The year 2020 will be forever remembered for unbelievable stress. Never have we been asked to make so many changes simultaneously in the way we live our lives; social distancing, business closings, sheltering in place (lockdowns), working from home, remote learning for the children, the list goes on and on.
How does all this stress affect us/you? Well, stress is processed by the brain and translated into a “fight and flight” response. Your nervous system is geared into action and you release a stress hormone called cortisol (plus adrenaline and noradrenaline). In the short-term, cortisol helps you focus and increases energy. Long-term stress and high cortisol, however, starts breaking down tissues, weakens the immune system, depletes nutrient resources the body needs to function optimally, and much more! Symptoms of chronic stress include anxiety, decreased energy levels, frequent colds, gastrointestinal irritation, sleep disturbance, increased pain and discomfort and more.
What can you do to decrease the effects of stress on your mind and your immune system?
A Few Lifestyle Recommendations:
Find a Healthy Balance
You may have heard that we now have time to do all the things we put off when we were too busy before COVID-19. Remember, we are in the middle of a very stressful time of our lives right now. Don’t put extra pressure on yourself to do more than your mind can process.
Try Deep Breathing
Try breathing in for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds, breathing out for 4 seconds and holding for 4 seconds. Do this for 1 minute or until you feel more relaxed.
Spend Time in Nature
Fresh air and sunlight help boost your spirit. Listen to the calming sounds of the birds and peaceful sound of the wind. This reduces stress and re-energizes your mind and body.
Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.
Adaptogens Decrease Effects of Stress
Adaptogens (herbs) have been used to protect the body against stress, help maintain energy levels and maintain immune balance. Some adaptogens you may be familiar with include:
Neurotransmitter Support for Anxiety Caused by Stress
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that regulate stress, mood, memory and the sleep cycle. To help decrease anxiety and increase your ability to relax during the day, consider:
**If you are taking any prescription medications, especially for anxiety, depression, or similar concerns, please consult your physician before pursuing any of the above nutrient considerations.**
Call-to-Action: Perform at least one of the Lifestyle Recommendations and pay attention to how it makes you feel better!
P.S. Got a question? If you’d like to speak with me personally about an issue you are having, please call our office at 320.296.2987 to schedule a 15 minute Discovery Consultation for Free.
The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read, watched, or heard on this, or successive postings. You are encouraged to consult with your doctor with regard to this information contained on this or through any further correspondence. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider.
The statements here upon have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any recommended product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Dr. Chad is passionate about helping others help themselves.