What do you think of when you hear the word stress?

I think most of the time what comes to mind is the emotional part – feeling out of control or overwhelmed. That’s definitely a piece of it.

Stress in your body can also come from internal inflammation, triggered from environmental sources like the food that you eat or the toxins you absorb from the environment.

The little stresses in life add up and they can have a bigger impact then you think. When your body is under stress, different reactions happen in the systems in your body.

Stress and Cortisol

This all goes back to your master hormone: cortisol. Cortisol is your primary stress hormone, produced by your adrenal glands. It’s a powerful factor and is an underlying factor in most health issues.

Cortisol’s natural rhythm of release should be highest in the morning, decreasing down during the day, until it’s at its lowest point at night, prior to sleep.

If this pattern is off – i.e. levels are too low in the morning and too high at night, then your energy levels flip-flop. This mean you feel tired when you wake up, have a big crash late afternoon, then find it hard to sleep at night.

Cortisol levels are impacted when we face a challenging set of demands either physically or emotionally (Hello endometriosis!)

When chronic stress is in play, then cortisol levels are thrown off big time. This cascades into a system-wide response.

System-Wide Impacts of Stress

I recently read a great book called The Stress Remedy by Dr. Doni Wilson.

Within the book she writes how stress and imbalanced cortisol levels initially cause symptoms in four core systems in your body:

  1. hormones
  2. digestion
  3. immune function
  4. nervous system

When there is a problem with stress and cortisol levels in your body, then one or more of these four symptoms expresses symptoms.

When your body is performing optimally, these systems help each other out. But if one system starts to work sub-optimally, sooner or later, other systems go down too.

Stress and Your Hormones

According to Dr. Doni, impacts of stress on disrupted hormones include:

  • fatigue
  • weight gain
  • low thyroid
  • blood sugar imbalances
  • insulin resistance
  • menstrual irregularities
  • PMS
  • infertility
  • low libido
  • low body temperature
  • mood swings
  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • migraines
  • vaginal dryness
  • bloating

Stress and Your Digestion

Impacts of stress on your digestion can result in:

  • gas
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • leaky gut
  • candida overgrowth

Stress and Your Immune System

Your immune system is impacted too by stress, resulting in:

  • achy joints
  • allergies
  • chronic inflammation
  • tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in your ears)
  • skin rashes

Stress and Your Nervous System

Neurotransmitter disruptions from stress include:

  • headaches
  • migraines
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • decreased memory
  • mood swings
  • irritability
  • loss of motivation
  • food cravings
  • PMS
  • chronic pain

When these other symptoms come into play then this just causes more stress on your body. It becomes harder and harder for your body to “catch up”.

Rest and Replenish

If we are to have a chance of healing, we must do all we can to support our systems with less stress, so that a cascading effect happens in a positive manner.

We need to provide our bodies with nourishment and rest. This is essential for the health of your adrenal glands.

So many ladies I talk to express their guilt for resting when there’s so much to do. It’s OK to rest!

I tell you one primary lesson I’ve learned – things don’t have to be perfect. My house is not spotless. Sometimes things just don’t get done.

And that’s OK.

It’s not worth pushing through it. This depletes your body even more and it makes it even harder to recover.

On the Positive Side?

What else can we do to help de-stress? The answer to that is too long for this post.

So, I put together a webinar called 6-Steps to Stress-Less, that I’d like to share with you!

Watch the Replay Here.

Now lovely reader, please find time to rest and replenish.

With LOVE,
AUBREE.

 

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