Stress can become a real problem during this time of year with the lead up to Christmas and school break. While stress is a natural part of life, too much stress can begin to negatively affect your health and wellbeing and it is important to be able to wind down and relax every now and then to ensure we are performing at our best physically, mentally and emotionally.
When the body is under stress the adrenal glands release a hormone called adrenaline. This is our “fight or flight” hormone. In the past this hormone would be released when we faced a physical threat such as a wild animal chasing us or a neighboring tribe attacking us. In cases such as these we had two choices – fight or run. These days threats to our safety come from modern societal pressures such as peak hour traffic or having to be in two, three or even four places at once. We cant really do much about this type of threat (fighting or fleeing aren’t really an option) so we internalise our feelings which leaves us with high levels of the stress hormone Cortisol causing inflamation. When faced with prolonged stress this hormone can build up in the body effectively causing a lack of energy which can in turn lead to other problems such as depression and anxiety.
But how do we effectively deal with stress?
- Eat a good wholesome diet packed with wholegrains, fresh fruit and vegetables and lean protiens with minimal processed food.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. A good walk everyday helps to circulate excess energy and prevents “blow outs” due to pent up energy. Physical movement activates the eliminator channels for that excess adrenaline.
- Consider supplements. A good multi-B plus multivitamin/mineral probiotics and the addition of “green foods” to alkanise the body are essential to help relieve stress symptoms.
- Maintain good friendships and social networks.
- Think positively. Try to find the silver lining when life seems hard and too much to take, there is one in every situation!
- Take time to just be, meditate, read a good book, day dream or anything that relaxes without outside pressure.
- Visit a Naturopath, who can help you to manage the long term effects of stress and teach you how to enjoy life and the many gifts life offers us.
If you have questions about managing stress, please don’t hesitate to ask advice at your local, friendly Calanna Pharmacy and Naturopath.