Hope you all had a Happy 4th of July holiday! My phone and email were pretty quiet last week, however, I suspect my phone may be ringing this week after the hot dog fest.
It isn’t about just one day of celebration, however more about how your body is responding the other 364 days of the year. If you are in a constant state of stress, or fight or flight, this is worse than having one too many potato chips.
The fight or flight response begins in the brain. The hypothalamus is responsible for triggering the fight or flight response. Once the hypothalamus goes to work, then the survival systems kick into gear, such as the nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system. You can experience sweating, heart palpitations, muscles tensing, hearing sharpening. You are now extraordinarily alert to handle the issue at hand, however concentration and awareness of anything else fly out the window. The nervous system has flooded your body with adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine). Meanwhile, the adrenal-cortical system (which produces these hormones) becomes activated by way of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland secretes a hormone known as ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). ACTH journeys through out the bloodstream to your adrenal cortex, where these small organs will pump out as many as 30 different hormones to address the stressful situation at hand (the adrenals are “fed” by cholesterol). The worst part is that your immune system temporarily shuts down so your body can utilize all its resources to deal with the perceived threat. This is necessary for immediate stress, but if you are in this state every day, not good.
Cortisol serves many important functions, including the rapid release of glycogen stores for immediate energy. But persistent cortisol release requires that other vital mechanisms effectively shut down such as, immune system, digestion, healthy endocrine function, and nervous system function.
WHAT TO DO???
Manage Stress, via Self-Care practices and add to your nutrition.
- Implement Essential fatty acids: Wild Alaskan salmon, pure fish oil pills, olive oil, chia seeds, nuts and avocados.
- Implement high foods with high quality nutrients: VEGGIES. Yep, veggies, the more veggies you eat either juiced, blended, sauteed, grilled, soup, etc. You are a head of the stress game.
- Stop & take 5 minutes to reflect: Turn off all technology, do a body check (the upcoming blog), close your eyes, walk barefoot in the grass, rub your temples with essential oils.
- When you begin to feel “full” or overwhelmed: Ask for help. Either order in, rebalance your life stressors and reprioritize what is important to you. I have many dear friends experiences very challenging health issues at this time. Being grateful for your health will help you stop and nourish what you need.
- REST or Exercise: Always tune into what your body needs. You may need to walk in the park vs going inside to an exercise class. Or you may even need a 30 minute nap to help your body heal.
If you need support with your healthy journey. Please set up a time to connect with us and we can help you get started.
Stress be Gone!
Heather Fleming, C.C.N.
Photo by: Andrew Czap