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  • Johnny Roberts

Stress & how to manage it


Stress is caused by a situation that triggers a particular biological response. When you perceive a threat or a major challenge, certain chemicals and hormones surge throughout your body.

Stress triggers your fight-or-flight response in order to fight the 'stressor' or run away from it. Typically, after the response occurs, your body should relax. Too much constant stress can have negative effects on your long-term health.

The science behind stress

When you sense danger, the part of your brain called the hypothalamus reacts. It sends nerve and hormone signals to your adrenal glands, which release the hormones cortisol in to your system.

These hormones are nature’s way of preparing you to face danger and increase your chances of survival.

Adrenaline also referred to in main stream literature as 'epinephrine' causes the 'fight-or-flight' response. When this hormone is released it:

  • increases your heartbeat

  • increases your breathing rate

  • makes it easier for your muscles to use glucose

  • contracts blood vessels so blood is directed to the muscles

  • stimulates perspiration

  • inhibits insulin production

While this is helpful in the moment, frequent adrenaline surges can lead to:

  • damaged blood vessels

  • high blood pressure, or hypertension

  • higher risk of heart attack and stroke

  • headaches

  • anxiety

  • insomnia

  • weight gain

Factors that may lower stress

Remember that it’s natural and healthy for the stress response to be activated moderately and for a short time. Issues usually arise when activation becomes chronic.

If your goal is to improve extreme stress-related issues – including those of panic disorders or anxiety – it’s important to talk to your doctor, especially if stress is significantly impacting your daily life.

Major mental changes, such as excessive sadness, panic, persistent low mood, euphoria, or anxiety, are all reasons to see a doctor.

1. Lifestyle

  • Positive social encounters

  • Laughing/being happy

  • Spending time in nature

  • Diaphragmatic breathing

  • Meditation

  • Yoga

  • Being physically active

  • Regular dancing

  • Massage therapy

  • Avoid excessive stimulant intake e.g. coffee

  • Limit alcohol consumption as much as possible

  • Music therapy

  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

  • Napping after sleep loss

  • Glucose restriction/fasting

  • Chewing

  • Vagus nerve stimulation

2. Foods

  • Salmon and other fatty fish high in omega 3's

  • Turmeric

  • Green tea/L-Theanine

  • Dark Chocolate

3. Supplements

* The Supplements highlighted in bold are the strongest I've personally found to combat stress

  • Curcumin

  • GABA

  • Passion Flower

  • Ashwagandha

  • Taurine

  • Valerian

  • Kava

  • Fish Oil/DHA

  • Rhodiola/Salidroside

  • Magnesium

  • Zinc

  • Selenium

  • Probiotics

  • Black Cumin Seed Oil

  • Lysine

  • Vitamin C

  • St John’s Wort

  • Oxytocin

  • Phosphatidylserine

  • Aromatherapy (orange essential oil)

  • Schisandra

  • Holy Basil/Tulsi

  • Tribulus

  • Ginseng

  • Cordyceps

  • Ginkgo

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