How Chronic Stress Drains You Of Your Energy And Enthusiasm
Stress is one of those generic terms used to describe situations in our lives which are unsettling in nature. Stress, by its very nature activates our fight, flight, freeze and fawn stress response. It is directly tied to the body’s adrenal glands, which, if they are unable to rest, cannot recharge.
We experience stress when we lose our jobs, or do not having enough money to buy food or pay our bills. We may find ourselves up into the late hours of the night thinking about our children, an upcoming decision, a disagreement with a friend or even about getting sick. Anything that elicits fear within us can contribute to this unspoken physical and emotional tizzy and strain our adrenal reserves. This state is amplified for trauma survivors who find themselves trapped in cycles of worry or rumination or whose stress response is always turned on.
The Adrenal Glands And Chronic Stress
Our adrenal glands are like the batteries in a flashlight. It is only a matter of time before the batteries are drained and the flashlight stops working if you leave the flashlight on all the time. Chronic stress keeps our adrenals running all day and all night long. This non-stop usage can cause them to become fatigued and less able to deal with what is being presented to us on a day-to-day basis. This ‘battery’ can become so depleted they, when put on the charger, may not charge at all or when it is charged, the charge expends itself quickly.
Support Your Physical Body And Adrenal Glands Chronic Stress
It is vitally important to support the body nutritionally if you find yourself under chronic stress,. The most common symptom of adrenal insufficiency is fatigue. Other symptoms include: not feeling rested after sleep, inability to deal with life stressors, poor memory, a low sex drive, frequent infections due to a suppressed immune system, inability to concentrate, depression, mood swings, irritability, weight gain, weakness, and hormonal imbalances.
Overworked adrenals can cause us to react to even the smallest thing. Something that is perceived as a stressful stimulus can create an overwhelming emotional reaction in us. It can feel like we are walking around on eggshells even though there might not be anything negative going on in our lives.
Any trauma survivor or people who have been in long-termed stress filled situations would be well served in going on a long-termed adrenal support protocol to heal any adrenal fatigue or symptoms of burnout they may be experiencing. There are a wide range of adrenal support products available at your local health food store and online.
When working with nutritional supports, especially adrenal supports, it is important to remember that they do not work like a prescription medication. You will not notice the effects of taking the product after using it for a day or two. It takes time for your body to unwind, nourish and nurture your overtaxed adrenals. It is not unheard of to be on a rigorous adrenal program for six months or longer to bring your adrenals back online.
Breathe during stress filled times is critical. Danger, real or perceived activates our stress response, which causes us to shallow breathe or hold our breath. Stress can also negatively affect our immune system. When we breathe deeply, it activates our parasympathetic nervous system which makes it easier for the body to relax. It can help to reduce inner tensions and allow you to be more present with what is going on in the here and now.
Mindfulness And Chronic Stress
Try taking a mindful inventory around what you might be feeling. Challenging as this may sound, but it is possible to separate what you are thinking and feeling from your present reality. Simple questions such as “do I have food to eat” or “do I have a place to live” can help you ground and center you back into reality. It can also be used to break free from an out of control cycle of worry or rumination.
If you experience and emotion: acknowledge it. Remember emotions are designed to flow through the body. Do not hang on to. Like a bad joke, laugh at it and let it go. Take a few deep breaths and allow it move through you – do not let it become you. While this technique may take some getting used to, it is a wonderful and actually simple method to master.
Find Some Quiet Time
Try to meditate, go for a walk outside, work in your garden, journal, exercise or read a book. They are all great ways to naturally release unwanted energies that might be overloading your system. Any activity that engages you be it physically, mentally or spiritually will work.
Take A Hot Bath To Relieve Frazzled Nerves
Another way to combat the effects of stress on the body, try soaking in a hot Epsom salt bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Add a few drops of Lavender or Nerol oil to it for added benefits. Baths are a great way to help the body discharge emotional energies it may be holding on to. Epsom salts are made up of magnesium sulfate crystals, which can help calm the body and mind. Lavender or Neroli oil can help to soothe frazzled nerves, promote a feeling of calmness, and bringing about a restful night’s sleep.
This Too Shall Pass
Finally, acknowledge that this too shall pass. What is going on is not a forever thing. Sometimes recognizing there will be an end to what is happening can help relieve anxiety and reduce the worry you may be experiencing.
The Dysfunctional Dance Of The Empath And Narcissist may also provide you with some additional insights into the role of trauma in your life and ways to heal it.
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