Is Stress Affecting Your Health?
Tax day is done what a sigh of relief. Don't you love crossing those items off of your list? One thing we all have in common is TOO MUCH STRESS. Take this simple quiz to see if your stress levels are high and check out my tips to reverse it.
Stress is the biggest toxin
We are bombarded by toxins every day, but the biggest one is STRESS. The body does not know the difference between a deadline, a lost child, or a sugar rush. Unfortunately, all STRESS causes the same reaction.
Adrenaline, it pumps though the body to cause a "fight or flight" reaction to avoid the STRESS. We feel the hangover the next day because adrenaline stimulates like a drug and then crashes the system like a hangover. We become exhausted from the adrenaline "flight" however our schedules do not allow us to recover. We re-caffeinate and jump back into the rat race. When our bodies cannot keep up, we need back up and the adrenals are pushed to produce cortisol, the "pinch hitter."
You may have heard the buzz words "adrenal fatigue." Adrenal fatigue does not have a number to correspond to a medical insurance claim so it is not often diagnosed, however it is a very real thing. Take this mini quiz, to see if your adrenals are suffering from fatigue and read my short list of simple ways to nourish your body back into a relaxed state.
Mini Quiz: Are you over stressed?
1. Do you stay up at night; unable to fall asleep? 2. Do you grind your teeth while sleeping or clench your jaw all day? 3. Do you wake up in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep? 4. Do you have trouble getting out of bed or don't want to in the morning? 5. Do you NEED caffeine to make it through the day? 6. Do you have indigestion, gas, or bloating after meals? 7. Do you have menopausal symptoms: hot flashes, weight gain, thinning hair? 8. Do you crave sweets and eat more sugar than you should? 9. Do you get sleepy after a big meal, especially in the afternoon? 10. Do you get revved up, feel anxious, and have trouble calming down?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you would benefit from some R and R.
Rest and Relaxation
Remember, the body does not distinguish between its stressors; processed foods hurt the body in the same way that running from a bull would. They both bring us out of the parasympathetic (relaxed state) and into a sympathetic or (fight or flight state).
A Body in Stress Cannot Heal
When a body is in a sympathetic state, it cannot digest foods, it will not absorb nutrients, or metabolize properly. A body producing adrenaline and cortisol does not produce sex hormones, digestive enzymes or neurotransmitters; it robs everything to produce more cortisol for "survival." Aren't you glad survival is a priority?
We need to take the time to SLOW DOWN and rest to digest. If you want to heal, you need to first REMOVE THE STRESSORS and then you can work on strengthening the defenses. Let's look at some ways to remove the stressors.
How to detox from STRESS:
- Close your eyes, take 5 deep breaths, and roll your shoulders back
- Get a massage to move the lymph and relax the body
- Limit the time you spend with stressful people
- Limit your time in controlled air conditioned environments
- Take a 20 minutes walk outdoors and breathe in the fresh air
- Take your shoes off and stand on the dirt or in the sand, it's called "earthing"
- Eat fresh, colorful, fiber rich vegetables to move the stools
- Drink half your weight in ounces of pure water in one day
- Take a yoga class, exercise with deep breathing, and be in the moment
- Take a high intensity class, to sweat, and release endorphins
- Find a quiet spot to read, meditate, or practice a meditative activity
- Relax and take a nap, even a 10 min catnap will refresh a sluggish system
- Treat yourself to a climax, to relieve stress, and boost endorphins
- Call a good friend and agree to dump the emotional baggage in turns
Choose one or choose as many as you like and do your favorites often. Don't wait for your next vacation, it could be too late. Have you ever returned from a vacation only to realize you need another vacation to recover? We need to rest and relax everyday. Share your favorite method for detoxing from STRESS below in the comments.