By Patricia AdamsRegardless of your age, there is a good chance that you have experienced some form of stress in your life. Stress is your body's way of preparing itself for dealing with a tough situation by increasing focus, strength stamina and the body's level of alertness. While stress helps keeps us safe in potentially dangerous situations, too much stress can actually do our bodies more harm than good which is why it is so important to learn how to reduce stress. When you become overstressed, your body is always at a heightened level of awareness which can affect how you deal with your day to day responsibilities.
Our bodies commonly respond to stress inducing situations by activating the nervous system and certain hormones. When our stress levels rise, the body's hypothalamus sends a signal to the adrenal glands to produce more adrenaline and cortisol and then release these two hormones into the bloodstream. This combination causes your heart rate to speed up, your breathing to quicken, your blood pressure to rise and your metabolism to increase.
Stress also quickens your physical responses by allowing you to react quickly and effectively to any event. Commonly known as the stress response, it is the body's normal response to a stressful situation. In normal situations the body will eventually return to normal once the stressor is handled but problems start to occur when the stress levels in the body never seem to decrease which is commonly known as over stress. In order to learn how to reduce stress, you need to first learn the type of situations that commonly cause over stress. They are:
- Dealing with constant problems at school or work
- Dealing with sexual, physical or emotional abuse
- Dealing with relationships
- Being required to handle new responsibilities
- Moving to a new place
- Dealing with a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one
- Dealing with a new or chronic illness or disability
- Dealing with peer pressure or dealing with being bullied
- Dealing with unrealistic expectations that have been placed on you by yourself, your friends, your family or your culture
While occasional stress is fine, being over stressed all the time can have negative effect on both your physical and mental health which is why it is so important to learn how to reduce stress. Some of the most common consequences of over stress are:
Psychological and Emotional Consequences:
- Feeling hostile, angry, or irritable
- Feeling anxious
- Choosing to avoid other people
- Moodiness or feeling frustrated with things that normally wouldn't bother you
- A low self-esteem or lack of confidence
- Anxiety attacks
- Depression or sadness
- An upset stomach, diarrhea, or indigestion
- An inability to sleep
- Eating either too much or too little
- An increased heart-rate
If you find that you are suffering from one or all of these symptoms then you may want to consider talking to your doctor or counsellor in order to learn how to reduce stress. Choosing to not reduce your stress will only end up doing your physical and mental health more harm than good.
Patricia Adams of PanicAnxietyCure-Reviews.com, had suffered from panic attacks for over twenty years, but fortunately found help from it's debilitating effects and cured herself permanently. She now dedicates her time in helping other panic and anxiety sufferers get the info that they need to gain ultimate freedom. Patricia now constantly reviews new products and natural cures in the market to make sure you get the best value products that work for you. Check out actual user reviews of the best panic and anxiety natural cures atPanicAnxietyCure-Reviews.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Patricia_Adams
By Jackie RondeauAs a young woman I had no idea what a hormonal imbalance was but I can remember having days when I would feel emotional or slightly depressed and my mom would tell me that all women felt like this when their cycle was nearing. When "it' finally arrived all the things I had experienced in the two weeks leading up were gone. Women all over the world suffer with some kind of hormonal Imbalance and for some of us we can work our way through it without "hurting anyone". Today, young girls are getting their menstrual cycle earlier than we did and their bodies seem to be developing at an earlier rate. All to often, women will go through some kind of emotional roller coaster and along with her she'll take her family and co-workers. The medical community has all but one solution called "The Pill" but is that the band aid that cures all? What you would really like is harmony in your home and to stop feeling imprisoned by your own body.
Hormonal Imbalance symptoms can be: bloating, cramps, breast tenderness, anxiety, aggression, joint and muscle pain, headaches, acne, mood swings, fatigue, poor digestion, yeast infections, food cravings, insomnia and of course stress. Really, is there anything left!
Some women will be fortunate in the sense that they will only deal with a couple of the above issues but what about those who suffer on a much higher level, who just can't seem to cope? Not being able to cope means that family life can be in shambles for the weeks leading up to. Everyone is on egg shells not really wanting to look at you in fear that some ones head might get chewed off. The things the children did a week ago that would normally have been okay are not. Suddenly you realize you are dealing with a hormonal imbalance once again. Unfortunately, it doesn't end there, co-workers won't talk to you or avoid you because they're not sure how you'll react.
Today, young girls as early as 10 years old are getting their menstrual cycle or have all the symptoms that it will be arriving soon. So why is this? Why is it that young girls are getting their periods sooner rather than later?
Well one reason is food processing. Today, our food has been processed and altered to suit our busy lifestyles. The meat we eat has been injected with antibiotics and in other foods the natural vitamins and minerals are taken out only for them to be put back in at a later stage of processing. Fruits and vegetables which could only be bought seasonally can be purchased any time of the year the only difference now is the fact that they are picked before their time and left to ripen on a truck on the way from who knows where. These days breads can sit on the grocery store shelves for a couple of weeks and pasta and most cereals, even though they may have an expiry date, can last up to 10 years only getting stale but not going bad. Even if a product has the name Whole Grains on it it contains the fiber but not the most important part which are the oils because these oils will go rancid which in turn means a shorter shelf life for the product.
What does this have to do with you? Well everything! At the turn of the century when the flour mill was introduced, it stripped vital oils from the wheat so that the white bread and flour that we love so much would have a longer lifespan. Shortly thereafter, women started to have hormonal imbalances as well as chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue. A study done at a hospital in Southern California recognized the importance of these oils called Lipids and Sterols and fed them to women in a controlled study. What they found was women with these issues responded to the oils and started to feel better about themselves and the PMS they suffered with had deteriorated. We now know that these oils feed the Endocrine Gland system and are vital, but that's not all.
In the late 60's it was discovered that each cell in the body produces it's own hormones for important body function. They control many important functions of the body such as blood pressure and even childbirth contractions. These hormones are produced at the cellular level and they also require Lipids and Sterols to do their job properly.
The medical community's answer is a band aid solution to this problem. While I'm not being insensitive to those of us that really need medication and I do believe there is a place for that but often you hear of doctor's giving young girls the pill to regulate their period. The health concern of taking the pill for prolonged periods of time should not be downplayed. It's still a fake hormone entering the body and while it will help it's the prolonged use of any medication that is troublesome. Risks of taking the pill as you get older and if you smoke are also a concern. Is it time to look at alternatives to help in this department?
When looking at alternatives, take the time to do some research which could save you a lot of headaches later on, (sorry, no pun intended). Try and choose a product that is as close to nature as intended. What's in the product? Where was it manufactured? Was it manufactured with other products, which could affect you if it was cross contaminated with some thing else. Don't always buy based on price. You really do get what you pay for. Educate yourself so you can make your choices wisely.
As much as we sometimes don't like to hear it, exercise is one of those things that can help with stress and cramps. Tightening up the abdominal muscles can and will help ease the cramping experienced during that time of then month. When I refer to exercising, I don't mean running a marathon, I mean going out for a walk at least 3 times a week if not more. The fresh air and the exercise will help raise the heart beat and is also great in relieving stress and we all have a fair share of that in our lives.
Medication doesn't have to be the be all and end all. We women and young girls, with the help of their mothers, can feel empowered to take leadership of our bodies to help find answers to our hormonal imbalance so that our friends, family and co-workers won't have to take cover when they see us.
Jackie Rondeau is the owner and author of http://www.fatigue-to-fantastic.com After suffering with fatigue for many, many years and searching for ways to increase her energy and feel better, she came across products that made a profound difference in her life. Products that are Based In Nature and Backed By Science! Products which are from the human food chain, products that actually work!
If you, like me, have been searching for something to help with your fatigue visit my site and drop me a line. Taking the first step to feeling better is a click away.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jackie_Rondeau
By Glen Winkel, Ph.D.We hear a lot in the news about stress and how it affects our health. It is a well-accepted fact that chronic stress leads to disease. Setting aside the psychological aspect of stress, stress also affects the nutritional status of the body, such that we fall prey to various stress-related illnesses. Supplementing our diet with those nutrients depleted due to stress will not only reduce the risk of stress-related illnesses, but also give us more energy and vitality, such that we are able to cope more effectively with stress.
Stress affects our nutritional status in two specific ways:
First, it affects the way our physiology, increasing our nutritional needs.
Second, it affects our eating habits which alters our nutrient intake.
When we are under stress, our body mobilizes its resources to defend itself (fight or flight). It increases heart rate, raises blood pressure, and redistributes blood from the internal organs (stomach) to the muscles in preparation for physical activity. There are increases in blood fats and sugars (for muscle fuel) and increases in specific brain neurotransmitters to sharpen our reflexes.
Meanwhile, other bodily functions are put on hold: Tissue repair is postponed, digestion is slowed and the immune system delays its activities as well. While this is an appropriate short-term response, chronic stress eventually leads to exhaustion. This is like leaving your car parked in neutral with the engine racing. Chances are your car engine won't last very long if you run it this way, and likewise your body won't last very long if you don't supply it with high-grade "racing fuel" As I'll explain below, this heightened state of arousal causes certain nutrients to be depleted while increasing the need for other specificnutrients.
However, as if to compound the problem, a stressed person often changes their eating habits that further exacerbate their nutrient status. We tend to skip meals, and eat "fast food", which is high in fat, sugar and salt. Stress causes us to exercise less (lack of time) and consume more stimulants like coffee, alcohol and tobacco. These habits further deplete vital nutrients.
HOW can we enhance our nutrient intake?
1. Stress raises our metabolism and decreases our nutritional status, depleting our body of water- soluble vitamins and minerals. Therefore we must increase intake of the water-soluble vitamins, B and C. A deficiency of B vitamins leaves you feeling tired and lethargic, yet more reactive to stress. Minerals, particularly potassium, magnesium and zinc are also depleted during stress. A basic multi-vitamin supplementation program is essential. There are many "stress" formulations available on the market. The best formulas are made from whole-foods not synthetic pharmaceutical blends. Choose wisely.
2. Stress causes an elevation in free radicals, thus anti-oxidants become extremely important in reducing oxidative damage throughout the body and particularly in the brain where stress contributes to brain damage and premature aging. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain the super anti-oxidant factors known as carotenoids and flavonoids. We need to eat the recommended 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day to keep ourselves supplied with these powerful antioxidants.
3. Stress activates the adrenal glands and over time will lead to adrenal exhaustion. The essential fatty acids, present in whole grains, will provide the raw materials to make the hormones necessary to keep the adrenal glands operating at maximum efficiency. Adrenal exhaustion may also contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome.
4. Since the immune system is depressed while under stress, various factors will boost immune system function. These include the essential fatty acids and especially the omega-3 essential fatty acids. Carotenoids and flavonoids have also been shown to dramatically enhance immune system function.
5. Poor dietary habits, consuming foods high in fat and sugar, and increased caffeine and alcohol intake, will cause marked changes in blood sugar, with associated changes in mood, behavior and energy levels. A protein supplement which is easily digested will aid in stabilizing blood sugar and provide the amino acids necessary to repair and replace cells damaged from stress.
6. Finally, stress affects digestion of our food, decreasing our ability to extract the essential nutrients from the food we do eat. We may need to add digestive supplements to enhance digestion for more complete absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients.
The above supplemental strategies will provide our bodies with specific nutrients depleted when stressed. This will make a person less reactive to stress and also reduce the risk of illness and other stress-related diseases.
If you need assistance in selecting a high-quality whole-food sourced nutritional supplement, I have worked with many nutritional companies and have chosen those supplements that I believe to be the most effective supplements to enable us to better cope with the stress of our modern western lifestyle.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Glen_Winkel,_Ph.D.