We all have it
We all have different forms of it within our lives
And we all respond or handle it very differently
The good thing is that our bodies are wired similarly, so the common recommendations for stress management typically work with most bodies and lifestyles. How we all physically respond to stress is typically the same, but the differences come in with how we express or cope.
When your body is going through high stressful times or situations it gets put into the fight- or- flight response. Your nervous system responds by releasing a large amount of stress hormones, also known as adrenaline and cortisol. This goes back to primal days of emergency reaction of survival. These hormones cause an entourage of reactions within the body. Your heart rate will be pounding faster, your muscles get more tense and tight, blood pressure rises, you are not having slow & steady breathing and your five senses become very sharp on high alert.
I am sure you can see how if your body is in this state for too long it can be very damaging. Your heart is a muscle, with high blood pressure and high heart rate, it will become tired. With short breathing you are going to have lower oxygen levels. Your tense muscles will cause muscle fatigue after too long. Not to mention the damage done to your adrenal glands from over production and usage.
Good news is there are plenty of things to do to help alleviate the physical responses which will improve your overall quality of life.
- MEDITATION/YOGA. Learning to consciously slow your breathing down and take deeper breathes will not only help increase oxygen levels but also aid in lowering your heart rate and possibly blood pressure. I think the greatest benefit of yoga is the practice of mindfulness with your body.
- Magnesium. Magnesium is also used for a natural muscle relaxer which helps the muscle tension. Under high stress magnesium is released from blood cells into blood plasma. This can lead to a magnesium deficiency. You will be filling your magnesium needs in addition to decompressing your central nervous system and muscles.
- Acupuncture. While stress activates the sympathetic nervous system acupuncture can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which is the relaxation response.
- Kava. Kava has been used for centuries in the South Pacific as a medicinal remedy from skin irritations or wounding’s to social gatherings and an anti-anxiety/stress reliever. Ingesting Kava helps activate a quick relaxation within the body.
none of these statements are evaluated by the FDA and you should always consult a primary caregiver before using these recommendations.
Written by: Holistic Nutrition Health Coach Lili Conner