If you’ve been feeling unusually tired for a prolonged period of time it’s really worth taking a look at your stress levels.
Stress, or more accurately your stress response is a major energy zapper and can be a cause of feelings of exhaustion.
Dealing with the cascade of actions and reactions triggered by your stress response uses up a vast amount of vital nutrients, and energy, and it affects how almost every aspect of your body functions.
Your stress response is vital
Sometimes referred to as the fight or flight response, this response is essentially one of your body’s self-defence mechanisms.
Stress triggers a series of physiological changes that evolved way, way back to help human beings respond to a threat or a perceived threat.
Back in those days a threat was likely to be pretty major, a life or death situation, like coming across a wild animal that wants you to be its next tasty meal.
In this situation your stress response is designed to get your body ready to fight for your life (fight), run for your life (flight), or make like a statue (freeze).
Just what you need when there’s a large, angry or hungry animal in front of you.
What is the stress response?
As you can see from the example of the wild animal, when it’s triggered appropriately the stress response is a vital, intelligent action of your body. The trouble is, it isn’t intended to be a permanent state of being.
These days there are almost endless causes of stress, some of which you may find surprising, but the thing they all have in common is the negative effect they can have on your body.
No matter what triggers your stress response, the physiological response in your body is the same and includes:
- changes to your breathing,
- changes to blood pressure,
- changes in hormone production,
- slowing down of the digestive system.
These are just a few of the changes that will happen in your body, but you get the idea, this stuff is serious. Stress affects everything!
Once the stress has passed your body should to return to normal and the effects of the stress response are reversed, no harm done.
BUT how many of us bounce from one stressful situation to another? Or live with a constant underlying stress that feels impossible to get away from?
How you can turn the stress response off
Switching off the stress response is oh so simple but definitely not easy! What a contradiction!
But you see it really is simple, all you have to is relax. When you relax, properly relax, this activates your para-sympathetic nervous system and switches off the stress response.
Erm no, not really!
Have you ever tried to meditate only to end up getting frustrated and stressed with yourself because all of those pesky thoughts won’t stop popping into your head, undoing any of the good intentions for relaxation?
Not so easy afterall.
One way to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and switch off your stress response that you might find easy is to breathe deeply.
Take a deep breath in so that you fill your lungs and feel your abdomen rising then slowly, gently exhale.
Repeat this several times over a few minutes and then check in with yourself to see how you feel.
If stress is a problem for you
Stress is a huge topic and a huge factor in many health conditions, not only tiredness and exhaustion.
I cover stress and more importantly how to reduce its effects in the Relaxation Module of Foundations Of Vibrant Health Online. My brand new, 10 module, self-paced, online masterclass which goes live on Friday 9th October.
If you think you’ve tried every healthy eating plan and nothing has worked for you it might be time to look at other solutions.
Join the masterclass to discover which of the Foundations of Vibrant Health you need to work on.