Stress. A little of it is healthy – it challenges you and makes you stronger. But too much stress, without adequate recovery, can substantially affect your energy levels, to the point where you become fatigued. And if you fail to do something about it, this feeling of being tired and stressed may become your new ‘normal’ day to day experience.
Our stressful modern life
The body’s stress response is designed to help you survive stressful situations. Historically, stress looked a bit different, particularly if you were a caveman confronted with a sabretoothed tiger! In our busy, modern lives, the sources of stress are different but the body’s response is the same. Stresses are not always easy to resolve, meaning that your stress response is constantly activated.
Chronic stress can lead to fatigue
If you’re anything like most people, you’re probably struggling to juggle work and family commitments, and the list continues to grow, leaving little time for relaxation. Your brain is the first organ that senses stress. It responds by sending messages to the adrenal glands which release cortisol to help you deal with the stress. When stress becomes chronic, the brain may seek to self-regulate by toning down these signals as a protective mechanism. This can result in the sort of low energy commonly seen in chronic fatigue. Stress is known to be an underlying factor behind many conditions, with severe fatigue being one of the most debilitating.
Adapting to stress… herbs may help
Herbs known as adaptogens may improve your ability to adapt to stress, building resilience and energy levels:
Ginsengs: Siberian, Korean, American and Indian ginseng (withania) may help you regain energy when you’re feeling flat and exhausted. These herbs may also protect the brain from excessive stress.
Rhodiola: This useful herb is considered a physical and mental energy tonic. It may help your brain to self-regulate in times of stress.
Tyrosine: The amino acid tyrosine is a building block for brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, and plays an important role in supporting a healthy mood, stress response and alertness.
Lifestyle tips to stay ahead of stress
The following tips can help you deal with stress and recharge your batteries:
Exercise: Being active supports energy production, releases feel-good endorphins and improves your overall health and wellbeing.
Meditation / mindfulness: This practice helps calm an overactive mind and assists you in finding peace.
Nature: Spending time in nature allows you to relax and has the benefits green plants and natural foliage can provide – improved mood and an increased sense of calm.
Stay social: Interacting with family, friends, work colleagues and sports buddies builds quality relationships. Socialising is not only fun; it may also increase your resilience to stress.
If you are struggling with stress and would like some advice, book a free 15 minute phone chat with a qualified Naturopath. Click here to book now.
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