For example, if there is a mountain lion in my vicinity and it’s hungry and it’s looking at me… I absolutely, 100%, want my stress hormones to kick into high gear and send energy to my muscles and extremities, so I can run as fast as possible to save my life!
After reaching a safe distance (if I’m lucky!), I need another set of hormones to be released to help my body come back to state of normalcy and relaxation, so I can calm down.
The stress response is essential for our survival.
The problem with modern-day stress is that it is chronic stress.
Daily chronic stress completely exhausts the body’s internal energy reserves and we start breaking down – both physically and emotionally.
Our body simply CANNOT keep up the demand for excessive amounts of stress hormones.
Here’s a common scenario of how excess stress works in our everyday world:
A working mom wakes up and rushes to get the kids ready for school, and then get herself ready for work. She has to get to the office on time, but she gets stuck in traffic. She finally makes it to the office and has deadlines that have to be met. She sits at her desk and rushes through lunch, barely conscious of chewing or eating her food. Then her boss plops another pile of work onto her desk and she has to stay late at the office! Ugh! After that she has to get home to make dinner and eat, and listen to the kids fighting with each other. By 8:00pm that night she is lucky to be alive and may be wishing she had been eaten by a mountain lion instead.
How many of you can identify with that scenario? And, it’s not just women, men are living chronically stressed out lives, too.
We’re constantly going and going and going, and we’re simply not designed that way.
We need intervals of rest and relaxation otherwise we will burn ourselves out.
When you’re going through a life that looks and feels completely stressed, your adrenals can become exhausted, and that can naturally slow the thyroid, as well as lead to other debilitating diseases.
Unless, of course, you have super adrenals, then your body will be hyped up without slowing down, as in the case of hyperthyroid.
Many of my clients diagnosed with hyperthyroid and graves have very high stress levels, both physical and emotional, and they do NOT know how to relax.
We have to discover ways to de-stress amongst our daily activities otherwise we’re surely going to ruin our health.
The human body cannot keep that kind of speedy pace. It just can’t. And, if we force it too – we are headed for big trouble like adrenal fatigue, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, and renal failure.
If you are feeling the effects of chronic stress here are 3 simple tips:
BREATHE – Take a deep breath all the way down into your belly. Fill up the cavity of your body with air, and then exhale a long slow breath. Full belly breathing can help oxygenate your body and calm your nervous system. Do it as often as possible.
TAKE A TIME OUT – Between daily activities take a few moments to rest. Instead of rushing from one event to the next, take five minutes to chill out between activities. Simply taking a few moments to consciously relax could do wonders for your parasympathetic nervous system.
DRINK HERBAL TEA – Coffee shops are popping up on every corner because there is a demand for it: people are pushing themselves with caffeine to keep going and going and going at an unnatural pace. Stop pushing! Have a cup of herbal tea and relax. Try some soothing chamomile, peppermint, rooibos, lemon balm, or holy basil (tulsi).
Don’t wait until your adrenals are exhausted, or your thyroid slows down, or your bones deteriorate, to change your behavior. Start now. Pick up my book, Happy Healthy Thyroid – The Essential Steps to Healing Naturally, to help get your health and your life back on track.
Take a seat in your favorite cozy chair, read a couple of chapters of my book, and start the healing process. Trust me, the quality of your life can greatly improve simply by taking the time to slow down, chill out, sip a cup of tea, and take the time to read a good book.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.