THE STRESS OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON ON THE BODY!
How stress can affect your brain (the simple version)
There are some amazing biochemical processes in your body that affect how we feel and how we respond to stress. In your brain there is a region called your hypothalamus, a centre for extremely important brain function, that helps to regulate how you respond to stress. It is critically linked to two other important body areas; the pituitary (Master Gland) gland and adrenal glands (sit on top of your kidneys). This is the body’s equivalent of the Triple Crown – the winner of a balancing act between the three parts wins the vaulted “mental and physical health” we seek to achieve. How does it work…
The hypothalamus, in response to a perceived or real stress, releases CRF (corticotropin releasing
hormone) that sends a message to the pituitary gland to release ACTH (adenocorticotropic hormone).
ACTH then tells the adrenal glands to release the “stress-bad boy” hormone Cortisol. Cortisol then encourages norepinephrine to be released. Under ideal circumstances, this system acts on a beautifully designed feedback loop to control your response to potential overstress. But, in our day to day and crazy busy life, we tend to overdrive and eventually deactivate the “negative” feedback loop, causing what we know as “adrenal fatigue!”
Adrenal fatigue is a condition where we feel lethargic, tired, wasted, depressed, cranky, and unable to rest well.
How do we combat this problem?
1. Reduce the stress in our lives. Easier said than done, but meditation, reducing clutter, shutting off our phones and computers (for a while at least), working on our relationships, avoid rushing, etc.
There are entire sections of bookstores dedicated to this…
2. Reduce inflammation. Working on our gut or GI tract to balance the good bacteria and hormones
centered there. Avoiding pro-inflammatory foods like gluten, etc. Consuming premium probiotics.
Eating organic. Avoiding processed sugars (raw fruit with its natural fiber is fine). Supplementing with
high quality products that have natural anti-inflammatory actions.
3. Avoid over-training or mindless training without a plan. Pushing your body without a well thought
out training plan is a major cause of adrenal fatigue. Train smart!
4. Reduce the caffeine (keep it below or around 100 mg/day) and other synthetic stimulants found in
most energy drinks. Take a break from ALL stimulants for a weekend every few months to rest the
5. SLEEP!!! The brain cleans out its toxins only when you sleep. That is why you feel clear-headed when you have a refreshing sleep. Getting 7-9 hours of regular sleep is ideal. There are studies that show the amount of cortisol is significantly reduced after a good night sleep.
Le-Vel’s line of THRIVE products can significantly improve your body’s ability to function at its highest levels. THRIVE gives you the proper amount of plant-based stimulants to give you alertness and energy without creating adrenal fatigue, B-vitamins, antioxidants (to fight oxidative cellular stress), plant extracts and amino acids to assist brain function, trace minerals to assist essential biochemical
and enzyme processes, and any number of pro-health advantages.
Stress hormones can save your life in a “fight or flight” situation, but left unchecked, chronic stress
can shorten your life. Be proactive and focused on reducing stress.
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