|With the swirl of all that is going on the planet right now, I’ve asked Michele Broad, certified women’s health nurse practitioner and owner of Well Women Network, to write about how to lessen the symptoms of stress. |
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Anyone who has dealt with stress of any kind, will know that it can have some seriously scary physical and emotional effects. What you may be less familiar with is why this happens.
When your body senses a “threat”, it releases stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. These two hormones can also set in motion countless physical changes.
Originally, this was intended to give our ancestors the best chance of survival against threats. These days, it’s less helpful and most “fight or flight” reactions stem from the same causes.
Here are a few common symptoms of stress and why they occur:
* Digestion and immunity slow down, so that energy can be focused on essential processes for survival. Chronic stress can cause digestive problems and lower your immunity. On the Well Women Healthy Lifestyle podcast we’ve covered the topic of how to have better digestion with digestive enzymes supplements, herbs, and superfoods. Listen to it here A healthy digestive system is imperative for good health and to ward off the ill effects of stress.
* Racing heart – Ever feel like your heart is pounding out of your chest? Stress hormones encourage your heart to beat a little bit faster so that blood can get to organs and limbs more quickly. Over time, chronic stress can raise your blood pressure.
* Rapid breathing – As well as increasing your heart rate, your body also increases respiration to give an energy and oxygen boost. Some of this goes to your brain so you can be more alert.
* Dilated pupils – Your pupils can get more dilated to allow more light to get to your eyes. “Tunnel vision” is also pretty common. For our ancestors, this would have meant a better chance of surviving life or death threats.
* Brain fog and focus issues – For our ancestors, the brain needed to focus solely on the “threat” in question and this can result in brain fog, poor memory and poor cognition in general. Experiencing one of these 5 stress reactions every now and again won’t harm you.
However, experiencing them on a chronic bases isn’t good for your overall health.
Michele Broad is a certified women’s health nurse practitioner and owner of Well Women Network, an online women’s health education portal.
She is also the host of Well Women Healthy Lifestyle podcast on all major podcast channels, where women’s health issues are discussed openly, honestly, and without judgement. Subscribe Here:
As we continue to navigate through times of change, remember there is no “right” way to handle everything that is happening on the planet.
Trust that each person is doing the best they can with the resources they have – and choose to make positive and healthy choices for yourself to de-stress.
Your well-being, success, and connection to others depends on it.
ACTION: The Upside Challenge of the week is to find healthy ways to deal with stress.
Here are a few simple examples: healthy eating (little to no sugar), movement (i.e. yoga or something to move your body every day), reach out to others (call a friend), breathwork, etc.
Make the commitment to take action on one healthy choice each day.