Life is full of stressors that are often impossible to avoid. From deadlines to that pile of bills to our endless to-do lists. It’s no wonder we feel stressed out much of the time. You might have trouble sleeping, find it difficult to focus, or suffer from recurring digestive issues. That’s because non-stop stress can take a toll on your emotional, mental and physical health.
When you are stressed, an alarm system is activated. Adrenaline and cortisol production is increased to help you escape danger. Once the threat has passed, the alarm quiets, your hormones normalize, and you return to life as usual.
That cycle works well when you’re facing an immediate or finite threat, like a minor car accident. But when your stress becomes constant your body never gets the “all clear” and stays stuck in a reactive mode. And that can have an unhealthy, whole-body impact.
Current research shows a clear link between chronic stress and dozens of health conditions including; Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, digestive problems, high blood pressure, insomnia, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain & obesity.
Life choices can increase the consequences of chronic stress. Ditch the bad habits and increase your stress-reducing activities to calm your body. Try getting a massage or an acupuncture session, practice deep breathing, journal, laugh, pray, meditate, try a yoga class, spend some time in nature. Taking any of these active steps can help reduce your stress levels.
Combining them with natural stress-busting herbs can help you stay balanced and steady in the face of intense stress. For centuries, natural healers have relied on a special class of herbs called adaptogens. Adaptogens help to keep stress hormones in balance, allowing your body to better respond to stressful situations.
Adaptogens have helped people feel mentally and physically revitalized for centuries. Some of my favorites are Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Andrographis, and Ginseng. All adaptogens can help rebalance your body’s stress response, but they each work differently. Some excel at gently energizing your mind and body, while others work better for calming anxiety. Some come with additional benefits such as boosting the immune system, improving attention and focus, and increasing dopamine and serotonin production.
Practicing one or more of the relaxation techniques mentioned and adding adaptogenic herbs to your daily routine can help keep a lid on stress. Over time, these strategies can help you stress less and enjoy life more!
Tracy Pato, CNC, CNHP, CTN
A to Zinc Health Store – Clarkesville, GA