As defined by The Center for Addiction and Mental Health, stress is a normal response to situational pressures or demands, and it’s part of everyday life. A bit of stress can go a long way in helping you submit your big paper, however, chronic stress (when stress is prolonged and overwhelming) can lead to many health problems such as: anxiety, depression, weakened immune system, digestion problems, hormonal health problems, and sleep problems.
HELLO, ADRENAL GLANDS…is it you? Your adrenal glands are these tiny but mighty organs that sit on top of your kidneys that produce some of your hormones. Some of these are your sex hormones and your stress hormones (such as: cortisol). If too much “stress hormones” (cortisol) is produced throughout the day, then your melatonin production is affected. That’s why the more stressed out we are, often times, the harder it is for us to fall asleep.
Is your mind or body telling you that you’re actually too stressed?
Some of the mental or physical symptoms of being chronically stressed may include:
-Difficulty concentrating/ thinking
-Negativity or lack of self-confidence
-Difficulty making decisions
-Unable to relax or a constant feeling of agitation
-Stomach problems; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
-Loss of sex drive
-Fatigue, Rapid heart rate
-Changes in sleep patterns
Dr. Maisam’s 5 Go-To’s for helping you cope with stress naturally:
1- Lifestyle changes
Prioritizing sleep, making sure the room you sleep in is as dark as it can get and sleeping on a regular schedule is key. A bit of self- care during the more stressful times can go a long way. What can you do today that will bring you some joy? Most of the time, it’s very simple things like: getting a haircut, or taking a nice warm bath.
2- Meditation or prayer and gratitude journaling
There are so many health benefits to meditation: regulates mood, decreases blood pressure and heart rate, regulates blood sugar levels, increases concentration and energy, increases immune function. Start your gratitude journaling by choosing your top 3 things each night that you are grateful for during the day. It takes about 3 weeks to build a habit and during that time you are training for your brain to pick up more positive things during your day.
3- Balanced exercise
Which means not overworking your body and trying to workout excessively. Often times it can be, taking a walk in the evening for about 30 mins with someone whose company you enjoy. Exercise helps metabolize excess cortisol and releases endorphins which helps to improve mood and energy.
4- Herbal and vitamin support
Some of the commonly used vitamins/ herbs and herbs to help support the adrenal glands are:
This is a great area for you to seek help from a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, because they have the training to put you on the right dose of the herbal and vitamin support. They also work to make sure potent herbs are not interacting with other medications or other supplements that you’re on.
You are what you eat and what you absorb. Eating small and frequent meals that are protein and rich in healthy fats (such as saturated fats) is really important for regulating blood sugar levels and healthy hormonal production. Some of these foods include: organic chicken, olive oil, avocados. Just as important is avoiding foods that have too much caffeine or refined sugars in them. It can take a few months for the adrenal glands to recover, so practice self-kindness during the process and use the time to build that resiliency and your self-awareness for your personal or work related boundaries.
Alright guys, here’s your quick 5 step summary to manage your stress naturally:
- Lifestyle changes, prioritizing sleep and self- care.
- Meditation/ prayer and gratitude journaling daily.
- Balanced exercise.
- Herbal and vitamin support.
- Diet, staying hydrated and focusing on eating nutritious wholesome food.
If you’d like to learn more about natural ways to cope with your stress, feel free to get in touch with me at: [email protected] or on instagram: drmaisan_nd.
Disclaimer: Please consult with your health care providers before making changes to your health care regimen!