Chronic and extreme stress is something I suffered from often in the past so it is very personal for me. I’m sure you’ve heard stress being blamed for many different health issues. However, many people just believe stress is part of life and there is nothing we can do about it. Most likely majority of the people don’t realize how dangerous chronic stress really is to your overall health. What I didn’t understand in the past is that we have a choice on how we want to react in each stressful situation. If we don’t lose the plot and don’t dwell on the situation, the stress levels don’t go up as much. We are in control of our emotions and it is important for us to find ways to achieve this.
Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, war, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health. It can help you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.
Yet if your stress response doesn’t stop firing, and these stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being. Symptoms of chronic stress include:
Central nervous and endocrine systems
Your central nervous system (CNS) is in charge of your “fight or flight” response. In your brain, the hypothalamus gets the ball rolling, telling your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rev up your heartbeat and send blood rushing to the areas that need it most in an emergency, such as your muscles, heart, and other important organs.
When the perceived fear is gone, the hypothalamus should tell all systems to go back to normal. If the CNS fails to return to normal, or if the stressor doesn’t go away, the response will continue.
Chronic stress is also a factor in behaviors such as overeating or not eating enough, alcohol or drug abuse, and social withdrawal.
Respiratory and cardiovascular systems
Stress hormones affect your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. During the stress response, you breathe faster in an effort to quickly distribute oxygen-rich blood to your body. If you already have a breathing problem like asthma or emphysema, stress can make it even harder to breathe.
Under stress, your heart also pumps faster. Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to constrict and divert more oxygen to your muscles so you’ll have more strength to take action. But this also raises your blood pressure.
Under stress, your liver produces extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. If you’re under chronic stress, your body may not be able to keep up with this extra glucose surge. Chronic stress may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The rush of hormones, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate can also upset your digestive system. You’re more likely to have heartburn or acid reflux thanks to an increase in stomach acid. Stress doesn’t cause ulcers (a bacterium called H. pylori often does), but it can increase your risk for them and cause existing ulcers to act up.
Stress can also affect the way food moves through your body, leading to diarrhea or constipation. You might also experience nausea, vomiting, or a stomachache.
Your muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury when you’re stressed. They tend to release again once you relax, but if you’re constantly under stress, your muscles may not get the chance to relax. Tight muscles cause headaches, back and shoulder pain, and body aches. Over time, this can set off an unhealthy cycle as you stop exercising and turn to pain medication for relief.
For women, stress can affect the menstrual cycle. It can lead to irregular, heavier, or more painful periods. Chronic stress can also magnify the physical symptoms of menopause.
Sexuality and reproductive system
Stress is exhausting for both the body and mind. It’s not unusual to lose your desire when you’re under constant stress. While short-term stress may cause men to produce more of the male hormone testosterone, this effect doesn’t last.
If stress continues for a long time, a man’s testosterone levels can begin to drop. This can interfere with sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress may also increase the risk of infection for male reproductive organs like the prostate and testes.
Stress stimulates the immune system, which can be a plus for immediate situations. This stimulation can help you avoid infections and heal wounds. But over time, stress hormones will weaken your immune system and reduce your body’s response to foreign invaders. People under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like the flu and the common cold, as well as other infections. Stress can also increase the time it takes you to recover from an illness or injury.
How to reduce stress?
From what I have observed over the past 10 years stress and health are completely interrelated and you need to manage both in order to live a happy and healthy life. Once you have made the necessary changes in your diet, lifestyle and mental focus then all the things start falling into place.
Your eating habits need to be adjusted so you are eating the foods which give you more energy and don’t burden your digestive system and make you tired. Here it is important to completely rethink the way we look and behave with food. A shift has to happen in the way you see the food, from unhealthy, but extremely tasty food to healthy and more raw food which gives you most nutrients. When you first start eating more salads, vegetables, and fruit it is difficult to adjust as we are used to eating food loaded with carbs and protein. However, once your body receives all this energy and positiveness from the nutrients it starts to crave for this. In turn, you start to feel a lot better, in a happier mood and full of energy.
Adding natural supplements and herbs to your diet supports your immune system better and gives you added energy to think better and perform your daily tasks. Supplements have a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes which your body is not able to get from just food. When your body is lacking certain nutrients it struggles to perform well and in turn, you get stressed and tired.
Lingzhi is very powerful when it comes to aiding the mental health as it calms the mind, makes you more focus and concentration improves. This is one of the most obvious improvements my clients feel once they start consuming lingzhi. In high doses, lingzhi is also effective on more serious mental issues, such as schizophrenia or bipolar. One of the reasons to explain this is that lingzhi removes the free radicals which cause a lot of the mental damage and brain fog.
Most of my consumers feel this after consuming lingzhi. They become much calmer and are able to deal with issues in a more composed manner. In fact, I felt this on myself as well as I used to be a very hot-tempered person and would lose my patients very fast. But after consuming lingzhi I was able to control the nerves and became an overall calmer person.
Bee Pollen has many different benefits:
- Better Memory
- Better Radiant Skin
- Better Concentration
- Great Anti-oxidant
- Energy booster
- Better Tolerance to Stress
- Protection against radiation
- Healthy Growth
- Ideal Weight Management – takes the fat out of our bloodstream
- Heart Disease – softens the blood vessels
- Balances hormones
- Strengthens Sperms
Its unique composition allows our bodies to completely absorb and use all the minerals and vitamins and get the most benefits. This ability for our bodies to absorb all the nutrients is known as bioavailability and this makes Bee Pollen so effective.
The gut-brain relationship is bidirectional, meaning that changes in microbial flora can affect behavior, and behavioral changes can affect the gut flora. Meta-analysis results indicated that probiotics significantly decreased anxiety compared to controls. These results are consistent with some previous studies showing that probiotics on anxiety are effective.
When it comes to probiotics it is important to choose those which activate and multiply in your gut and they don’t get destroyed before. Lacto-berry probiotics are very efficient in this as they are multicoated and not heat sensitive. They help to regulate the bowel movements as well as strengthen the immune system.
Convenient – Lacto-berry is individually packaged and in powder form, making it very convenient to consume and bring to your office or during travels. I carry it everywhere with me so I can quickly take it after my meal if I’m outside. This ensures better digestion and regular bowel movements.
Cultivated Strains – capable of performing many functions. Some probiotics are made up of the wrong strains, which are not suitable for human bodies and therefore are not able to assist us.
There are 2 billion probiotics in each sachet of Lacto-berry, which will multiply quickly into 40 billion probiotics when they reach our digestive system. The high quantity ensures their potency to deliver their tasks.
Alive bacteria – Shuang Hor uses the unique Multi-Coated Technology where the probiotics are coated with prebiotics to protect them against our body heat and the highly acidic gastric juices in our stomach. Hence they can be safely carried to our gastrointestinal tract alive to perform their job.
Added Ingredients – Shuang Hor has added a few more ingredients to Lacto-berry to make it even more effective and functional and it also makes it taste really yummy.
Raspberry Powder – increases the content of fibre (adds bulk to stool).
Cranberry Powder – prevents E.Coli from happening inside our urinary tract, therefore prevents the UTIs.
Blueberry Powder – removes free-radicals, hence it is a natural anti-aging supplement.
Shift your Energy
Once your body is receiving the right nutrients and enters the recovery path it is easier to control the stress levels and train your mind. We need to take some time to train ourselves on dealing with stressful situations in life. If we allow the situation to completely consume us by thinking and overanalyzing then our entire focus and energy.
This, in turn, limits our capabilities in resolving the issue and continuing with our daily tasks. Letting go of the issue/problem is not easy, but once we learn to accept whatever situation may be thrown our way, is then we can reach the point of peace within ourselves. Problems get resolved in some kind of way usually and sometimes we have no control over it. The only control we have is how do WE react in that particular situation and what do we do afterward.
It is a conscious decision which you need to take on where to shift your energy to. The way I process dealing with issues these days:
- Find a Solution
- Move on with other things – shift the focus on doing daily tasks in order to achieve my goals.
Of course, our mind will always go back to the problem and it usually takes a few days to do the shift. But once the shift is done, tell your mind to stop dwelling and thinking and keep your mind busy with other stuff.
Everyone always mentions meditation, and even though meditation is a great tool, I believe we need to implement some sort of mental shift throughout our life. It doesn’t work if we can only relax our minds when we are in a quiet place, sitting down, with our eyes closed. We need to be able to implement the relaxation techniques in every aspect of our life.
I hope these tips help you in managing your stress levels a bit better. If you are struggling and need some advice please do contact me and I will try to help.