What “SELF CARE” habits are you doing NOW to optimize your HEALTH?
The WHOLESTIC Method ELEMENT #4: CHRONIC STRESS on the WHOLE you!
We all are aware of the stressors in life – but we may not be aware of all the unknown sources of CHRONIC STRESS that can accumulate and overload the body systems …leading to or a result of “METABOLIC CHAOS®”.
Our reaction or response to a source of stress -activates the stress response system known as the HPA Axis. This communication response team includes the Hypothalamus (first responder) notifying the Pituitary gland to relay another message to the adrenal gland. This is obviously the simplified version. You can read all about the HPA Axis “Adrenal Fatigue” and “Adrenal Exhaustion” theories in my book on Amazon called “LIFE IS NOT A RACE” by Debbie Potts.
Emotional stress, anxiety and fear can also contribute to the “beaker of stress” …as well as poor eating habits, chemicals, environmental toxins and hidden internal stressors as endotoxins, food sensitivities, and pathogens.
Our body doesn’t sort out and filter which stress is good or bad… rather it just all accumulates and runs through one beaker into the HPA Axis “emergency response system”. The body (brain) doesn’t know the difference of one source of stress to another – it just knows when sources of stress become CHRONIC (non-stop and ongoing) then the body systems (yes- multiple) become overloaded, get congested, imbalanced and dysfunctional.
- Hormones become imbalanced
- Immune system becomes weak
- Detoxification system becomes overloaded, congested and sluggish
- Digestion becomes an issue with lack of proper digestive enzymes and HCL as well as possible Sympathetic Nervous System dominance
- Energy systems become damaged (mitochondria) with excess oxidative stress and leading to possible “cell danger response” over energy production in the mitochondria.
- Nervous system become imbalanced with too much time in the “Fight or Flight” sympathetic nervous system and not enough time switching back and forth into the Parasympathetic nervous system.
What can you do to reduce your sources of chronic stressors?
- Maybe start by identifying your sources of stress by making a list of “good” stressors (short dose) and your “bad” stressors that are non-stop (leaky faucet analogy). Awareness is the first step.
- Work with a certified FDN Practitioner to order functional labs to under cover your sources of hidden internal stressors that we do not know about unless we test!
- Create more time in the day to pause and reset.
- Make more time to choose happiness, laughter and play (see element #8)
- Write in a “Gratitude Journal” and make a list of at least three things you are grateful for today…then make a list of goals to set your intentions for the brand new day ahead of you.
- Start a meditation practice using a guided meditation app to get started on your own practice.
- Get outside morning, afternoon and evening when possible for exposure to daylight, sunshine, fresh air and movement.
- Get outside for nature walks… disconnect and unplug while you are going for a walk and focus on breathing! Slow inhales, long exhales… inhale positivity and exhale away tension, anxiety and negativity.
- Element #2 Exercise… but not too much. Overtraining and under recovery is a stressor.
- Reach out to your community – your network of positive friends while avoiding those toxic, energy robbers that leave you angry, depressed and grumpy!
- Set boundaries and schedule time when you respond to message and check social media posts. By limiting time on computers, email, text and social media may improve your sleep (blue light) and improve your happiness by reducing stress plus multitasking and allow more time for you to spend on other activities that bring you joy as your family and partners!
- Make time to find hobbies you enjoy doing as making a puzzle or cleaning out a box of pictures you have not sorted for years!
LESS is MORE! More is not always better if you want to manage your “beaker of stress” and not overload your system.
Remember not all stress is bad… we need stressors to get stronger (as lifting weights) but we can’t allow our body to repair, rebuild and restore if we keep asking too much of it. Think of too much stress as too much time spend breaking down (CATABOLIC) and not enough time balancing building up the cells (ANABOLIC).
For athletes, that would mean shorter cardio sessions and less frequent “HIIT” training (going all out then rest) … and more time with active recovery exercise as walking, hiking and easy low heart rate bike ride. Add more strength training exercises where you overload the muscles to fatigue then recovery one to two days in between sessions.
We should strive to optimize our health by finding BALANCE or HOMEOSTASIS IN our cells …
“the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.”-Wikipedia
This dynamic state of equilibrium is the condition of optimal functioning for the organism and includes many variables, such as body temperature and fluid balance, being kept within certain pre-set limits (homeostatic range). Other variables include the pH of extracellular fluid, the concentrations of sodium, potassium and calciumions, as well as that of the blood sugar level, and these need to be regulated despite changes in the environment, diet, or level of activity.wikipedia
Take care of the WHOLE you from the inside out to optimize your health, longevity and performance. Learn WHY and HOW you can avoid breakdown, burnout, and weight gain by transforming the WHOLE you from the inside out with The WHOLESTIC Method elements and program.
Avoid going down the black hole as Debbie did in 2013 – learn from her mistakes, experiences and education in her “Health Detective” coaching services. If you just want to know if you are fit and healthy on the inside and out- by looking “under the hood” by running functional lab tests and clinically correlating results to put the missing pieces of the puzzle together… or if you have specific main health concerns and frustrations that you haven’t been able to solve with other programs or treatments.
Debbie combines her training as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner plus Kion Coach with Ben Greenfield and DNAFit training to create the individualized health building program for you to THRIVE and feel ALIVE each day. Life is Not a Race… it is a Journey. Slow down and enjoy the ride!Debbie Potts