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Stress can come from just about anywhere. Unforeseen circumstances, relationship issues, financial worries, and more can all be stressors, causing you to feel anxious and overwhelmed. When your stress response kicks in, your entire body can be significantly affected.
Stress has a wide array of symptoms, and its impact is far-reaching. When you are experiencing high stress, three key systems within your body are affected – the endocrine system, the immune system, and the nervous system. In this post, we’ll walk you through the impact of stress on these three systems, as well as the primary causes for stress and some of the best ways to manage it.
While conquering stress can seem difficult, it’s far from impossible. Don’t be discouraged if your stress is threatening to overwhelm you – you’re in charge of it, not the other way around!
Now, let’s get started with identifying and understanding the symptoms of stress – knowing what stress looks like and understanding how it works will help you get a better sense of how you can keep your stress and anxiety levels to a minimum.
Everyday stress can arise from a wide variety of triggers. However, some of the most common stressors are the most important aspects of your life – your job, your relationships, extra obligations, your finances, your health, and more.
Even great things like healthy relationships and a career that you love can start to become stressors if they begin taking more of your energy than they had previously. Remember, feeling stressed does not necessarily mean that it’s time to detach from a commitment or a relationship – you can experience stress in relation to healthy, beneficial things!
Ultimately, it’s important to never let stress rule your life or control your decisions. You’re in charge of your life – stress isn’t. While there are aspects of your life that may cause more stress than others, this doesn’t mean you should let go of those things! It may simply mean that it’s time to cultivate a better relationship with some of the bigger commitments, obligations, and relationships in your life.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the science behind how stress impacts your body and mind.
Many people experience stress as primarily emotional. It brings with it feelings of anxiety, fear, hopelessness, irritability and sometimes deep sadness. Indeed, stress is an emotional experience, but it’s mental as well. When you are stressed, your brain is releasing chemicals that affect your emotions and thoughts.
Stress triggers the fight-or-flight response in your central nervous system. This is your mind’s natural defense mechanism against dangerous situations. Your body and mind are keenly attuned to your surroundings, and when they sense danger, your fight-or-flight response kicks in.
One of the primary chemicals associated with stress management is cortisol. Cortisol helps your body manage stress, and it is closely interlinked with your immune system and other parts of your body. However, chronic stress can lead to overproduction of cortisol, which can lead to feelings of chronic fatigue and mental exhaustion.
When you are stressed, you may find that it is harder to get your thoughts together. This is because your brain is using significant energy in an effort to adequately respond to stressors. Your mental stress response involves cortisol production, but it also involves the release of chemicals like norepinephrine, epinephrine (formerly known as; noradrenaline, adrenaline),
A, which helps your nervous system properly respond to crisis situations.
However, chronic stress and anxiety can make you feel constantly on edge – they can disrupt your 3 systems, triggering your fight-or-flight response when there is no real threat to your safety.
Because of its significant effects on the 3 bodily systems; the nervous, immune and endocrine systems , stress can lead to a condition known as adrenal burnout; the adrenal gland is part of the endocrine system that produces hormones like cortisol.. This condition occurs when your brain signals the endocrine system to keep producing cortisol and epinepherine in response to perceived stress. Eventually, the excessive production of these chemicals can lead to adrenal fatigue with symptoms like constant tiredness, weight loss, brain fog, and more.
Furthermore, chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress may include depression, anxiety, heart disease and weight gain.
Stress affects your mind, but it also affects your body in numerous different ways. One of the biggest impacts that stress can have on your body is its compromising effects on your immune system.
Cortisol, (often called the stress hormone), is meant to be beneficial for your immune system, providing you with a buffer of protection against inflammation. However, when you are under chronic stress, excess cortisol production can actually compromise your immune system in the long run. High cortisol levels can leave you more susceptible to getting sick as well as high blood pressure.
Some physical symptoms of stress include:
If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, it’s essential to find healthy, beneficial ways to calm your mind. Healthy habits don’t need to be complicated to make a big difference for your overall well-being. Below are some of the simplest and most practical ways to reduce stress in your everyday life.
One of the best ways to get stress under control is by practicing meditation and mindfulness. These healthy habits can keep stress from ruling your life by providing you with a mental safe space where you are free from the constant barrage of anxious thoughts.
Meditation and mindfulness are practices that focus on getting quiet, sitting still, and focusing on grounding and re-centering yourself. In a busy, distraction-filled world, it’s all too easy to start drowning in noise.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can work wonders to silence your phone, sit in a quiet room, and get your thoughts in line. Meditation, yoga, and practicing deep breathing relaxation techniques, can help to create mindfulness. These practices typically involve focusing on slow, even breathing, and directing your thoughts towards peace, contentment, and gratitude.
Like meditation, exercise can provide you with a strong defense against getting overwhelmed by stress. Stress and anxiety can make you feel worn out, but, paradoxically, daily exercise can help you feel energized by promoting the release of endorphins.
Endorphins are hormones that regulate your feelings of contentment, pleasure, and peace. As you exercise and endorphins are released, you can start to feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and free of the grip of stress.
Your daily exercise doesn’t have to be too intense to provide stress-fighting benefits. Even something as simple as 30 minutes of daily walking can make a major difference in your fight against the negative impact of stress.
Getting a good night’s sleep sets you up to have a stronger defense against the overwhelming power of stress and anxiety. When you don’t get enough rest at night, it’s all too easy to get overrun by a sea of anxious thoughts and thrown off balance by the simplest problems. Sleep helps to recharge and reset your brain, getting your mind ready for the day to come. The rejuvenating power of a good night’s rest makes sleep one of the best defenses against stress.
If you can, try to aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. It may be helpful to limit your caffeine intake if you are having trouble falling asleep at night, as this popular stimulant can make it hard to wind down in the evening for some people.
Your diet can have a significant impact on your overall well-being.
When you aren’t getting the nutrients that you need from food, you may not have the resources your body needs to deal with stress well. When you are having problems with stress, it may be indicative that you are dealing with a nutrient deficiency.
One of the most important nutrients to get for your overall emotional health, including stress management, is vitamin D. Vitamin D is found in numerous foods, but you can also get it from supplements, including R3SET’s Calm capsules. One of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is a decrease in emotional well-being, which may make it tougher to deal with the stressors of everyday life. Therefore, having the right amount of vitamin d in your system can make all the difference in affecting your overall well-being.
If you are struggling to deal with the impact of stress and occasional episodes of anxiety, R3SET may help*.
Our signature stress-support formulas includes a blend of natural active botanical ingredients, all of which have been scientifically studied . These ingredients, including chamomile, L-Theanine, valerian root, GABA, lemon balm, ashwagandha, and more, serve as the foundation ingredients for our Calm and Unwind supplements.
R3SET’s Calm capsules are designed to be taken during the day to help you focus, calm your mind, and help you sustain mental energy throughout the day*. Our Unwind capsules make the perfect nighttime support for your body’s response from stress, providing you with a soothing combination of herbs and other natural ingredients to help you sleep well.
To visit our products page and see what R3SET can do for you, click here. In addition, if you want to learn more about the science of stress and the best stress management methods, make sure to visit the R3SET blog.