While most stress is unavoidable, it is possible for you to still feel strong, happy and healthy during stressful times. At SHAPE ReClaimed, we are invested in both your physical and emotional health because we know your mind and body are inextricably linked.
While most consider emotional health to be only psychological, we believe emotional health is also physiological. Physiology refers to how your organs and body systems function. The stress you feel is not all in your head. Let’s explore how stress affects your body, how your physiology affects your emotions and then talk about what you can do about it.
How Stress Affects Your Body
Stress is interpreted by the brain in the hypothalamus. Your hypothalamus communicates via chemical messengers with your pituitary gland. The hypothalamus and the pituitary talk about the stress, then send a message to the adrenals, whose job is to physiologically deal with the stress. The body’s primary reaction to stress is pumping out adrenaline (the “fight or flight” hormone), and the secondary reaction is increased cortisol (the stress hormone) and DHEA (the “fountain of youth” hormone).
If these hormones are out of balance (namely the cortisol-to-DHEA ratio), you will maladapt to stress. Here are some symptoms that might result from an inability to adapt to stress:
- Sleep problems
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Digestive problems like indigestion, gas and bloating
- Hiatal hernia
- Food sensitivities
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Low energy
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Insulin resistance (precursor to type 2 diabetes)
- Weight gain
- Increased infections
- Allergic reactions
- Yeast overgrowth
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Body aches and pains
- Any condition that ends in “itis,” such as arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, gastritis, sinusitis, bronchitis, dermatitis, etc.
How Your Body Affects Your Emotions
While stress has a direct effect on your physical body, your physical body can also affect your emotions. For example, if your blood sugar is low, you may become “hangry” (hungry + angry). The anger and irritability you experience in this situation is not a problem with your psychology, it is an imbalance in your physiology.
Low blood sugar also has a direct effect on your brain. Your brain needs glucose (blood sugar) in order to function. If it doesn’t receive enough glucose, you will experience brain fog. This can be misinterpreted as a psychological disorder: depression. Supporting your emotional health in this situation means balancing your blood sugar with a good diet (adequate protein and fiber, minimal sugar) and supplements. If this is something you’re dealing with, the SHAPE Program is excellent for balancing blood sugar.
In addition to low blood sugar, imbalances in blood pressure, thyroid hormones, steroid hormones (estrogen, testosterone, etc.), liver function, immunity and other body systems can all affect your emotional health.
What You Can Do About It
Like we said before, stress is impossible to avoid completely. The key is supporting your body’s ability to adapt to the stress in a healthy way. One of the best ways to physiologically handle stress better is to add supplemental support.
SHAPE Drops contain emotional support ingredients such as potassium phosphate to assist with sleep, mood, exhaustion; bladderwrack to support thyroid and boost metabolism; and the Bach Flower Remedies Star of Bethlehem, Mustard and Oak to address the emotional aftereffects of trauma, gloom for unknown reasons and help make you more sturdy in adversity. (Learn more about SHAPE Drops here.)
MOOD Balance combines three adaptogenic herbs: Holy Basil, Rhodiola and Maca. Adaptogenic herbs work like a thermostat to sense imbalances and naturally correct them. They have a unique ability to “adapt” their function according to your body’s specific needs. MOOD Balance can be taken for physical, mental and emotional stress; anxiety, depression, adrenal fatigue, blood sugar problems, hormone imbalances, PMS and menopause, emotional eating, memory, cognition and energy. (Learn more about MOOD Balance here.)
Contact your SHAPE practitioner today to start this dynamic duo that will help you adapt to stress and find more joy and peace in your life.