We live in an era where most people are stressed most of the time. But do you really know and understand what stress do to you and the implications on your health and wellness?
When we get stressed our sympathetic nervous system causes us to go into a “fight or flight” mode. This reaction can be so intense that when you look at your phone and see your bosses name, your body can react like there is a lion on the loose.
This sets off a wide range of both physical and mental reactions fuelled by hormones. The main hormones are:
What it is: Commonly known as the fight or flight hormone, adrenaline is produced by the adrenal glands after they receive a message from the brain that a stressful situation has presented itself.
What it does: Adrenaline, along with norepinephrine (more on that below), is largely responsible for our immediate reactions to stress. Imagine if you are about to step into the road as a car speeds around the corner and you jump back onto the pavement. Your heart pounds, muscles tense, you breathe faster, and you start sweating. That’s adrenaline
Along with these reactions, adrenaline gives you a surge of energy and focuses your attention – which you might need if you find yourself having to run in a dangerous situation.
What it is: Norepinephrine is a hormone similar to adrenaline, released from the adrenal glands and also from the brain.
What It Does: The primary role of norepinephrine matches adrenaline as it causes you to become more aware, focused and generally more responsive. It also shifts your blood flow away from areas that aren’t so crucial like the skin, digestive system, and reproductive system and towards more essential areas in the moment like the muscles, so you could flee the stressful situation.
What It Is: Cortisol is a steroid hormone, commonly known as the stress hormone, produced by the adrenal glands.
What It Does: Feeling the effects of cortisol in moments of stress takes longer – minutes rather than seconds – than other hormones. When you enter survival mode, the optimal amounts of cortisol can be lifesaving. It helps to maintain fluid balance and blood pressure, while regulating some body functions that aren’t crucial in the moment, like reproductive drive, immunity, digestion, and growth.
However, when something is important we tend to spend time worrying about the issue which leads the body to continuously release cortisol. The chronic elevated levels can lead to serious issues. Too much cortisol can suppress your immune system, increase blood pressure and sugar, decrease libido, decrease fertility, to only name a few.
Therefore, it is so important to find ways to reduce long term (chronic) stress.
Taking small steps to try and reduce your stress can really help you feel the benefits. At work take regular breaks even if it is a quick walk in your lunch break, just 15 minutes of fresh air away from the desk can clear your mind. Exercise is a great way to boost your energy, and this doesn’t have to mean hours in the gym. Cutting long hours at work can have huge benefits, doing long hours is a clear indication that your work/life balance may need to be readdressed. Also, regular holidays are important to help recharge your batteries.
At home ask for help, children can help to do chores which could eliminate some of the pressure on you. Delegate things you can and remember not everything is important, tomorrow is another day. Have fun and do things you enjoy in your free time.
Homeopathy can be a huge factor in helping you to address stress, hormone imbalances, fertility and general wellbeing. Contact me to find out how I can support you in reducing stress and enhance your wellbeing.