Understatement of the year: every adult has felt stressed out at some point in their life.
For many in today’s world, the pressures of keeping up with work, home, kids, family, health, friends – the list goes on and on – adds a certain level of stress onto their lives.
Uunder normal conditions, your body produces a brief surge of cortisol – the hormone released when you’re under stress – that is beneficial and protective and, ideally, infrequent. The stress reaction is an appropriate alarm; perhaps a friend has had a medical emergency or your house was burglarized. Once you respond and cope with the situation, your cortisol should return to normal levels, similar to the rise and fall of a tide. When your cortisol is functioning properly and proportionally, so is your alarm system, and vice versa.
However, for many women, the alarm – that cortisol surge – never turns off. The pendulum, which is designed to gently sway, gets stuck on the “alarm” side.”
What happens is, when we get stuck in “stress mode,” our bodies basically steal the hormone pregnenolone to make more cortisol.
Referred to as the “mother hormone” due to being the base of what other essential hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA are made of, constantly stealing pregnenolone for its use to make cortisol leaves a shortage of “mother hormone” to make the other hormones.
What comes next is a hormone imbalance and the best way to combat it is by resetting our alarms.
Take a look at these eight ways you can reboot your body’s stress response:
Adaptogens are exactly what their name means – they help your body adapt to stress and perform a normalizing, or stabilizing, effect on your body’s processes. The most common adaptogen is ginger, but licorice root is becoming increasingly popular. Many coffee and tea shops also brew masala chai tea that has been infused with adaptogens.
Adding stress doesn’t seem like the logical way to go about getting rid of stress, but sometimes it works. Small doses of short-term physical stress – called hormetic stress – causes a short burst in cortisol. After it’s over your body relaxes and hormone levels drop below your previous baseline.
This works because a body’s stress response system is designed to deal with physical threats like being chased by a wild animal or being trapped in a snowstorm, etc. People’s bodies that suffer from chronic stress doesn’t have set boundaries so your body doesn’t know when the experiment is over. If you introduce a physical stress that you can manage (like mild exercise), then remove it, your body gets the “threat is over” message and reboots.
Our technology in today’s world is great; we can multitask, work from anywhere that has an Internet connection, keep in touch with distant friends or family, pay bills, set appointments and everything else we use our smartphones, tablets, and laptops to do. Unfortunately, the screens from these items can disrupt our internal clock. When you sleep, your body resets itself.
Studies have shown that physical contact with the ground or “earthing” helps balance cortisol levels, calms our nervous system, reduces inflammation, and supports immune function. The best part? It’s free