Anxiety is rampant, especially in the past year. With the changes in society, your lifestyle, your family and work there are many stress and anxiety triggers. My heart goes out to everyone during these times.
Remember this, you are strong and do have choices. Stress and anxiety don’t need to become your norm.
Healthy hormones help your body cope with stress. They are also a big way the body gets attacked by stress. Assessing your hormone levels – specifically thyroid and adrenal function – is key.
The adrenal glands help deal with stress. When you’re exposed to a stressor the cortisol levels increase, your body goes into fight or flight and the sympathetic part of your nervous system takes over, your body essentially thinks it’s under attack.
What happens to the hormones in a stress response?
Cortisol initially increases and then will decrease with time. This leads to:
- Decreased digestive function
- Decreased immune function
- Decreased thyroid function
- Potential sleep issues
- Poor blood sugar regulation
Thyroid hormone decreases which leads to:
- Slower metabolism
- Increased weight
It’s important to look at the whole body when it’s under stress. It’s not just about the nervous system. Many body systems are affected. And hormones definitely take a beating.
What can you do now?
#1 Have a routine! Going to bed, waking up, and eating meals about the same time every day supports your hormone systems.
#2 Get your body moving! Did you know that exercise has been proven through research to have an equal outcome on stress and anxiety as pharmaceutical medications – without the side effects!!
#3 Practice some type of gratitude, prayer or meditation. When you focus on the things you are grateful for you shift your focus away from those stressors. The more you practice this the better you feel.
If you still have stress and anxiety after incorporating these changes make sure you’re doing all of my Top Treatment Tips. And if you’re doing all of my those suggestions and aren’t getting better, we’ll have to dig a little deeper to find the causes of your stress and anxiety. Call my office and make your appointment today!
Figuring out how to cope with stress is a life saver, literally! Find what works for you and you will notice a difference.
Dr. Laura Enfield, ND, LAc
Dr. Laura Enfield is a California licensed naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist. She is an expert in helping people with acute and chronic joint pain, digestive issues, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, and thyroid issues.