What is Stress?It could be how you are feeling right now! Stress is a normal physical and psychological response to the increasing demands of our fast modern lifestyles.
What causes stress?Some people deal better with stress than others. Some deal well with stress for years, before noticing their health or behaviour is changing. We actually need stress to help motivate and sharpen focus in times when we need to respond to a difficult or challenging situation. Stress can be caused as a result of one or many events such as:
- Personal issues – health, work, time management, no time to relax
- Family issues – kid’s health, parent’s health, kid’s homework, sporting commitments
- Financial difficulties or unemployment
- Workplace or school issues
- Marital or relationship issues
- Death of a loved one
- Big changes such as changing jobs, moving house
- A combination of lots of big or little things
- Poor dietary choices
- Bullying or peer pressure
- Family history of mental health
- Substance abuse
- Personality type
What are the symptoms of being stressed?Typically when people are stressed, they are often unable to identify what is causing them to feel this way. As it builds up, stress adversely affects physical and/or emotional health. Symptoms often first appear as:
- Insomnia and poor sleeping patterns
- Poor memory
- Poor concentration
- Lack of energy and fatigue
- Immune suppression and poor health
- Increased PMS symptoms
- Inability to deal with menopause
How does your body cope?When your body is exposed to long term stress, it releases the hormone Cortisol in an attempt to stay active and alert so that it can deal with the stress at hand. When the stress is gone things should return to normal. Unfortunately, the non-stop stress of our lifestyles means that your body does not get a chance to shut off, using up large amounts of nutrients and energy. Eventually this causes burn out. When stress becomes chronic it can affect each and every system in your body. This can lead to serious health consequences. That’s why stress management is so important!
How can I manage my stress?No matter what has caused your stress, there are various ways to help manage it. These will depend on how long you have been stressed, how severe it is and how it has affected you both emotionally and physically.
Stress management helps to reset your alarm systemHow can a Naturopath help?
- Help in identifying the causes and addressing the symptoms
- Advise on the most effective nutrients to support you during periods of stress and recovery
- Support healthy mood, memory and brain function
- Provide guidelines to improve diet and lifestyle
- Recommend individual management techniques