Stress is something most of us cannot avoid, especially over the past couple of years! In uncertain times we are likely going to concoct some serious angst and this can show up in a few ways we wouldn’t expect.
Among other things stress can show in your hair, skin, nails, eyes and cognitive function. When a cascade of stress hormones like Cortisol and Adrenaline throws your system out of balance then it’s time to take action. Being aware of how stress is manifesting in your body and finding tools to keep stress in check are imperative to good health.
As always, if you need help with your health then book an appointment with our Healthful Team.
If your nails easily peel, are weak, are slow to grow and are prone to breakage then this is a sign of prolonged stress. Add in ridges, a fading half-moon and hangnails and your body is sending clear signals sista!
Hormone imbalance or long periods of stress can slow hair growth and also cause limp, thin, or brittle tresses. You could even notice excess hair loss. Again, all signs your body is under the pump.
LOSS OF APETITE/ WEIGHT GAIN
High levels of anxiety can push your body into survival mode, and can mess with our hunger hormones, those pesky hormones again! This can have an effect on your appetite and cause you to lose weight in an unhealthy way.
On the flipside you might find yourself constantly thinking about food and even feeling a little out of control around food. Compulsive eating can be triggered by a spike in in the hormone Cortisol, leaving you craving salty, sugary and fatty foods in order to battle stress.
Excess levels of the primary stress hormone cortisol contribute to anxiety, brain fog, depression, mood swings, memory loss, dementia, concentration problems, insomnia, and mental disorders of all kinds. High cortisol levels make us feel alert, and should be at their peak in the morning to wake us up. Melatonin should be high in the evening to help put us to sleep, but when cortisol stays high throughout the day this affects your circadian rhythm in turn making it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Cortisol can slow your bodies’ natural detoxification processes, causing stagnation and build-up that can manifest in breakouts and flare-ups like eczema and acne. Get those Cortisol levels under control and you will get your skin under control.
Meditation starts with mindfulness. With some help ( hello guided meditations), practice and awareness you can connect mind and body to bring about physical and mental calm. The top benefits of meditation are a calm mind, less stress, lower blood pressure, learning to clearly problem solve, increased self-awareness, increased creativity, gaining perspective, building tolerance and patience and better health.
So book into a guided meditation class, download some meditation apps, take a walk on the beach or ground yourself in nature today.
CUT BACK ON INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Inflammatory foods can lead to serious disease, pain in the body, weight gain, out of whack hormones and less than positive gut health. If our gut microbiome is fighting fit, it is able to kill off and dispose of bad bacteria very effectively, however, if our gut microbiome is struggling, disease-causing bugs can take over. Common inflammatory foods are sugar, fats, dairy, meat, refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries, processed meats, fried foods and artificial food additives.
MAGNESIUM, IRON & B VITAMINS
Getting these nutrients in your diet can be tricky, but consuming a variety of whole foods including fish, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and dark green, leafy vegetables can help to boost your intake. In the meantime, addressing nutrient deficiency with a supplement may improve your energy. It’s important to keep in mind that the quality and effectiveness of supplements can vary, so chat with one of our Naturopaths who can help choose the right combination for you.
Adaptogens are herbs that are categorized for their ability to help us adapt to stress. These herbs will help regulate and repair and bring your mind and body back into alignment in times of stress and chaos. You can consume adaptogenic herbs by taking them in either powder, capsules or liquid herbs. Adaptogenic herbs are easy to consume, add to warm drinks or to your favourite smoothie. Some Adaptogenic herbs you might like are Ashwagandha, Reishi, Astragalus, Tulsi or Licorice Root.
HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS
In order to rest and recharge, your body needs seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you are struggling to get to sleep, or stay asleep then it’s time to audit your bedtime routine.
Are you engaging in stimulating activities before bed, such as heavy exercise, or scrolling your mobile phone? Do you consume caffeine (e.g. tea, coffee, cola or chocolate) too close to bedtime? If, despite having healthy habits, you are still not sleeping well, there are effective, natural options to help. Essential oils, supplements, Acupuncture and Infrared Sauna are all sleep aids we use.
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