C6E4GF USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Young woman working in office. Image shot 2011. Exact date unknown.

Stress and Exhaustion

Our bodies were designed with an innate ability to deal with stressful situations.

Way back in the dark ages we needed this response to run away from dangerous animals or to survive long-term drought and famine.

Nowadays, our bodies have to deal with information over-load and being available to friends, family (& work) 24/7. For most of us our lives are so full that we feel it’s a luxury to just sit and put our feet up.

How often do you hear your friends say, “I’m so busy! I just wish there were more hours in the day?”

Most of us are running (at least in our mind) from the moment we wake up in the morning which overtime depletes our body’s ability to deal with stress effectively.

What is stress?

Stress is the body’s way of dealing with any demand whether ‘bad’ (fears, threats or injury) or ‘good’ (excitement, positive changes).

There are three known phases of stress

  1. Alarm or ‘fight and flight’: If short lived, the body generally bounces back to balance. Our stress hormone adrenaline is released and encourages blood flow away from things like digestion to our arms and legs to provide a burst of energy (adrenaline rush).
  2. Adaptation: In this second stage the body secretes a stress hormone called cortisol which enables our body to deal with more medium to long term stress. In this stage we cope and manage everyday stress quite well.
  3. Exhaustion: Overtime stressful events have an accumulative effect and the body is no longer able to adapt. By this stage our stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, as well as, other female (male) hormones are out of balance.

Common signs the body is exhausted

  • Weight gain that’s impossible to shift (esp. belly &/or back of arms)
  • Waking exhausted
  • Not able to go to sleep or stay asleep
  • Poor immunity (chronic colds/allergies)
  • Problems with digestion
  • Food cravings (salty or sweet esp. mid-arvo)
  • Hormonal issues (PMS, heavy periods, hot flushes)

3 things you can do to relieve stress

  • Create some ‘you’ time by turning off your phone/computer/tablet
  • Practice deep breathing and relaxation (restorative yoga)
  • Eat wholefoods that nourish your nervous system (dark green veggies, bananas, wholegrains, quality fats & protein)

Don’t struggle alone. Call Belinda 0400 225 771 today to book a naturopathic consultation or secure your place in one of her 10 week gentle yoga/mindfulness programs.

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