Stress Part 1

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STRESS is the trash of modern life – we all generate it, but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up & overtake your life (Danzae Pace)

Stress is defined as anything that threatens the health of the body or has an adverse effect on it’s functioning, such as injury, disease, depression or worry.

Constant stress brings about hormonal changes within the body and also reduces the immune function. What is important is how we respond to it.

Where potential stress loads cannot be reduced, it is vital that we attempt to react differently, so that tension is released instead of bring internalised. Stress is cumulative, and we become less able to cope with it’s symptoms over time.

There are endless lists as to what causes stress, and these are relevant to different individuals – this could be due to a specific personality type – and this would then affect people in different ways. Emotions such as guilt, resentment, self- pity, self- loathing, anger, depression, anxiety & brooding over conflicts are all causes of cumulative stress unless they are harmlessly discharged.

There are 2 types of stress: EUSTRESS & DISTRESS.

Eustress is essential – as it is needed to ensure maximal growth & development – involving the embrace of both supportive & challenging events equally and simultaneously.

Distress – this involves perceiving challenging events without equally & simultaneously supporting the events. Distress can erode productivity and initiate chaos in any one or more areas of our lives.

Physical Effects of Stress

The body has a unique adaption system to cope with stress. The hypothalamus responds to stress by initiating the General Adaption Syndrome (GAS) via 2 pathways.

First the SYMPATHETIC nervous system affecting the internal organs triggering the adrenalin release.

The second is the response from the brain – hormones which stimulate a variety of hormones from the outer layer of the adrenal glands.

The first response is known as the fight, flight or freeze response – where the body gears up to physically prepare to fight back or flee. When it is not adequately dealt with and exercised it accumulates and leads to physical illness.

The follow physiological sequence occurs:

All muscles tense up, increasing the levels of lactic acid & anxiety levels rise.

Sugar is released for extra energy & the adrenal glands excrete more adrenalin, increasing the heart rate. Increased blood flow provides nutrients to the muscles and improves alertness. Blood supply to non-essential organs is reduces due to vaso-constriction – thus raising the blood pressure.

The spleen puts out more blood into the circulation, further increasing blood pressure. Respiration increases so to raise blood oxygen levels for the brain and muscles to be able to react. Pupils dilate to facilitate “sharper” improved vision & the pores on the skin dilate to initiate the body’s cooling effect. During this “alarm” state digestion is reduced, salivary glands halt thus giving the dry mouth effect. The kidneys slow down urine production due to blood flow restriction & the immune system activity is reduced. Where there is an adequate response – then all returns to normal.

However if stress is not released, the body enters a “resistance stage” where many of the alarm responses become chronic. The hypothalamus attempts to regulate however this becomes a hormonal regulator from the pituitary & adrenal glands rather than via the CNS. Hormones remained altered and the adrenal glands conserve sodium in order to maintain a normal blood pressure. Blood sugar disturbances are also evident in erratic attempts to meet the required demands in emotional crisis. Patients present with periodic sugar cravings, irritability, headaches and sometime the shakes.

Other symptoms in the resistance stage are:

  • Chronic Fatigue, disturbed sleep patterns
  • Eating disorders – loss of appetite / over indulgence
  • Nervous disorders – Nail biting, inability to sit still, headaches, palpitations
  • Emotional disturbances – anger / easy to cry, anxiety, low self-esteem
  • Inability to plan forward or coping with work load
  • Unexplained pains – abdomen , chest
  • Allergies – auto immune disease may develop
  • Low sex drive, periodic hot flushes & irritation at being touched

 

As the adrenal glands weaken further, they get tiered of trying to conserve sodium, then the potassium levels increase causing fluid retention, weakness & cramps. Sometime dizziness and low blood pressure are evident, emotional & nervous system disturbances worsen along with increased fatigue and sleep disorders. By this stage serious efforts to combat stress become essential. The resistance stage allows the body to continue fighting after the effects of the alarm stage have worn off. This stage is reversible if attention is paid to diet, exercise & stress relief techniques. Some patients stay in this stage for as long as 10 years, however if drugs are used to suppress stress, the onset of the exhaustion stage will be more intense & rapid.

The Exhaustion phase is critical – where the body just gives up and can no longer cope with stress & the adrenal glands are worn out. Unless this stage is rapidly reversed, the prognosis is serious – leading to potential stroke, heart attack, ulcers, cancer and / or diabetes.

Types of Stress

  • Mental – Responsibilities, financial / career, long working hours, perfectionism.
  • Emotional – self attitude, imbalance in relationships, anger, fear, sadness, betrayal, bereavement.
  • Psycho-spiritual – life’s goals, spiritual alignment, imbalance / lack in spiritual nurturing
  • Physical – Exercise, pregnancy, adolescence, menopause, aging
  • Traumatic – Injury, surgery, infection
  • Biochemical – Deficiencies of essential vitamins & minerals, amino acids, addictions, genetic disorders
  • Toxic – Environmental pollutants, chemicals, addictions & Psychological draining environments.

The first step to coping with stress is to recognise there is a problem & what are the particular stress triggers. It is vital at this stage to get the patient to quietly assess their own situation and identify note the source / trigger.

Then they will need to answer 3 critical questions:

  • Is this short / long term?
  • Can I control this issue or do I need to focus on controlling the reaction to it?
  • Can I set limits for myself / others that may help resolve this issue?

Ultimately the patient has to recognise the issue, attempt to find an immediate answer as to what & then take the responsibility to alter it to ensure a healthy positive outcome.

When relating stress to the work place – it could be due to a number of issues – lack of support structures, work overload, inability to cope with demands and unrealistic deadlines, and these trigger the stress response in the body physically while at the same time depleting the mental ability to cope. It becomes a vicious cycle where inevitably it begins to spill over and impact on the persons home and personal life – this is where the balance becomes critical for coping. In todays’ fast paced lifestyle, it appears to be the norm to have high stress levels, but learning to recognise & cope are not given the credit that it should.

A holistic approach is required to regain the homeostasis required for optimal physical & mental functioning.

 

 

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Balanced Healing

Balanced Healing offers an integrated holistic approach to health & wellness in the workplace & for the individual
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HORMONE BALANCING WITH THE GUT BIOME

Watch video below regarding Thermascan vs Mammography.

https://youtu.be/h0hZMZBfSis

We continue to discuss the importance of the gut biome. The microbiome (GUT health) synthesizes nutrients and assists with digestion. It releases chemicals that regulate mood and metabolism and immune function, and if all that wasn’t enough, it also helps to control the level of estrogen.

HOW THE MICROBIOME AFFECTS ESTROGEN

Estrogen is made primarily by your ovaries. It then circulates through your body to your uterus and breasts and other organs, until it reaches your liver where it’s inactivated. Inactivated estrogen is then sent to the intestine where it is supposed to stay inactivated so it can exit the body through the stool. That is normal, healthy estrogen metabolism.
When certain intestinal bacteria are present, something very different happens. Unfriendly bacteria make an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which re-activates estrogen in your gut. That’s a problem because re-activated estrogen then re-enters your body and causes excess estrogen. That is impaired estrogen metabolism.

THE PROBLEM WITH EXCESS ESTROGEN
Too much estrogen can make periods heavier. It also contributes to the long-term risk of conditions such as uterine fibroids and breast cancer.

HOW TO IMPROVE ESTROGEN METABOLISM THROUGH THE GUT

Fortunately, there are ways to improve the health of the microbiome and to, therefore, promote the healthy metabolism of estrogen.
+ALKALISING your diet and ultimately the body you reduce the risk of inflammation, which combined with high estrogens can lead to cancerous cell formation. Wild-caught fish and non-starchy vegetables like spinach and green beans to normalize inflammation levels & heal your gut.
+EAT MORE VEGETABLES. Fibre promotes a healthy microbiome and decreases the activity of the microbial enzyme beta-glucuronidase. Dietary fibre provides the “fuel” your colon cells require to optimally function & aid in fermentation & digestion. Smart fibre options include leafy and cruciferous vegetables, berries, and raw nuts and seeds.
+ANTIOXIDANT SUPPORTING FOODS – reducing free radicals produced by oxidative stress, can reduce the risks on numerous diseases and assist in “hormone” balancing and vascular health.
+REDUCE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION. Chronic alcohol consumption alters the microbiome leading to higher activity of beta-glucuronidase and higher levels of estrogen metabolites, as well as increasing levels of acidity.
+TAKE A PROBIOTIC. In one study, oral supplementation of Lactobacillus acidophilus decreased the activity of beta-glucuronidase. A good quality multi-strain probiotic will assist in replenishing and balancing the gut biome. This can also be taken in the form of “fermented foods” – sauerkraut, Kvass, Kefir, naturally organic yoghurts, etc
+NATURAL HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS – WILD YAM, has been shown to be beneficial in assisting the balancing of estrogen naturally.

READ MORE @ https://zurl.co/DQiZ

BALANCED HEALING can assist you to balance your gut biome
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INFANT MICROBIOME AND BREASTFEEDING

August the 1st-7th is World Breastfeeding week….. So with this in mind, I would like to create some “food” for thought around building the immunity and suitable Microbiome in the mother and baby to ensure that the effectiveness of the breast milk is optimal. This will support the nutrition and building the immunity of the child, setting a base footprint for future health…..and their children’s health.

In the words of Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Associate Professor, New York University.

"When a baby is born, the immune system of the baby is completely naive. It has to learn to tolerate the good bacteria and to attack the enemies. And to do that, the right bacteria have to arrive first because the message will be: ‘tolerate me’. This maternal bacteria that are related to milk and that milk promotes are the good guys which will be tolerated by the immune system. And later, other bacteria will arrive at the right time and the immune system starts getting trained, educated we say, in how to differentiate the friend from the enemy, the self from the non-self.
This is extremely important and if you upset this process, which is so crucial in the early-life, then we may have consequences later".

BREASTMILK provides perfect nutrition, plus immune components, antibodies, and additional microbes. Breast milk provides human milk oligosaccharides, special sugars that are indigestible to the baby but can be digested by the newly seeded microbes in the baby’s gut. These special sugars feed the bacteria received from the mother during the birthing process and enable the “right” kind of microbes to thrive and colonize thus crowding out the harmful pathogens and optimally helping to train the immune system.
Recent research suggests that breastfeeding might result in “Epigenetic” changes that confer with the benefits of lifelong health, including optimal brain development, and development of the infant’s immune and metabolic systems.

EPIGENETICS
It’s not just genes that make us. In its modern sense, epigenetics is the term used to describe inheritance by mechanisms other than through the DNA sequence of genes. … It works through chemical tags added to chromosomes that in effect switch genes on or off. Epigenetics is termed as meaning “above the genes” and differs from genetics in that is something that can switch the gene expression on or off…
So how do we ensure the right “biome” is seeded in the infant.
Whilst the infant is developing in the womb, it may receive some exposure to microbes via the placenta, amniotic fluid, and the mother’s womb. This “reservoir” of microbes will be passed on to the baby during vaginal birth and breastfeeding, so it is important that the mother pays special attention to eating a well-balanced diet during pregnancy. (plenty of fresh vegetable & fruits, high-fiber, and fermented foods & reduce process foods)

READ MORE@ https://zurl.co/M1PI

BALANCED HEALING will able to assess the pregnant mother’s nutritional needs through screening and consultation and then develop and implement dietary care plans and provide nutritional counseling & support.
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TIPS TO CREATE MINDFULNESS & MANAGE STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE - FINAL

As July and Corporate Wellness month comes to an end, here are the last ways to "create mindfulness" and "manage stress in the workplace".

PUT YOURSELF IN ANOTHER'S SHOES?

You are probably familiar with the saying, “to stand in someone else’s shoes,” when a situation arises. Empathy plays a role in allowing us to understand the minds of others and to resonate emotionally with those states. Practicing mindfulness in the workplace enables us to feel empathy for others. We don’t all think or feel the same way, others may be going through some personal problems, serious health issues and just need support, thinking before we speak or react can make a big difference in others and your life. Be supportive of new ideas and encourage creativity.

MOODS ARE CONTAGIOUS

Keeping your moods in check – your good feelings can rub off on those around you. Spend a few minutes remembering and visualizing a time when you were really enjoying yourself. It could be because of something you were doing, someplace you were visiting or someone you were with. Savor the memory. Try to keep that feeling at the top of your mind as often as possible throughout your day.

FINDING MEANING & PURPOSE IN WHAT WE DO

Lastly, remind yourself and others why your jobs are important. The thing about their purpose and how they add value to your organization, and to your customer/clients/students/patients. Sometimes your “customer” is not the end-user of your organization’s services or products but could be an internal person who relies on what you do so that they can get their job done.

"Remember, it is not uncommon for mindfulness to take a turn when things are hectic. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed remember these best practices to help clear your mind".

In terms of managing stress in the workplace:
+ Start a Hobby
+Do Something Different
+Slow Down
+Laugh - Use Humour
+Learn To Relax

Read more @ https://zurl.co/Lz6G

CONTACT BALANCED HEALING to advise patients and clients on nutritional principles, diet modifications, food selection and preparation, which lays the foundation for optimal health.
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TIPS TO CREATE MINDFULNESS AND MANAGE STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE - PART 4

How else can you create mindfulness and manage stress in the workplace during Corporate Wellness Week and for the rest of the month?

ENCOURAGE FUN
Add some light fun by picking a day for a dress-up or desk-decorating theme – ex. hat day, wild sock day, or decorating with flowers, pictures of tropical places, etc.

SHARE YOUR GRATITUDE
Write down five things you are grateful for at work – then share at least one with a coworker.

ENGAGE IN RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
Do something kind for someone else (especially someone who wouldn’t expect it). Offer to help them with something, give them a snack or treat, or simply ask them how their evening or weekend was or about something going on in their life.

Along with creating Mindfulness here are more tips on MANAGING STRESS in the Workplace:

LEARN TO SAY "NO"

Learn to pick and choose which things you will say “yes” to and which things you will not.

+Protect yourself by not allowing yourself to take on every request or opportunity that comes your way.
+It is okay to decline a request for a favor. Saying “no” does not mean you are bad, self-centered, or uncaring.
+Learn skills of assertiveness so that you can feel more confident and have effective ways of saying “no.”

GET REGULAR EXERCISE

Exercising regularly can help relieve some symptoms of depression and stress, and help us to maintain our health. Exercise can build confidence, self-esteem, and self-image. It is also a great way to take time for yourself, blow off steam, and release physical tension

Read More @: https://zurl.co/5Men

"BALANCED HEALING will assess your nutritional needs through screening and consultation and then able to develop and implement dietary care plans and provide nutritional counseling & support which will aid managing your stress".
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TIPS TO CREATE MINDFULNESS & MANAGE STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE - PART 3

Here are three more tips on how to create mindfulness during Corporate Wellness Week.

ENCOURAGE POSITIVE THINKING

Anonymously post a positive quote or picture by the copier, coffee machine or somewhere else that receives high foot traffic so that others can see.

CHANGE THE WAY YOU RESPOND

When someone disagrees with you about something at work, think “how interesting” instead of immediately getting defensive.

GET MOVING

If you have a meeting with only one or two other people, make it a walking meeting; get "outside and get your blood pumping".

In keeping with the above tips here are more points to help you manage stress in the workplace:

TAKE BREAKS GIVE YOURSELF "ME TIME"

” Learn that taking time to yourself for rejuvenation and relaxation is just as important as giving time to other activities".
At a minimum, take short breaks during your busy day.
You might purposely schedule time in your day planner just for yourself so that you can recharge for all the other things you need to do.
Learn your “red flags” for stress, and be willing to take time to do something about it.

TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF

Eat properly, get regular rest, keep a routine. Allow yourself to do something you enjoy each day.
Paradoxically, the time we need to take care of ourselves the most when we are stressed is the time we do it the least.
When we feel overwhelmed we tend to eat poorly, sleepless, stop exercising, and generally push ourselves harder.
This can tax the immune system and cause us to become ill more easily. If we take good care of ourselves, to begin with, we will be better prepared to manage stress and accomplish our tasks in the long run.

Read More@ https://zurl.co/YcJ8

BALANCED HEALING can assist with managing your stress by assessing your nutritional needs through screening and consultation and then able to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling & support.
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