I recently came across a meme that resonated with me. It said, “It’s almost time to switch from my everyday anxiety to my fancy holiday anxiety.” Is this the case with you, too? Many of us feel the extra stress around this time of year and there are many ways that you can help ease some of that burden. Adaptogenic herbs can also help deal with some of the stress we experience in everyday life. One herb in particular is Rhodiola rosea.
Adaptogenic herbs, or adaptogens, are herbs that help support the body’s ability to accommodate varying physical and emotional stresses. Continue reading “Relax With Rhodiola”
There are two types of stress and most of us have experienced one or both, at times. There are many causes and more risks involved than you may realize, but the good news is that not all stress is dangerous and there are ways to lessen your stress and enjoy better health.
Acute Stress: Momentary help in times of danger
Acute stress is the term for what occurs when your body senses danger and adapts to the threat by making physical changes, enabling you to avoid greater potential harm. This protective mechanism, crucial to your safety and designed to protect you, causes your body to secrete chemicals and stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, in response to your thoughts and prepares your body for “fight or flight.”
For example, let’s say you’re crossing a street to meet your friend at the local coffee shop and notice a car quickly approaching. You see the car and understand the risks, which causes you to feel fear and anxiety (learned behaviors that we only feel when we decide something is dangerous or anxiety provoking). Your body adapts to this stress by secreting chemicals and hormones, sending messages to your heart, lungs and organs to prepare them to handle the crisis.
- Your heart rate increases
- Blood flow is diverted to muscles allowing for quick movement
- Pupils dilate and more oxygen flows through your lungs for an extra burst of energy
These changes allow you to react quickly, enabling you to jump onto the curb to safety. Within a short period of time, your body calms down and things return to normal, allowing you to continue on to the meeting with your friend over your favorite cup of coffee. Continue reading “Why Stress is Dangerous: Types, Causes and Risks”
Your thyroid is that butterfly shaped gland in your neck that produces hormones that regulate metabolism and energy. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include extreme fatigue, depression, weight gain and sleep problems. I was diagnosed with it in my late 20s when I stopped sleeping well and my energy levels dropped. For me, a combination of natural supplements, diet and prescription worked best.
The American Thyroid Association estimates that as many as 60 million Americans are unaware that they have some sort of thyroid issue. There is a connection between thyroid and sleep. If you suffer from insomnia or irregular sleep patterns, then you may want to have some blood work done. This may be the first step in getting a good night’s sleep.
So how do you fix it?
There are many solutions and finding the one that works for you is very personal. Here are some options. Continue reading “Thyroid and Sleep: What’s the Connection?”
Ever noticed that when you’re under stress, you tend to gain weight? There’s a big link between stress and weight gain. Here are a few reasons why.
1. Think about it. When you’re stressed, there’s a good chance you’re not interested in label reading or in making healthy choices. You just want the quickest, simplest, most convenient, readily available food that’s around. The thought of making healthy choices seems like another task to add to your already over-extended “to-do” list. Unfortunately, those options that are often found in a bag or box do nothing to fuel us but easily pack on the pounds.
2. Another thing that’s happening is when you’re under stress, you’re just not interested in pre-planning. You know that saying, “If you failed to plan, then plan to fail?” That’s also true with healthy eating. When you’re stressed, you’re not interested in taking the time to plan because you’re consumed with your stress. Continue reading “Really Want to Lose Pounds? Stress Less!”
When we think about meditating, we often think of it as a spiritual practice. While people have been practicing various forms of meditation for thousands of years, studies are finding that there are many health benefits of meditation as well, and that it can be an important tool in your wellness toolbox.
Here are just few benefits meditation provides:
Reduces blood pressure and levels of stress. Meditation is linked with reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Improves cognitive function. Researchers in a Psychological Science study reported, “Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with wide reaching consequences”. (1)
Reduces pain. Meditation has been proven to reduce pain because it plays a role in what our minds pay attention to, according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. (1) Continue reading “Health Benefits of Meditation – An Important Tool in Your Wellness Toolbox”