Are you under stress right now?
I’m not talking about “horror movie” stress or “car crash” stress. I’m talking about the kind of long-term stress that just eats away at you over the course of years, not days.
This is the kind of stress that can have serious consequences for your relationships, your job, and above all… your health.
How serious can stress be for your health? Well, there are lots of researchers examining just this question. Here is a small sample of what they have found so far:
- A study of 200,000 employees in Europe found that those with stressful jobs are 23% more likely to have a heart attack. (Kivim, 2012)
- Chronic stress has been shown to affect telomere length, a key indicator of premature aging. (Ahola, 2012)
- In a study of 5,000 adults, chronic stress was found to double the risk of asthma. (Vega, 2013)
These facts are pretty scary. The research shows that chronic stress can literally kill you. And stress has been linked to a host of other problems too, such as hair loss, digestive problems, insomnia, low sex drive, back pain, memory loss, and much more.
The Most Stressful Period Of My Life
I was living abroad, working hard to set up a new business, and taking care of my first child… all at the same time! It wasn’t a single day or a traumatic event that pushed me over the edge. Instead, it was long periods of hard work, pressure, and insufficient sleep. It was the kind of stress that you can cope with for a day or a week, but which can affect you seriously when it lasts for months or years.
I found myself having all kinds of health problems that I couldn’t explain. A weak immune system, low energy levels, a lack of enthusiasm, low thyroid function, food cravings, and insomnia. It took me years to figure it out. Finally, I met with an integrative doctor, started learning about Adrenal Fatigue, and began to realize that all these symptoms might be related.
I started treating my Adrenal Fatigue, and I’m truly thankful that I was able to recover my health and energy levels.
I learned so much about Adrenal Fatigue along the way. Many of the techniques and strategies that I used are included in the ebook that I cowrote with Dr. Eric Wood. It’s the most comprehensive guide to beating Adrenal Fatigue, and you can read more about it here.
Is It Possible To Eliminate Stress From Your Life?
Most of the stress that you experience likely comes from either your relationship, your job, or your finances. Or sometimes all three! These are not easy stressors to eliminate. It is rare that you can just get up and walk away from your relationship or your job, and financial worries tend to follow you around whatever you do.
Here’s some good news. Even though you might not be able to eliminate stress from your life, you can certainly give your body the best chance possible to cope with it. There’s only one problem…
The way that most people deal with stress is completely wrong. In fact, they often do the exact opposite of what they should.
Do you drink coffee when your body is telling you it needs a rest? Do you reach for junk food when what you really need is a nutritious meal? Do you respond to pressure by working harder, when you should really be taking a break?
These are just a few examples of how we tend to sabotage our own health when it comes to chronic stress. And as I mentioned above, that can have VERY serious consequences for your long term health.
Your Body Can Cope With Stress… It Just Needs A Little Help!
Your body is an amazingly resilient organism. It can cope with just about everything you throw at it. Sometimes, however, it needs a little assistance. There is no quick fix to help your body cope with stress, but there are lots of techniques that can help.
You can start by eating a highly nutritive diet, getting the right kind of exercise, taking supplements that support the adrenal glands and HPA axis, and using mind-body techniques like meditation and deep breathing.
These are complicated topics, and I have only scratched the surface in this post. For example, did you know that Adrenal Fatigue sufferers often experience an imbalance in a hormone named aldosterone? This hormone regulates your sodium/potassium balance, and a deficiency can mean that your sodium levels get too low, while your potassium levels get too high. That’s why you might want to add a little sea salt to your diet, and reduce your consumption of potassium-rich foods like banana.
This is just one of the many strategies and techniques that Dr Eric and I discuss in detail in The Adrenal Fatigue Solution. It contains lots more detailed, practical advice that you can quickly integrate into your life.
I’d also love to hear your experiences with stress, and how you have managed to cope with stress in the past!