Let’s talk about the impact of stress on your body, starting off with your memory.
If you think that your memory is not what it used to be, it could be because of the high cortisol levels that are released when we experience stress.
When we are under stress, cortisol and adrenaline are released by our body to help us cope with the attack.
In our modern-day lives, we don't have the physical attacks so much anymore. (the only tiger I have is the one that hangs out on my son's bed)
Today it is more about the emotional and mental strain of modern-day living.
When you are exposed to stress you could find yourself forgetting where you put your keys or what's on the shopping list. My best is forgetting the shopping list and then trying to remember what's on it when I do the shopping - FAIL
You may find that you begin to suffer from headaches and this again is because of the cortisol and adrenaline that is rushing through your bloodstream.
Next up, when we are regularly stressed then our heart is put under pressure.
With regular exposure to stress, our risk of stroke increases. And studies have found that stress increases our bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Have you noticed that your skin can sometimes go completely haywire when you’re under stress? and you get severe breakout?
This again is the cortisol and adrenaline rushing around your body.
So what can you do about managing your stress?
There's a saying that goes he who half breathes, half lives.
Here is a technique called block breathing.
It doesn’t matter what you do whether you choose to play in the garden with your children, go to the beach or play in the park.
For me, I love to choose 3 songs and just dance in the kitchen.
These are my favourites -
Moving helps to reduce the cortisone and adrenaline levels in your bloodstream.
Do Something For Yourself
And another way is to take a few moments each day to do something for yourself.
It could be as simple as enjoying a cup of tea in complete silence or having an Epsom Bath (or if you have water restrictions - a foot bath).
What do you do to manage your stress?
Come over and join me and others in my Facebook Group - Being Healthy Made Simple.
There are lots of resources and a community of women who all want to get and be healthy in the simplest way possible.
I can't wait to meet you!
4 Tips for a Healthy Body
Did you know that your metabolism slows down when you sleep?
So to power it up again there are a couple of things that you could do when you wake in the morning.
First off begin your day with a large glass of water.
Overnight you become dehydrated so it makes sense that your body will need to be rehydrated.
Choosing a large glass of water before you have your kick-start cup of coffee is going to help your kidneys be efficient in their functioning as well as your liver.
Both these organs are important in removing and processing waste and toxins that your body creates.
When you don't drink enough water then your body is clever enough to recycle what it does have available and that leads to water retention.
(2) Eating regularly can help to keep your metabolism running at a higher rate.
Read more about your metabolism here
(3) Start off your day with a combination of protein fat and fibre.
This will leave you feeling full, satisfied and with stable energy as the proteins, fats and fibres take longer to digest and so your blood sugars are on a more even keel.
(4) When it comes to getting your body moving, a combination of cardio and weight-bearing exercise is going to give you the best bang for your buck.
Aerobic exercise uses more calories in action but for an after-burn effect that can last up to 16 hours, you need to introduce weight-bearing exercises.
This does not mean that you need to go to the gym and pump iron. You can activate the major muscle groups simply by doing a variety of exercises at home, so you don't have to get dressed all fancy!
For example, doing these 4 exercises - squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups will have an impact
These four exercises activate the major muscle groups in your body.
And can be done in very little time.
You can literally do 20 reps of each exercise twice over and that will leave you with the after-burn effect.
Come and join me in my Facebook group - Being Healthy Made Simple and get your copy of the Fat-Burning Report.
It was 5:15 a.m. one morning that I got a message from my maid.
She was man down with a tummy bug and would not be coming to work.
We rely so much on our maids, don't we?
They really are an important part of our families.
So she wasn't coming to work. It's school holidays. I'm thinking, "Oh crap! Not just one child but now two to sort out."
Anyway, snacks got packed. Toys and entertainment packed. Blankie for naptime packed.
And we all went to work.
But in between receiving the message and getting to work I got so stressed out. My whole plan and morning-time routine was now out of whack .
And along came my 6 year old who said , “Mom. It's Ok to be stressed. It's ok but you need to calm down and breathe. Breathe, Mom.”
Don't you just love that what you say to them comes right back at you at the most appropriate time?
I breathed and reached for Relicalm.
It's like a large cup of tea - it has the same ingredient as tea l-theanine - which helps to calm you. Now you know why that cup of tea works so well! Relicalm also promises 5 hours of calm . Just what I needed!
And that is the kind of stress that we all dealing with - not the fight or flight - that is part of our evolution.
There was no fight for me and no physical escape route that I needed to take.
It was all mental but our bodies release chemicals for the physical fight or flight. Snce we're not in a situation that requires physicality those stress chemicals start to cause havoc on our body’s systems.
Let's take a look at the impact of stress on our body -
Memory - Long term exposure to cortisol is linked to shrinkage of the memory part of your brain. A Finnish study found that patients with persistently high cortisol levels were 3x as likely to develop Alzheimer's.
Head - Studies have shown that an increase in the stress hormone adrenaline can cause migraines. People who have tension headaches tend to translate their stress to muscle contractions.
Heart - reggular feelings of being highly stressed can lead to an increased risk of a fatal stroke. High cortisol levels are more likely to have high levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol. Long term stress is a factor leading to raised blood pressure.
Skin - skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis can worsen when you are stressed.
Digestion - emotions and the gut are closely linked. Think of butterflies in your tummy. But also runny tummy, a sore tummy, indigestion and heartburn .
Immune system - Ongoing stress can deplete the body's resources to fight infection . Studies have shown that those under long-term stress have lower white blood cells - the guys that fight the bacteria and viruses that cause illness.
I know that when I was diagnosed with pneumonia in August ‘17 it was a result of long-term stress. My immune system was at rock bottom .
Mood - stress can leave you unable to concentrate, inefficient and accident prone. The ongoing release of cortisol and adrenaline - the stress hormones - disrupt levels of the feel good chemical - serotonin . This may lead to depression.
So what's a girl to do? -
1) Breathe! Really.
When you're under stress your breathing is rapid and shallow. Breathe through your nose for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6.
Do this 5 times .
He who half breathes, half-lives.
2) Get Moving
Chase your children in the garden, what about a game of touch rugby? Turn up the radio and dance! Go for a walk around your complex or on the road .
3) Create a list of activities and people who bring you Joy
Make time to do something that makes your heart sing .
I love crocheting and I am making a blanket for our king size bed!
P.S. Stress suppresses your body's production of testosterone which helps control abdominal fat.
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P.S.S - You can't be a great mum, wife, employee and friend if your stressed out and struggling with your health....