We all have some level of stress, right? Especially as a busy, time-challenged mum who is trying her hardest to be health conscious while trying to balance the trials and tribulations of life's demands!
Stress may be temporary (acute), or long-term (chronic).
Acute stress usually won’t mess with your health too much. It is your body’s natural reaction to circumstances, and can even be life-saving.
Then, when the “threat” (a.k.a. “stressor”) is gone, the reaction subsides, and all is well.
It's the chronic stress that's a problem. You see, your body has specific stress reactions. If these stress reactions are triggered every day or many times a day this can have a detrimental impact on your hormonal balance and ultimately your health.
If chronic stress is left to wreak havoc for too long, your adrenal glands (the glands responsible for regulating your stress hormones) will eventually become fatigued and this is NOT GOOD NEWS!
Let's dive into the danger zone:
Danger Zone #1 - Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
Anything that increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes (both serious, chronic conditions) needs to be discussed.
Stress increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes by promoting chronic inflammation, affecting your blood "thickness," as well as how well your cells respond to insulin, the hormone responsible for making sure your blood sugar levels don't raise through the roof!
Danger Zone #2 - Immunity
Did you notice that you get sick more often when you're stressed? Maybe you get colds, cold sores, or even the flu more frequently when you are stressed?
Well, that's because stress hormones affect the chemical messengers (cytokines) secreted by immune cells. This means those messengers are less able to do their jobs effectively.
Danger Zone #3- "Leaky Gut."
Stress can contribute to leaky gut, otherwise known as "intestinal permeability." These "leaks" can then allow partially digested food, bacteria or other things to be absorbed into your body.
The stress hormone cortisol, over time, will irritate the lining of your digestive tract and can open up tiny holes which allow toxins into the bloodstream that should be going there!
Danger Zone #4- Sleep Disruption
Stress and sleep go hand-in-hand, wouldn’t you agree? It’s often difficult to sleep when you have very important (and stressful) things on your mind.
And when you don't get enough sleep, it affects your energy level, memory, ability to think, and mood.
More and more research is showing just how important sleep is for your health. Not enough sleep (and too much stress) aren't doing you any favours.
So here are some stress-busting tips!
Reducing stressErs in your life
● Put less pressure on yourself?
● Ask for help?
● Say "no"?
● Delegate to someone else?
● Finally, make that decision?
No matter how hard you try, you won’t eliminate stress altogether. So, here are a few things you can try to help reduce its effect on you:
● Deep breathing
● Walk in nature
● Unplug (read a book, take a bath)
● Exercise (yoga, tai chi, etc.)
● Connect with loved ones
Stress is a huge and often underappreciated factor in our health. It can impact your physical body and mental health much more than you might realize.
Stress has been shown to increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes, affect your immune system, digestion and sleep.
There are things you can do to both reduce stressErs and also to improve your response to it.
It's not too late to get out of the danger zone!
CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE STRATEGY SESSION and let's discuss the best way for you to make changes to your nutrition and lifestyle habits so that your physical and mental health doesn't go from bad to worse.