Is managing your stress, stressing you out? Keep reading to learn about the science behind stress and simple steps to take to calm it down.
STRESS. We all experience it in some way or another and whether we realize it or not, it has profound effects on our physical and mental health. SeeBeyond Medicine understands that stress is the root cause of many illnesses and it needs to be addressed in order for healing and health to take place.
Below is a list of symptoms linked to stress.
- Pain – back, shoulder, neck etc.
- Heart palpitations/Heart Attacks
- High Blood Pressure
- Weakened immune system
- Panic Attacks
- Stomach/Digestive problems/Heart burn
- Jaw clenching
- Memory/Poor concentration
- Low Libido
- Weight Gain (specifically belly fat)
What is stress exactly?
Stress happens to everyone and is a normal human response. We are hardwired to react when we experience challenges or “stressors” that cause our body to produce a physical and mental response.
Did you know our brains still function as cavemen in some ways? Particularly our body’s response to stress or “flight or fight.” Even though we are not being attacked by a saber tooth tiger, as our ancestors once were, our bodies do not recognize the difference at times of stress and still go through “survival” responses to help us run away or fight the “threat.” In modern day we tend to perceive these “threats” as paying the bills, stress at work, checking off the endless to do lists etc.
In other words, we can perceive stress, any stress, as a life and death scenario. Let that sink in. That is why you will feel your heart race, breathe faster, feel bursts of energy during times of stress. Some people may experience panic attacks and feel “like they are dying.” This is all due to the survival instincts we have ingrained in our brains.
What happens in our bodies when we are stressed?
It starts in the amygdala in our brain by first perceiving that something is a threat. In fact, people that experience chronic stress, the amygdala in their brain can actually grow in size, making them even more prone to perceive situations as threats.
Then the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system to release adrenaline. Adrenaline increases your heart rate, blood pressure and energy. The adrenal cortex kicks in and releases cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone that increases sugar in the bloodstream and enhances your brains use of glucose.
Our stress response can be positive in the short term, in fact, some of us have or will be in life threatening situations that our stress responses are the reason for survival. For example, if the fire alarm went off, your stress response of increase in heart rate, breathing and energy will equip you to get up and run away. The problem is when we experience stress for longer periods of time it this can lead to disease and many health issues.
The effects of chronic stress on our body
Your bodies stress response was meant to protect you, but it also curbs nonessential functions when you are in a fight or flight situation. This happens in order to have enough resources for the survival functions such as keeping your heart beating and breathing. Therefore, the processes you don’t need for survival, suffer. Cortisol suppresses your immune function, digestive system, reproductive system and growth processes. This would be okay temporarily but if chronic stress persists keeping you in a constant feeling of under attack, the overexposure of cortisol and other stress hormones can disrupt almost all of your body’s processes.
We also call this Adrenal Fatigue or “burn out.” Sometimes the overuse of cortisol causes your adrenal glands to “burn out” and stop producing it effectively. When your supply doesn’t meet your demand, your body can feel like its running on steam. This can leave you absolutely exhausted with feeling symptoms of brain fog, feeling wired and tired at night and having a hard time falling and staying asleep.
The good news is, you can fix it!
It is important to manage stress to keep your bodies stress response balanced. And if you think you have “overused” your adrenal glands by asking them to react to a lot of stress, don’t worry you can restore them.
Stress may not be easy to manage but try the following that we recommend at SeeBeyond Medicine and have helped so many of patients restore their adrenal glands and reach healthy stress levels! Make this a TOP priority for your health.
- Meditate – this may seem daunting to some people and stress them out more but here’s a secret about meditating. If you are trying to meditate, it won’t work. The key is don’t try and to let your mind do what it needs to do to reach peace. We suggest using a focus to facilitate this. Your breath is the easiest thing to focus on or try a mantra or a vision. If you need help finding your practice, you can learn TM or Transcendental Meditation, which is SeeBeyond Medicine approved and has helped millions of people around the world https://www.tm.org/
- Get plenty of sleep – if you do not get enough sleep, this will activate your stress responses tenfold!! Click here to learn more how to manage sleep.
- Exercise – movement is one of the best ways to balance stress because it will complete the stress cycle. What that means is your body is getting you ready to MOVE when you are stressed – Flight (run) or Fight – secreting blood sugar and hormones to help you. Therefore, if you move, you allow the stress cycle to complete getting your hormone levels back to baseline and use up that sugar running through your blood.
- Create a Support System/Seek professional counseling – sometimes we need to vent or just feel heard. Sometimes we have “blind spots” and cannot see clearly what is going on in our lives that trusted friends, family and professionals can help us find relief/solutions to whatever our stressors are. We at SeeBeyond Medicine seek to always take care of the mind as well as the body and are here for you if you need some extra support.
- Follow our supplement protocol below or schedule a free consult to learn what supplements/nutrition may best to help you balance your stress!
SeeBeyond Medicine Stress Management Supplement Support:
My Adrenal A comprehensive blend of nutrients and botanical extracts targeted to supporting the body’s adaptogenic response to promote optimal energy production, stamina, and the management of everyday stressors. Adrenal glandular tissue, sourced from Argentinian bovine to safeguard purity, rounds out the ingredient profile.
L-theanine A unique amino acid compound found in green tea, is noted for its calming benefits. Studies show it can stimulate alpha brain wave activity and promote relaxation without drowsiness.
Super Magnesium Super Magnesium is one of the best absorbed forms of magnesium. Each capsule provides 150 mg of elemental magnesium that helps relax smooth muscles. Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for making you calm and relaxed.
Please consult with a physician before following any of our protocols or schedule a free consult with SeeBeyond Medicine.
In good health,
Dayna Arena, RN