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7 Steps for Managing Stress and Preventing Chronic Disease

Managing Stress and Preventing Chronic Disease

Managing Stress and Preventing Chronic Disease - (Image Credit: Shutterstock); Author picture - (Image Credit: Author)

When you are under physical or mental threat your hypothalamus, a tiny region located deep into your brain’s base, triggers an alarm system in your body.

This system prompts your adrenal glands, located on top of your two kidneys, to release a large dose of hormones, adrenaline and cortisol through the blood stream. This alarm system also communicates with other brain regions that control mood, motivation and fear.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, makes you ready to fight the invader and controls your mood, motivation and fear.

Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal and your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal levels.

If the stress factors continues to be present you will feel under attack and the fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on leading to great health risk.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system can disrupt almost all your body’s working and,wreak havoc to your mind and body causing chronic inflammation.

Gut Health Matters

This disrupts the Gut Brain Axis (GBA) – a bi directional link between the  central nervous system (CNS)and enteric nervous system (ENS), involving the gut microbiota which impacts our entire body as follows:

  • Shallow breathing thus supplying less oxygen to our cells preventing an ideal state of homeostasis (A healthy state of tissues, cells ,organism and a constant state of adjustment of physiological and biological pathways to maintain equilibrium in the body ) critical for optimal functioning our entire body.
  • Sleep disturbance: The hormone Adrenalin disrupts our normal Circadian Rhythm of Sleep causing High blood pressure and rapid heart beat
  • Hormonal imbalance: Lack of sleep triggers hormonal imbalance leading to more serious issues like feelings of hunger and overeating

    Sleep deficiency is known to cause an imbalance in hunger hormones namely Ghrelin and Leptin and slows down the body’s metabolism leading to obesity and the onset of chronic disease. Therefore it is crucial to practice Mindful breathing exercises to help relieve anxiety and have a good nights un interrupted sleep of minimum 7-8 hours.

  • Mood /Depression: Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, makes you ready to fight the invader and control your mood, motivation and fear.
  • Digestive Issues: Stress causes our Digestion to slow down in the flight or fight mode due to the (GBA :Gut Brain Axis) , connection between the gut and the brain sending constant signals to one another causing Digestive diseases like Acidreflux, Chronic GERD (Gastro Esopheageal Reflux Disease), Gastritis, Hpylori, Leakygut,IBS, Autoimmune Disease, Brainfog etc etc.
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Stress lowers immunity
  • Impaires cognition
  • Chronic Diseases: Stress is one of the root causes of a variety of chronic disease like type 2 diabetes, thyroid issues, weight issues,cardiovascular disease ,Cancer etc.

Reacting to stress in a healthy way

Reacting to stress
Stressful events occur in every once in a while at unexpected times. It is always good to be prepared to face such unexpected events. You may not be able to change your situation but you can take steps to manage the impact these events.

Basic Stress management strategies include:

1. Wholefoods diet: Eating a healthy whole foods organic diet free of preservatives and additives, processed food, junk food, refined carbs, refined sugar known to be the cause of chronic inflammation , additives, hormones or pesticides and non G.M.O.

2. Avoiding stimulants: Limiting alcohol or stimulants especially before bedtime.

3. Mindful living: Practicing Mindful living techniques like:

4. Exercise and spending time in Nature: Ensuring regular exercise every day to help stabilize the cortisol levels by the release of endorphins or happy hormones, manage mood and detox the body through sweating. Make the time for hobbies, such as gardening, reading a book or listening to music

5. Quality Sleep: Getting quality uninterrupted sleep of minimum 6-7 hours /day is critical to managing stress levels. Making a conscious effort to switching off all social media 2 hours before bedtime and maintaining a fixed bedtime routine to go to bed every day is critical. Keeping the room comfortable and dark ,Having a warm bath with bath salts and essential oils like Lavender help relax the mind and senses and put your body in a state of relaxation , perfect for an ideal un interrupted sleep.

6. Quality relationships: Connection with family and friends and healthy social interactions. Hugging your family and friends everyday release endorphins and help reduce stress.

7. Practice Meditation, or Yoga on a daily basis helps release stress. Mindful Breathing: Practicing Deep breathing exercise.

peace of mind

The reward for learning to manage stress is peace of mind and perhaps a longer, healthier disease and pain free life.

Bottom Line

We cannot control what happens to you but we can certainly control how to manage our life better and cope with it in a more positive way.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. The content on our website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or therapy. You should NEVER disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment due to something you have read on our website and we will not be held responsible for any adverse health condition or injury that occurs as a result of doing so.
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Sonya Pinto

Certified Nutrition Coach

Sonya Pinto is an MBA turned Certified Nutrition Coach, (CNTC) specializing in Digestive Health. She also has ...

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