I’m sat in bed stewing over my stressed pregnant friend. A brave, clever, dynamic woman who is risking it all to set up a business and invest everything she has financially and emotionally to make it happen. We speak almost daily, we talk about pretty much everything – business, food, sex, Christmas trees, the important stuff. And each day I hear her cramming work in to the few precious hours she has before the babysitter goes home and mothering duties take over. And I hear her ridiculously high stress levels, I hear her worry, the constant planning and analysing, I hear the exhaustion and I feel powerless to do anything about it.
Stress is the single biggest cause of disease in the country. Human beings are not designed to take on the levels of chronic, constant stress that we experience in 2011. Back in the day when we would have been chased by lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) our bodies would produce hormones adrenaline and cortisol – the fight or flight response – we’d either decide to take on the beast or run like the wind in the opposite direction. Our heart rate would speed up, digestion would slow, blood flow would flood to major muscle groups and the body would receive a burst of energy and strengthen to protect itself. The adrenaline response is an immediate one, then the cortisol kicks in and is designed to sustain this response for as long as it’s needed. Once the danger was gone the body would return to its normal resting state.
However these days there are no actual lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) to fight but our bodies still feel under constant attack. It’s just a very different kind of attack. Rushing to get to work, frustration in traffic jams, busy lifestyles, worry over bills, poor diets, high caffeine, even loud pumping music and video games release these hormones into the bloodstream. All these stresses create the same fight or flight response in the body and we are never returning to a lovely relaxed state. Poor bodies.
What are the symptoms of knackered adrenals?
Oh the list goes on. So many conditions are caused by too much stress. So here are my tips for reducing stress:
Want to read more of Laura’s advice? You can find previous articles on her blog, Balanced.
Laura Knowles is a Nutritionist, Kinesiologist, and Yoga Teacher at the Balanced Wellness Clinic in Havant near Portsmouth. Loves blogging about the really important stuff - life, love, vitamins and poo.See my profile »