Hidden Stress and Your Hormones

Hidden stress can be wreaking havoc on your hormones:

Most people associate stress with negative external factors beyond our control, the loss of a job for example.  What most people are not aware of is the hidden stress that if untreated has the ability to slowly cause damage to our body by disrupting hormone function.  Hormones are the body’s main communication system and help to regulate our emotional, mental, and physical heath. 

Here are 10 symptoms of stress, that some people think are normal or no big deal.  These are warning signs that something is wrong, like the “check engine” light in your car.   

Unexplained headaches / digestive problems (gas or trouble in the bathroom) / muscle tightness (men low back, women neck & shoulders) / Foggy memory or frequent loss of concentration / hair loss or breakage / excessive allergy or cold symptoms / low libido or more severe period symptoms (women) / excess sweating or thirst

Keep in mind that on top of everyday stresses like being too busy, not sleeping, always on your phone or email, there are a host of hidden stressors that can be exasperating these problems.  For example, food intolerances, such as dairy or gluten, blood sugar regulatory problems, and problems arising from lack of deep or restful sleep. 

The good news is that our bodies were meat to deal with small amounts of stress, so your goal can be to minimize what you can, and offer your body support to deal with the rest.  

Aside from avoiding foods known to cause inflammation (sugar, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, additives, trans-fats, etc.) Try one (or all) of these things daily.. 

Try one now… like right now! 

   What, are you too busy?

                                           You see the problem, right?

Take a 10 breath break break  –  place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly, close your eyes and breathe deeply, allow your belly to fill and feel it move with your hand, do this 10 times, trying to breathe slower with each breath and remain present to the physical feeling of breathing in your body. 

Dance in your underpants! Ok, maybe not in your underpants, but it sounded cute.  

Crank up the tunes and move your body. Try dancing to Pharrell’s “Happy”, it usually does the trick for me.  This one isn’t a joke! Try it, you’ll feel like a carefree kid! 

Practice gratitude – write three things that you are grateful for each day, I recommend a paper gratitude journal, there are apps for that, but this is a stress reduction practice so let’s put the phone down! You can even write them on a sticky note, try sticking them all over your walls for some wallpaper you can be grateful for!

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