Most of us believe that poor nutrition is the main reason for poor health, but the more we look at stress, the more we realise how big a role it plays in our health.
A medically reviewed study by Web MD suggests that up to 90% of doctors visits are stress related.
How crazy is that?
To overcome stress we need to understand how our bodies work.
Stress is not bad for us in short bursts, it is there to keep us out of danger, such as being attacked by a wild animal or any other life-threatening situation.
When we are faced with danger our bodies release adrenaline which makes our brains sharper and clearer and our muscular strength actually increases.
Our body then takes its focus off the things that aren't as necessary at that time such as our digestion.
* This means if we endure stress for long periods of time our bodies will hold onto weight as it does not prioritise digestion.
In our modern world, it is not a wild animal that is attacking us, it is our lives.
We are designed to experience stress in short bursts but when we endure it for long periods of time it can become a problem.
The problem is that our bodies can't tell the difference between getting attacked by a wild animal or an overwhelming workload.
Stress-related problems include:
- Weight gain
- Digestion issue
- Low sex drive
- Heart disease
- Sleep disorders
- Anxiety and depression
- Hormonal problems involving a lack of estrogen if you're female and testosterone if you're male
- Many other ailments and chronic diseases
Benefits to a decrease in stress levels include:
- Weight loss
- Increased resilience
- Having a more balanced perspective on life
- More control over your emotions
- Better sleep
- Better concentration
Ways to reduce stress and become more relaxed:
1. At least 15 minutes of time to yourself every day.
Do something you enjoy without any distractions from your phone or work and if you've got work to do, don't think or stress about it during this time.
Your brain needs downtime and you get your best ideas during this time as you're not consuming information. Schedule downtime into your day as you would with anything else.
2. Daily practice of stillness such as mindfulness or meditation.
Go for a walk, sit in your garden or on a comfortable chair, lie on your bed, but make sure you're away from any distractions.
The main thing we need to do is think about stillness and quieten our minds.
There are also loads of great apps that can help you with guided meditations or even Youtube can help.
You can also just listen to relaxing music. (Just remember to put your phone on aeroplane mode or switch off your notifications when you do this)
Any sort of exercise can dramatically improve your stress levels and increase your feel-good endorphins and other natural neural chemicals that enhance your sense of well-being.
4. Eat healthily
5. Get enough Sleep
6. Keep a journal
Herbs to Help with Stress:
Sceletium: Sceletium is a Natural SSRI which means that it increases serotonin which is known as the "happiness hormone". (Found in Anti-Anxiety)
Green Kratom: helps to increase Energy & Motivation while simultaneously decreasing stress and increasing calmness. (Found in Anti-Anxiety)
Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is probably best known for it's stress relieving properties. Ashwagandha is known as an Adaptogen, this means that it helps restore the body to it's natural state as well as adapt to external or internal stressors.