The year 2020 brought unprecedented levels of stress to everyone around the globe. Lockdowns and COVID-19 concerns have impacted the mental and physical health of the global population. But long before worries about COVID-19 were the focus, stress was already a growing problem throughout the world. The lives of so many of us have been filled with an ever expanding list of obligations. And now, because of smartphones and other technology, we are always connected, our gadgets demanding attention 24/7.
Living in a state of chronic stress is one of the top sources of all chronic illnesses. But it is also connected with a large increase in mental and emotional issues. As we’ve seen through the quarantines of 2020 and 2021, stress has a damaging impact on mental health. Living with uncontrolled, chronic stress on an ongoing basis can deplete the brain of vital neurotransmitters. These are the chemicals in the brain that allow us to feel good and help keep our emotions balanced.
When your body function is out of balance as a result of chronic stress, symptoms will be your body’s warning sign to you that something is wrong. These symptoms can progressively get worse. They can even become debilitating to those who experience them.
Emotional symptoms include:
- Mood swings that occur frequently and can be extreme.
- Excessive anxiety
- Panic Attacks
- Excessive negativity
- Changes in appetite-either increased or decreased
- Nightmares or night panics
- Trouble concentrating
- Problems learning and retaining new information
- Racing thoughts
- Increased confusion
- Lack of organization
- Inability to make decisions
- Feeling overwhelmed or burned out
- Crying spells
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling worthless
- Crying spells
- Suicidal thoughts
The symptoms outlined here, can have a significant impact on the quality of life for those who struggle with them. If ongoing stress is not managed, symptoms will continue to worsen. They can even make functioning in day-to-day life a challenge. It is always best to deal with chronic stress before symptoms get that bad. There are things that can be done to easily reduce the stress, so that you can begin to reverse any symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Some of the things that you can do to improve emotional issues caused by stress are:
Getting light to moderate exercise helps to release the endorphins, dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These chemicals are the natural, feel good stress relievers, and anti-depressants. It can take as little as 15 minutes for these chemicals to be released, but it is best to try and get at least 30 minutes of exercise for the best benefits.
One of the best foods for mood is animal protein because it contains the full spectrum of amino acids. Amino acids are the chemical building blocks needed to produce the neurotransmitters that you need to feel better emotionally. When possible it is best to choose pasture raised and grass fed meats. This type of animal protein has a higher concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids and nutrients than conventional meats. Of course, eating a diet rich in fresh, whole foods is always better for your body, than a diet filled with highly processed foods. Choosing whole, fresh foods will give your body far more of the nutrients it needs than a diet of foods that come from a factory!
Essential fatty acids
A growing number of clinical studies have been done that show that consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids help those who struggle with depression and anxiety. The standard western diet today is high in Omega 6 fatty acids, but often lack the Omega 3s that the body needs. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and flaxseed oil, and can be taken daily.
Most people love to laugh! And laughing is one of the most fun ways to reduce stress. When you laugh, it releases endorphins. Endorphins help to reduce stress and help you feel good. Watch some funny videos or funny movies. Spend some time laughing with a pet or loved one. Or find some funny profiles to follow on social media to help you laugh more!
Regular meditation requires you sit in a period of quiet focus. As you calm your mind and breathe deeply, it helps to calm your central nervous system. As balance is restored in your nervous system, your body shuts off the stress response. Those who practice meditation daily are able to handle stressful situations more easily than those who do not.
Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as EFT, is a powerful tool that can be used to help release stress. EFT focuses on gently tapping on a series of energy meridian points on the face and body. These are the same meridians used in acupuncture and acupressure. EFT tapping has been shown in studies to decrease the stress response (aka the “fight or flight response”) and calm the central nervous system.
There are certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs that are really great for reducing stress. It can be easy to go to your local health food store and load up on all the latest, greatest supplements that are guaranteed to reduce stress. But when that happens, you’re ultimately just guessing and hoping you’ll find something that’ll work for you. But when you work with an FDNThrive functional health coach, they help take the guesswork out of which supplements will be best for you. You get a more targeted approach to supplementation that not only will help you get better results, but will save you from throwing away your money on supplements you don’t need!
Working with a FDN® Practitioner as your FDNThrive coach can help you to discover the best ways to get you on the road to better health. With the help of functional lab testing and advanced training, they have the knowledge to discover where the imbalances are happening in your body. This allows you to reduce stress, optimize your sleep, and eat the right balance of foods for your body. They will show you which supplements will work best for body to bring it back into balance, without the guess work. Contact us today so that you can be on the road to feeling better soon!