Stress takes a toll on your mental and physical health. More importantly, today’s stresses can affect tomorrow’s health.
The survival impulse of fight or flight is powerful. It had to be in order to protect our ancestors from being eaten by larger carnivores during our evolution. Our hormones had to mobilize our bodies to protect us.
The same impulses are triggered by modern-day stressors. A break-up, difficulty at the office or a troublesome home situation can cause the body to react as if it’s facing a sabertooth tiger. The hormones are kicked into gear, exhausting the systems that create them. They can’t keep up with the demands to handle the stress.
Some body systems aren’t required for surviving an immediate threat (reproductive, digestive, immune). The energy is rerouted to handle the threat. This contributes to the widespread reports of distress to these systems.
You have to learn to change your response to stress and reduce your stressors.
Food is often used for comfort. Stressed people don’t always reach for the healthiest snacks. Pleasure foods are typically filled with sugar and fats. These foods can trigger a stress response in the body. What makes you reach for comfort foods? Recognizing the negative emotions you feel can address the urge to eat inflammatory foods. Let yourself breathe and feel the feelings until they pass.
Probiotics and fermented foods aid gut health. Diminished gut bacteria population can affect one’s mental health and ability to handle stress.
Spending time in nature can help you heal. Hanging out among the trees may reduce your stress. It removes you from the demands of modern technology.
Listen as Dr. Daved Rosensweet joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to reduce your stress and improve your health.