How does stress affect our bodies?
And how do we stop stress from having a negative impact on our bodies?
Our bodies are constantly exposed to a variety of stressful conditions, whether that is an external environment factor like a traumatic experience, pollution, chemicals etc, or internal stress like an unhealthy diet of excess sugar, highly processed foods, alcohol etc.
In order to keep our bodies in balance, our bodies produce a couple of stress hormones; adrenaline and cortisol that are released to regulate our stress response. The more stress our bodies are under, the more stress hormones are released into our bodies to assist with our response to stress.
In this fight-or-flight mode, our bodies will shut off any detrimental or nonessential functions until the perceived threat has passed. However, if stressors continue to stay present, the stress-response is activated for long periods of time. This can lead to a host of issues including;
- Digestive Issues
- Weight Gain
- Lack of Concentration
So how do we stop stress from affecting our bodies?
1. Clean up your diet.
You have complete control of the foods you put into your body, so make sure you are consuming more wholesome nutritious foods, fresh vegetables, lean meats and raw nuts and seeds. Steer clear of highly processed foods, highly refined sugars and toxic foods like alcohol. Caffeine also can have a long term negative affect on your adrenals, pumping adrenalin through your body and keeping it in fight or flight mode. Get my free guide for more on how to clean up your diet.
2. Remember to breathe.
When you do feel a surge of adrenalin kicking in, you can use this simple breathing technique to slow your heart rate down to bring your body back to its natural state.
Inhale through the nose for 4 counts.
Hold for 4 counts.
Exhale through the mouth for 4 counts.
Getting as much oxygen into your body as possible will assist with regulating your blood pressure and heart rate.
3. Practice meditation and mindfulness.
The simple practice of meditation and mindfulness can have amazing affects on the body. Simply becoming present in this current moment, stops the mind from wandering and stressing about past events and future worries. My favourite way to meditate is to use a guided meditation track
4. Rest and recharge.
Your body needs rest just as much as it needs to be active. Make sure you’re not overdoing it at the gym or with physical activity by giving your body loads of rest time. I suggest at least one full rest day a week – this means no working out! This will ensure your muscles have plenty of time to repair and recover. This will also help to prevent injury and muscle fatigue when you are being active.
Now, I’d love to hear from you!
Does stress affect your body? And what are your favourite ways to de-stress?
P.S. Want more? Get my step-by-step guide on how to clean up your diet and get leaner. CLICK HERE to download your FREE guide.