Sometimes I wake up in the mornings, exhausted and wishing I do not have to get up from my bed. I start the day on the edge praying and hoping I don’t take the stress out on someone.
I am stressed, you are stressed, a child is stressed, and an adult is stressed. Different demands precipitate stress in different people. What is stressing me may seem like ‘one of those things’ for you and vice versa. Same demand may stress us both. While your recover quickly, it becomes chronic for me.
I can’t stand waiting. It stresses me. Workaholism has become chronic for me… Hey, I am not the only guilty one here. A good number of people such as scientists live and breathe their work. While some of us may have good tolerance for stress, others may not.
Stress is the body’s mechanism of responding to any demand or threat. When the body is experiencing stress, it thinks it is being attacked and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode which leads to release of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine. There are situations such release of hormones and chemicals may be good creating such effects as increased heart rate, heightened muscle preparedness and sweating. Release of hormones and chemicals are good in eminent dangers, and moderate stress can be a positive and motivating force for one to pass that exam, get that job or promotion. Good acute stress can propel you to be focused, energetic and alert in emergency situations. Stress can save your life by giving you the extra strength to jump a fence in an eminent danger, slam the brake or swerve the car to prevent an accident. Such stress is temporary. However when stress becomes chronic, it may cause some damage to your health, attitude, productivity, social life and quality of life.
Chronic stress sets in due to demands related to finance, work and relationships and certain life events and experiences such as heavy traffic, moving house, marriage, pollution, limited resources, uncertainties, security issues, work overload and unexpected outcomes. There are the physical and emotional reactions to stress which invariably affect health. Chronic stress can lead to stress-related diseases such as hypertension, auto-immune diseases, digestive disorders and depression . Different people can respond differently to the same situation or stressor. One key effect of stress is that the immune system slows down and the body is not able to fight off diseases.
Ways to manage stress include exercise, quality social life, healthy eating, relaxing, having enough sleep and use of adaptogens.
Adaptogens are healing plants; able to balance, rejuvenate and protect the body thereby normalizing the physiological functions in times of increased stress. Consumption of adaptogens helps one respond to stress. There are several ways adaptogens exert their stress protective effect but they all boil down to maintaining balance within the body. The level of cortisol, the hormone which puts the body in constant stress is normalized by adaptogens. They enhance concentration, performance and endurance during fatigue . Adaptogens can enhance the performance of medicines such as antibiotics, anti-diabetics and anti-depressants . They can also eliminate or minimize the side effects of some medicines.
Use of adaptogens are advisable to protect against the impact of chronic stress. If you are like me who tend to be lost in the day’s activities and usually forget to take her pills but don’t forget to consume her daily tea or coffee, then you would like your adaptogen in a cup blended with your tea, coffee or chocolate. The stress protector helps to protect the body against physical, immunological and mental stresses. I shall tell you more about this stress protector in the next article. Meanwhile click here to get your stress protector, a blend with your choice of beverage.
Oh by the way, I keep workaholism at tolerance level through exercise and healthy beverages. And do you know that coffee drinkers live longer? More on that soon.
Do comment below and let me know how you manage stress.
- Provino, R. (2010). The role of adaptogens in stress management. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, 22(2), 41.
- Panossian, A., Wikman, G., Kaur, P., & Asea, A. (2009). Adaptogens exert a stress-protective effect by modulation of expression of molecular chaperones. Phytomedicine, 16(6), 617-622.
- Winston, D., & Maimes, S. (2007). Adaptogens: herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co.