Stress these days seems to be a bit more abundant. We worry about sickness, how our actions are impacting everyone around us. Are we achieving enough? Are we enough? So many things as we are in touch with everyone 24 hours a day. Stress wears our bodies out! It gets our hearts and our minds racing we are running from a bear that is not physically there. It is hard to not be stressed as we are being watched and filmed and contacted 24/7.
Let's talk about what stress does, stress and strong emotions can present respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath and rapid breathing, as the airway between the nose and the lungs constricts. Chronic stress causes the muscles in the body to be in a more or less constant state of guardedness. Acute stress—stress that is momentary or short-term such as being stuck in traffic, or suddenly slamming on the brakes to avoid an accident—causes an increase in heart rate and stronger contractions of the heart muscle, with the stress hormones—adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol—acting as messengers for these effects.
When we become stressed our body pushes our adrenals to release adrenalin. Cortisol is released in the body it gives us the energy to escape. This ultimately results in an increase in the production of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids, which include cortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone”. It is good in the beginning but cortisol inhibits regrowth which is what the immune system needs to do to repair damage. Our body is in a constant breakdown and repair. So when we stress you are stopping that repair from being able to be done, plus it can lead to chronic fatigue.
Stress is about the same as eating an abundance of sugar that stunts the immune system. Sadly most of us when stressed also add sugar foods as comfort. Now we have stunted the immune system double the amount. When we weaken our immune we are more susceptible to sickness. The gastrointestinal also can not function when we are stressed leading to bloating, gas and indigestion. Plus lacking nutrients to support the bodies ablity to rebuild.
With stress, we have different emotions that are usually linked to stress. Emotions impact different organs for example when we are angry it shuts down our pituitary which is regulating digestion and hormones. Certain emotions can have an instant impact and shut down functions that are key for us to maintian good health.
So what can we do about it we can't stop stress but we can support our ablity to cope with stress. It is important that we feed the body foods to support calming and to support the ability to regulate stress. These foods are ones that feed the brain and calm emotions.
Fats are the number one nutrient that supports the brain and supports driving minerals that help calm emotions in the body.
Proteins are the next important nutrient that supports calming through amino acids that produce chemicals like serotonin.
Minerals support the relaxation of the mind, calcium plays a key role in melatonin production so that you can sleep well, as well as relax muscles in the body.
During times of high stress such as dealing with death and sudden life events you can also use adaptogens such as Aswaganda, Rhodiola, Ginseng, and Astragulas. These all work in ways to help the body adapt to current stress but keep functioning.