step 11

Step 11 : Small Steps to Big Change Wellness Series

S.T.R.E.S.S

Real or imagined – this bad boy is everywhere.  

We used to be stressed about finding food and avoiding wild animals.Then were stressed about catching the plague or being sent to battle.

These days we can be stressed due to pretty much anything!

Stress is part of our lives, like it or not.

Even silly, insignificant stresses can really get you down if you’re feeling a little low. Like the tupperware drawer in your house.  All that chaos, disorder and hassle each time you want to find a pot with a lid. WHERE DO THE LIDS ACTUALLY GO? Aaaah!

The sooner we accept that stress in some form, is a natural part of living in 2017, the sooner we can turn our attention to supporting our body in dealing with it.

And it all starts with looking after your adrenal glands.

Step 11- Support your Adrenals

And they are….?

The tiny but mighty adrenal glands sit above your kidneys are are responsible for producing different hormones which drive the daily function of your body. They play a huge role in stress response, releasing hormones to help your brain and muscles react to whatever faces you. The trouble is that the body doesn’t know the difference between real or perceived threats, so even if you are not in immediate danger but rather stuck in a cycle of negative thinking, with anxious thoughts of the future, the body will still continue to release these hormones.  And with the body constantly in a state of stress, the adrenals will also release hormones to slow down processes which are not really needed for your ‘survival’ like digestion and your immune system response, leaving you bloated and open to every bug and virus going.

Eventually you will begin to feel crappy, weak and exhausted as your adrenals begin to fatigue and move into dysfunction, and will be accompanied by a weakened digestion and immune system. Oh joy. 

Signs that your adrenals may need a helping hand:

  • feeling ‘tired and wired’ (you are exhausted, but unable to relax)
  • inflammation
  • joint pains
  • mood swings, tendency to cry easily
  • difficulty relaxing
  • emotional upsets cause complete exhaustion
  • unusual craving for salt
  • blood pressure fluctuates, sometimes too low
  • tightness or “lump” in throat, hurts under stress
  • blood pressure decreases when going from
    a lying position to a standing position                         

Tips to support your adrenals:

Basically you are looking for anything that takes you out of the stressful ‘fight or flight’ reaction and moves you into the relaxing ‘rest and digest’ state. This reduces inflammation and tension within the body and gets you feeling back in balance and ready to kick ass!

Eat:

  • Stay away from refined sugar. It causes exceptional stress to your body and weakens your immune system enormously.
  • Avoid eating conventional meat and dairy products – they can be loaded with steroids, GMO residue – all of which disrupt the good bacteria in the gut and can affect hormones.
  • Be sure you are consuming enough Omega 3 fats, either through diet or supplements.
  • Coffee, alcohol and sugar all put your adrenals under tremendous stress. Avoid these as much as humanly possible, as the ‘lift’ they give you is short lived and the crash that will follow just sucks!

Think:

  • Ask yourself if this is real or perceived stress. Are you putting unnecessary stress on yourself? Does this NEED to be finished today? Does anyone really care about how tidy your couch cushions are?

Move:  

  • Get active in some way. If you’re stuck for some ideas try some adaptive exercise such as yoga, pilates, barre fitness. My favourite type of adrenal friendly exercise is vinyasa flow yoga. It works on stability and the core, with deep diaphragmatic breathing to promote a calming effect. Try one of my all time favourite youtube channels for some yoga at home with the lovely Adriene.

Sleep:

  • You can eat the best diet in the world but if you are short on sleep then your adrenals are suffering. For a couple of nights this week, turn off Netflix and get at least 8-10 hours of sleep. Your melatonin and cortisol levels will be balanced and you will feel amazing 🙂

Supplement:

Quality B complex – B vitamins are incredibly supportive to the body and your body blows through them in time of stress. Top them up with a high quality B complex.

Adaptogenic Herbs  – Ashwagandha and Rhodiola . These exotic sounding herbs promote a sense of wellbeing and are a real tonic to the adrenals and liver. In short, they help you cope with the demands of everyday living. Find out more info on these amazing herbs from the world renowned expert Dr Avira Romm

I truly hope the information can help you as much as it helped me. And if life is really kicking you around just repeat the following mantra:

breathe out bullshit

Have an awesome weekend.

Erin xx

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