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What is Stress & How Can we Decrease it?

What is Stress & How Can we Decrease it?

Stress affects most of us at some point in our lives. With more work, family and environmental pressures (i.e. toxins, pesticides and herbicides), stress can be overwhelming. When your body gets a ‘stress’ message, the hormone cortisol and neurotransmitter adrenaline are excreted in your body.

There are 3 stages that your body can be in, in response to stress.
Stage 1: ‘The Alarm Phase’

This is your ‘fight or flight’ response. It is usually short lived. In prehistoric times it was the ‘run from the bear’ response. During this response cortisol and adrenaline levels rise, but then drop again.

Stage 2: ‘The Resistance Phase’

This stage is common in our everyday living. Cortisol and adrenaline are constantly raised. Our perception is that there is ‘no end in sight’ to our stress. Take the kids to school…Stuck in traffic….Deadlines at work….Get home….Cook dinner….Do housework…..Flop into bed; Exhausted!
If you spend a lot of time in the resistance phase you may be at risk of high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure.

Stage 3: ‘The Exhaustion Phase’

During this stage you run out of your reserves, energy and immunity. Your body runs low in cortisol and adrenaline. This is also known as adrenal fatigue. Often people who have auto- immune disease’s or chronic fatigue fall into this category. If you are in the exhaustion phase, please see your naturopath to assist you in restoring your energy.

What stage do you think you are in?

It is important that you address your stress before you get to the exhaustion phase and help prevent illness. It is better to be proactive rather than reactive.

So here’s 4 starters on How you can start to increase calmness:
• 1. Eat a nutrient dense diet (lots of fruit, vegetables, grains, cereals, fish and some red meat).
• 2. Focus on your boundaries, not your balance. By focusing on your boundaries, your balance will follow. Write your ‘Me Time’ in your diary, so if someone asks you to do something at that time, you already have a prior engagement. A very important one!
• 3. If you have incessant ‘brain chatter’, try focusing on your breath. Focusing on your breath turns off ‘brain chatter’.
• 4. Laugh! Join a laughter club or tell a joke everyday.

Need even more strategies, & nutritional & herbal support? Call 1300 21 44 25 to say good-bye to stress today!

This post is from Andrea Strand, a practicing Naturopath at Empowered Health. To find out how we can help you, call for a free, no obligation 5 minute phone briefing or call to book an appointment and say hello to good health!


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