palpitations, frequent dehydration, gut issues, cravings for sugar, caffeine and carbs, dizziness/light headedness upon standing and headaches, not to mention hormone imbalances.
Since cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone a decreased output over extended periods will make you prone to inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, gut issues, yeast and allergies. You will have no reserve energy and infections can spread quickly.
So, how to change this? To avoid feeling overwhelmed with making a ton of changes, start small and try implementing one or two at first and slowly add more.
1. Eat all day long- spread your daily calories over five or six small meals. Eat some protein with every meal. The important thing here is to maintain your blood sugar levels so they don't go in huge spikes through out the day. If you are eager to learn more there is a Metabolic Typing test you can take to determine which metabolic type you are and it will give you the foods that are right for your metabolic type. You can also take a food sensitivity test (MRT) to determine which food sensitivities you have.
2. Limit foods that stimulate the adrenal glands: foods that contain a lot of sugar or refined flour, caffeine, breads and pastas should be avoided. Try eating whole foods with lots of greens, try eliminating processed foods (cans, packages, frozen meals) Add in some supplementation to help support the adrenals and the liver.
3. Exercise less: I know most of you think to exercise more, however; during exercise we tend to push ourselves and there is not enough cortisol to make so it ends up creating more stress on the body, hence weight gain and having a hard time losing it. Changing the intensity of the workout to something less taxing on the body is best- try doing some PIYO or Yoga or even some weight lifting. Yes, I said weight lifting, its been proven that lifting heavy weights helps to balance hormones along with tons of other great benefits.
4. Rest: Sleep is so important for the body to repair itself from the day. Getting the right kind of sleep is important, its best to go to sleep around 10 and wake up at 6. The adrenals repair themselves between 11-1am. Make sure to avoid being on the computer/phone before bedtime because the blue light emitted from these devices will trick the body into thinking its day time hence hindering the production of melatonin.
5. Stress Reduction: Breathe-most of us breathe shallowly and sometimes we even hold our breath. Breathing deeply through the nose and slowly through the mouth is best. Massage is another beneficial thing to do, not only does it reduce stress and lower blood pressure it also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which is basically turned off when in chronic stress. One of my favorites is meditation. Its done wonders for me and its a great way to start or end the day. There are tons of meditation apps on the phone to try. A few of my favorite apps are Omvana and Headspace.
If you are struggling with fatigue, not able to lose weight, have gut issues, or have been in chronic stress there is help! It is not a quick fix, it will require a lifestyle change and a willingness to do the work but the rewards are so worth it! You are worth it.
If you want to dig deeper check out the Happy Hormone package. I want to help others to be healthy and to take control of their own health in a holistic way. Whats included? This is a 3 month program with the Adrenal Stress Profile lab, a 60 minute educational lab interpretation session, a 90 day protocol based on the lab results along with the questionnaire that is filled out, bi weekly individual coaching sessions to assess progress and to fine tune the protocol, DRESS for Health Success Companion eBook and support along the way. There will also be a FB group you will be added to so you will have all the support you will need to stay on track.
My mission is to help educate people on how they can be more proactive in taking care of their health- you don't know what you don't know! I look forward to working with you on this awesome healing journey!