Journal

Calming Your Nervous System

Everyone knows stress. Higher, faster, further, we live a lifestyle of more. More in sports, more in work life, more in social life. More love, success, friends, events, travel. Sounds like stress, right? Sometimes one might even feel that the purpose of life is to get stressed. 

Unfortunately, chronic stress is the enemy of good health. But not all stress is bad. Get to know what causes stress in your everyday life, why stress can sometimes even be a good actuator and how to avoid unhealthy habits.

 

Why Are So Many Of Us Stressed? 

Everyone has slightly different stress triggers. For some people it might be a nightmare to work extra hours because the job became more demanding. For others, it’s standing in front of colleagues holding a speech – or simply meeting the in-laws that’s enough to get some of the typical body reactions, like a higher pulse or sweat.

A permanent lifestyle that’s stressful – we speak of chronic stress here – is a bad thing. It is in fact the trigger of many diseases. Those who suffer from chronic stress are more often susceptible for infections. That is because stress attacks the immune system. 

The production of stress hormones also negatively affects our gut system. Plus, those who are permanently in stress mode find it harder to fall asleep in the evening. And where chronic stress leads to chronic lack of sleep, you’re in a hamster wheel. Sometimes it is like the harder you try, the more exhausted you feel.

Stress appears to be everywhere in modern society, which begs the question: are you still able to recognize the signs? Or has stress become a normalized state for you?

Check Your Stress Levels

Here are five major indicators to help you determine whether you’re stressed or not.

01 Observe your breath: Is it flowing into your abdomen, or are you breathing shallowly into your chest? Stress hormones cause your breathing rate to increase in order to distribute oxygen-rich blood around your body – preparing it for a fight or flight reaction.

02 Digestion: Does your digestive system function like clockwork with regular, healthy bowel movements? Or are they more irregular and unpredictable? Stress can cause various gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea, bloating, cramping and constipation.

03 Sleep Cycle: Does it take awhile for you to fall asleep and how often do you wake up during the night? Disrupted sleep can be a side effect of stress. And when you don’t get enough of it, it causes even more stress, so it’s a vicious circle.

04 Skin Health: Have you noticed a difference in your skin? More breakouts perhaps? The stress hormone cortisol can aggravate skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other bumps, rashes and redness.

05 Cravings: are you craving junk food? The release of cortisol can trigger a desire for sugary, salty, fatty foods, as your brain tells your body to fuel up to fight off whatever stressful situation you’re in.

Set Healthy Boundaries

When it comes to stress, we’re here to help you recognize and break unhealthy habits that can cause negative, chronic stress.

Need help setting healthy boundaries? Learn how to articulate and set boundaries in our ‘Set Healthy Boundaries’ course. Regulate your nervous system and bring more balance to your life.

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