Importance of your Stress Level

Stress is something we all battle.  It will not go away, but you have the choice in how you respond to it.  I was just reviewing some reading last night again, and was reminded of the vastness of the function of the adrenal glands.  It is amazing that they control so much, and your reaction versus action regarding stress and the chronicity of it can make or break the function of your body.

Stress affects the adrenal glands.  They help you mobilize the ‘fight or flight’ reaction in your body.  This is very necessary for stressful events, BUT, was not intended to be used on a daily basis such as it has been in our society and environment.  The following hormones are affected when the adrenal glands are working:

1. Epinephrine (Adrenaline) and Norepinephrine- part of the nervous system causing you to react or stay calm.
2. DHEA, Progesterone, Estrogen, Testosterone- tissue repair, body rebuilding, sex hormones, anti-aging function
3. Cortisol, Glucocorticoids- blood sugar regulation, anti-inflammatory action, immune response modification
4.  Aldosterone, Mieralcorticoids- regulation of sodium, potassium and fluid volume, inflammation.

So, the story goes when I discuss with my patients all the reasons we need to address their reaction to stress while they are healing from pain, is that because when there is an injury or chronic pain there is usually too much inflammation.  We can nutritionally get rid of the inflammation all we want, but if your hormones are continually putting it right back in, it is a never ending cycle.

Feel like you will never get to the top of that mountain?  Check out http://www.heartmath.org/ for some interesting information on the affects stress has.  Also, take a stab at breathing deeply into your belly to start making a simple change.  Take one minute of every one hour you are awake, and breath deeply from your belly and think of all you are grateful for in your life. You will be amazed that within one year, there will be stressful events that will not affect you as they had in the past.  They will come, but you somehow have a very clear and calm response to it that is unlike before.  It is definitely worth a strong attempt, not only to save your physical body from the harm of chronic stress, but your mind too.