By: Dr. Stephanie Trgachef ND
In Western societies, stress is normalized given all of our demands. Our bodies create adaptive, protective responses to deal with this. But what does this actually mean for our health long term? Stress impacts each of our bodily systems. It can exacerbate mental health issues, cardiovascular diseases, affect our sleep, increase weight, affect our digestion, increase inflammation and pain, worsen autoimmune diseases, affect skin issues and more.
1. IDENTIFY THE SOURCE OF STRESS
By knowing what is causing you stress, you can help guide treatment. Keeping a “stress journal” is a good way to track symptoms.
Lack of sleep can increase the production of our stress hormone, Cortisol. This can further increase our sensitivity to stress and exacerbate the feelings of stress that are already present.
Nutrient deficiencies, such as iron, B-vitamins, and vitamin D can attribute to low mood and how stress affects our bodies. There are also supplements that may increase our happy hormone, Serotonin, our relaxing hormone, GABA, and our reward hormone, Dopamine. Consult Dr. Trgachef ND to see if you may benefit from these supplements.
4. EAT HEALTHY
Certain nutrients (outlined above) contained in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables aid in hormone production, reducing our perceived stress.
5. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Breathing techniques such as “box breathing”, and journaling can help us de-stress in the moment by being present with our bodies. Meditation smart phone applications such as “calm” can also help lower our stress response.
Both aerobic and resistance exercise can help lower stress and anxiety by having positive effects on our autonomic nervous system.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture helps with stress and anxiety by moving Qi. In Western medicine, it is speculated to help by having an effect on our nervous system. Consult with Dr. Trgachef ND to determine if you can benefit from acupuncture.
8. BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
Book an appointment with Dr. Trgachef ND to help manage your stress and prevent further long-term health implications! BOOK ONLINE.