Stress is one of those words that can mean a lot of things. In a basic sense, stress is s physiological process that happens in your body – sometimes as a result of ‘being stressed’, but also as a result of other stressors, like environmental toxins, lack of sleep or too much coffee.
One thing’s for sure – if you don’t learn to monitor and manage your stress, it will affect your health. Stress causes more disease than smoking and alcohol combined (yes, it’s true) so we need to help keep it in check.
STRESS IS SOMETHING THAT AFFECTS ALL OF US AT TIMES.
Now some stress is a good thing – mild stress helps keep our bodies working well, challenges us and keeps us focused. Stress becomes dangerous when it becomes more robust or goes on and on and on. You see our bodies aren’t really designed to have constant stress – our flight or fight response activates during stress and is meant to be around long enough to allow you to escape from that sabre tooth tiger. What happens to many of us is that our flight or fight response is activated in the background – which means your body cannot function in its normal relaxed state.
Stress is bad news for your nervous system, impairs your digestion (hello bloating) and messes with your hormones (PMT anyone?). The tricky thing is that you might not even know you are stressed. Some people can feel stressed out – you can see it in them, their heads looking like they’re about to explode. For others, stress is something that they feel they are not effected by – and I often get reports that my patients are not stressed when their biochemistry would show otherwise.
Lucky for you I’m going to share a secret with you – your body will let you know that you’re stressed even if your mind does not. If you’ve got any other following going on I’m 99% sure that you’re stress affected.
- Anxiety, worrying, nervousness
- Difficulty falling asleep (longer than 10 minutes)
- Not sleeping right through the night
- Having a 3pm slump
- Needing coffee to pick you up
- Sleeping less than 7 hours a night
Healing your adrenals
Your adrenal glands are the little guys that are helping you cope with stress day to day. When you’re busy doing your thing they are pumping out a hormone called cortisol which helps you deal with stress. The problem is that over time they can become depleted or downright erratic – secreting cortisol at random times (like when you’re trying to sleep) rather than mostly in the morning, when they should.
Nurturing your adrenals requires 2 things:
- Rest or modification of behaviours
- Herbal adrenal trophorestoratives and adapotgens
Tropho-what? Trophorestorative herbs help to restore your tired old adrenals so that they can do their job properly. Adaptogenic herbs actually help your body to deal with stress more effectively. For many of my clients with huge workloads like business owners and those in executive positions, these herbs help them to work though the huge amount of things they need to do without losing their energy or their sanity.
If we want to have longevity – energy, great sleep and graceful ageing then we need to look after our bodies. Thinking about nurturing your adrenal glands will help to prevent burnout and keep you functioning at your best.
For help with adrenal restoration, see a qualified naturopath or herbalist that will be able to get you ‘the good stuff’ to keep you feeling great.
Katherine specializes in helping business owners, directors, and senior executives to be their best through optimum diet, nutrition and herbal support. She offers a 6 week executive health coaching program to help keep you perform at your best.