Do you race through your day desperately trying to get to the finish line to only end up completely exhausted, wired and tired?
Do you have stubborn weight that you just cannot shift despite your great diet and exercising?
Do you get thrown “off course” and feel like you personally take a hit when a stressful situation in your life arises or someone is difficult to you?
If the answer is yes to the above, then you are probably feeling a bit stressed. But don’t worry beautiful, you are definitely not alone. As a busy mum it is inevitable to encounter stress on a daily basis and most of the time it cannot be avoided.
However, there are things you can do to assist your body during these times of high stress so you can become a happier, healthier version of yourself!
So how does stress impact your health?
There is one key body system that is prevalent in how stressed out, wired and tired you can get and that is your Automatic Nervous System (ANS). Your ANS consists of your Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). Your SNS is your “fight or flight” response, while your PNS is your “rest, digest and repair” response.
Stress can be physical, mental or emotional, and the system that is affected the most by any type of stress is your Sympathetic Nervous System (fight or flight response). When you perceive stress or are physically stressed, your sympathetic nervous system raises your heart rate, increases your respiratory rate, releases cortisol (long term stress-coping hormone), adrenalin (store term stress coping hormone) and directs blood away from your digestive tract so your body is ultimately unable to digest, rest or repair itself.
When adrenalin is pumping through your system as a result of your body perceiving danger, sugar is dumped into your blood for your body to use to get you out of the situation (such as preparing you to run or flee) and insulin (primary fat storage hormone) is then released into your blood stream to deal with the blood sugar spike.
Although, in today’s world, the danger is perceived and you are often sitting at your desk or on the couch!
Therefore, this excess insulin pumping through your blood stores as fat and when your blood sugar spikes, it has to come down. That massive drop can leave you feeling completely exhausted which can have you searching for more sugar or caffeine to pick you up again! It is a vicious cycle and long term, this vicious cycle can lead to many health problems such as; a slow metabolism, fat storage in your cells, blood glucose problems (diabetes), chronic low-level inflammation and not to mention long term fatigue and much more.
Diet (caffeine, sugar, white processed carbs and alcohol) plays a huge role in the activation of your sympathetic nervous system, but your emotional patterns, your choices and attitude also contribute on the highest level.
Here are a few suggestions to try, so you can start slowing down, relax into your day and ultimately – stress less:
- Eliminate or cut down on your caffeine, sugar, alcohol and white processed carbohydrates. This can give you a sense of “false, short-term energy” while depleting your natural energy levels and causing stress to your body.
- Ditch seeking approval and acceptance from others and learn to love and accept yourself! This starts with putting yourself first, unapologetically! If you are not healthy or happy, it is very hard to give your full energy to others in your life. Learn to say “NO” and stop people pleasing!
- Take breaks during your day to sit in stillness. Sitting in stillness and being alone with your thoughts, gives you space to process situations and release the chaos. A great way to do this is by through meditation or some deep belly breathing. (Exercise: Sit with your eyes closed in a comfortable position, place your hand on your belly and slowly breathe in through your nose expanding your belly to the count of 3. Then breathe out through your nose to the count of 4 deflating your belly.)
- Get a good night’s sleep. Most importantly get to bed early, before 10pm.
- Keep a gratitude journal. This can remind you of all the good things you have in your life.
- Change your thoughts and you will change your life! We all have choices we can make. Stress is perception, and it is up to us to determine how we perceive a situation. Take a minute to think of what is really important to you in life and it can help you gain some perception on the situation. You might even need to release your attachment to outcomes and just enjoy the journey and process of life.
Do you feel that stress is impacting on your health? Please share in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com