Tagged with 'Stress Relief'

How Stress Affects Your Body in the Long Run?

When was the last time you felt stressed? Perhaps not too long ago – we live in a world where we are dealing with chronic daily stressors. You may not even realize the number of stressors in your life or the significant impacts they can have on your health. The Effect of Stress on the Adrenals The adrenal glands are two little glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They control your stress response and as a result, can affect almost every system in your body. When your stress hormones are imbalanced, you may find yourself feeling unwell, tired, and irritable. When it comes to the effects of stress, you are more likely to be familiar with the fight-or-flight response. When you are in danger, your adrenals will kick in and use your body’s resources to help you fight or flee. Nowadays, the stress that we face doesn’t always require us to fight or flee, but your body still uses the same response. Modern-Day Factors that Can Trigger the Stress Response Emotional stress Lack of sleep High sugar and white flour products Acute and chronic infections Lack of nutrients Trauma Lack of exercise or excessive exercise Fasting Lack of relaxation Overexertion Toxins When the stress response is activated, we release a hormone called cortisol. This hormone helps us increase our heart rate and blood flow in order to handle the stressor. However, if the stressors are not addressed or removed after a short period, the adrenals are pushed into overdrive. This can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Cortisol is an essential hormone, but when it is overproduced, can lead to miscommunication between the adrenals and the brain. Over time, your body can stop producing enough cortisol, leading to low cortisol instead. Both high and low cortisol levels can have harmful effects on the body. Signs that Your Body is Affected by Chronic Stress You have low levels of thyroid hormone You are gaining weight around your midsection You catch colds easily and have a difficult time recovering You are quick to anger You are frequently anxious or irritated You experience severe PMS symptoms each month You have trouble concentrating on simple tasks You are tired throughout the day, especially around 2 pm The stress response is designed to help you get through short-term stressors, though that is rarely the case for most people today. When the stress hormones are imbalanced, normal body functions are not prioritized. This includes the immune and digestive systems. Have you ever noticed that you tend to get sick during periods of stress? Or that your digestive symptoms become worse? It is because when cortisol is not balanced, your body has a difficult time focusing on other functions. 3 Important Steps to Healing Your Adrenals Incorporate Adaptogenic Herbs Adaptogens help the body adapt and cope with stress. They help to nourish and replenish the adrenals, whether they are in overdrive or fatigued. Ashwagandha helps to calm the mind, while Rhodiola helps to decrease fatigue. Both are highly studied herbs used to combat the effects of stress. Holy basil is another herb that can be used for extra immune support and reducing anxiety.  Ashwagandha: Himalaya Ashwagandha 60 Capulets, NFH Ashwagandha SAP 60 capsules, Botanica Ashwagandha 60 Liquid Capsules Rhodiola: AOR Rhodiola 60 Veggie Caps, Natural Factors Rhodiola 150mg 60 Capsules, St. Francis Rhodiola 50mL Holy Basil: New Chapter Holy Basil Force 60 Capsules, Living Alchemy Holy Basil Alive 60 Capsules, Organic Traditions Organic Holy Basil Tulsi Tea 200g Protect Your Bedtime Sleep is essential for overall hormone health. Your cortisol levels are closely intertwined with your sleep hormone, melatonin. When the sun rises, cortisol should be at its highest, and when the sun sets, it should start to decrease. As cortisol lowers, melatonin levels increase, allowing you to feel tired as you reach your bedtime. However, if you are constantly stimulated by blue light or other activities during your bedtime, you may have a more difficult time keeping your cortisol balanced. Winding down with a book or journaling before bedtime can signal your body to regulate cortisol levels. Use Relaxation Techniques Techniques such as meditation and mindfulness are powerful activities that can activate your parasympathetic nervous system (relaxed state) and deactivate your sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight) system. They help your body to release fewer stress hormones when they are not truly needed, so your adrenals can restore themselves. Start by incorporating 5 minutes a day, and slowly increase as it starts to become a habit. The Importance of Stress-Reducing Habits Your body is smart and can adapt to some stress. But when the stressor is not addressed, you may find yourself experiencing more signs and symptoms. The goal is not to reduce all stressors, but to equip your body in handling the stress. Healing your adrenal glands takes time and there is no ...

Lets Talk Hormonal Detox

When we think detox we often think of the latest juice cleanse or a program that restricts certain foods. Detoxes are often used to eliminate and cleanse our organs from harmful bacteria, parasites, environmental toxins, alcohol and medication. However, have you ever thought of a hormonal detox? Hormones are the chemical substances that coordinate and control the activities within the body. They are secreted through the endocrine glands and each hormone influences certain organs and tissues. Hormones are responsible for growth, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, development etc.  When the body releases too much or not enough this can result in hormonal imbalance.  Xenoestrogens (environmental estrogens) are environmental toxins, such as manmade chemicals, parabens, phthalates, BPA’s, pesticides and herbicides. Our body can absorb these environmental estrogens the same way it can our natural estrogen. This can lead to estrogen dominance, a condition where the body has a higher amount of estrogen to progesterone, this imbalance can lead to undesired health effects (1,2.) Our liver is responsible for detoxification and flushing excess hormones and toxins from the body. However, due to poor nutrition choices, stress, caffeine and alcohol this becomes exceedingly difficult.  Our liver function becomes compromised, sluggish and backed up. When this occurs these half detoxified molecules recirculate back into the system, which can lead to hormonal imbalance and toxic overload.  Let’s examine 5 simple ways to start detoxifying your body from excess hormones and in turn show your liver some love.  1. Avoid Plastics Plastics contain toxins that are prone to leaching. Two of these chemicals BPA (bisphenol-A and bisphenol-S) and BPS mimic estrogen in the body and can throw off the balance of your natural estrogen (3.) These two chemicals are especially detrimental in extreme temperatures.  When possible choose a glass or a stainless steel water bottles. Make sure to remove plastics that come in contact with your food and store all leftovers in glass containers.  2. Natural Makeup, Skin Care and Household Products If we look at the ingredient profile on our favorite skincare, haircare, sunscreen and makeup, we will discover most of our personal products contain parabens and phthalates.  These chemicals enter the lymphatic system and our bloodstream then are processed via our liver. Make sure you always read your labels and reach for products that are clearly marked paraben and phthalate free, as many of the chemicals can be difficult to identify. Then the next time you throw the laundry in the dryer make sure to read the label of your favorite, lavender, softener sheets. Many household cleaners and fabric softeners contain petrochemicals, which also serve as environmental estrogens. Ingredients in common household cleaners have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruptors and neurotoxicity (4.) Read labels and if you are feeling crafty you can try making your own with such ingredients as vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.    3. Eat Organic Produce, and Grass Fed Meat or Dairy. Certified organic products are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones and antibiotics. These harmful chemicals can contain xenoestrogens and are used in plant and animal farming to boost production and protect crops from pests. When possible choose certified organic, buy local or wild caught and make sure to wash your fruit and vegetables thoroughly. In addition make sure your diet is rich in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and watercress. These are rich in both DIM (diindolylmethane) which is effective in detoxifying excess estrogen and additionally contain liver supportive phytochemicals.   4. Movement Our skin is our largest organ and one way we can eliminate toxins is through perspiration and exercise. When other detoxifying organs are overloaded, toxins can cause a form of rashes, acne, blemishes, pimples and sores. Moving the body helps circulate blood and lymph, forces heavier breathing, circulation, improves digestion, and bowel movements. In addition, exercise and movement strengthen the heart and lungs which are responsible for expelling carbon dioxide.  It is recommended to aim for at least 30 min of movement each day and besides supporting detoxification and overall health and wellness, is also provides a great stress reliever.   5. Supplements  Supporting our liver with additional nutrients to assist in processing hormonal toxins from the body can be beneficial.  Milk Thistle is known for its ability to repair and support the liver. This powerful herb assists in the bodies production of glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in the body, which optimizes liver function and detoxification.  NAC is a precursor to ...

Bid Adieu To Stress and Sleeping Troubles with Aromatherapy!

In the age of “over-working” and “social media”, issues like stress, sleeping troubles, and headache are quite common. Often, we end up either taking sleeping pills or painkillers subscribed by our doctors or joining the early morning meditation class (which rarely helps because let’s admit a majority of us are too lazy to wake up early in the morning!). In that case, what’s the best alternative? AROMATHERAPY!   We’re sure you would be surprised but believe it or not, aromatherapy promotes, balances, and harmonizes the health of spirit, body, and mind. It’s one of the best therapy that offers a major relief in the aforementioned issues. Certainly, you’re curious to know HOW? Well, in the first place, essential oils used in the aromatherapies include ‘synergy’ – a combination of numerous essential oils which can actually create a more powerful effect than any other options! And hey, have you ever seen someone come out depressed or less energetic from a bubble bath or deep tissue massage that includes aromatherapy? No, you haven’t, because the essential oils used in aromatherapies act as a catalyst by relaxing our bodies and minds, hence boosting our mental wellbeing. You need not go to an aromatherapist or masseuses for healing your stress, sleeping issues, and other such problems that are taking a toll on your mental wellbeing! All you need is the right set of essential oils at home and you’re all set!  Healthy Planet Canada has compiled a list of issues which you can treat with the essential oils. You can use these scented oils at your home in baths, massages, or diffusers to enhance the quality of your life by relaxing and stimulating your mental wellbeing. Stress Relief: Aromatherapy works as the best aid for stress relief. The essential oils release aromatic compounds, which when used in a massage or diffuser, helps soothe your body and mind by suppressing the feeling of stress and anxiety. As a result, they aid in balancing your mood. Best Pick: Moroccan, Orange, and Peppermint Headache Relief: Everyone has been subjected to headaches every now and then. For those individuals who have migraines, headaches can turn out to be debilitating, hence ending up ruining the day. Sure, they must follow their doctor’s instructions, however, they can also try using essential oils to get a relief as it reduces the stress levels which might be responsible for triggering the headache. Best Pick: Myrrh, Coconut, and Rose Sleep Aid: Lack of sleep is a major factor that triggers stress and anxiety. While those who’ve been suffering from long-time sleep disorders must consider taking some help from a reliable doctor to balance their sleeping schedules, others should consider opting for a little aromatherapy. A good head massage using essential oils will help them relax enough so they could enjoy a healthy sleep. After all, a good night’s sleep is quite important if you want up to wake up energized the following day. Best Pick: Lavender, Chamomile, Lime At the end, no matter which reason you’re choosing to start using the essential oils in your home, we believe that they are quite helpful to push your stress and sleeping troubles away. And hey, they also smell great! Healthy Planet Canada holds a great stock of essential oils for you to choose from. Which one’s your favorite? Tell us about it!