One of the main portions or our workshop on Balancing Hormones was the importance of understanding how stress effects your body. There is enough complexity to this topic that I decided it deserves it's own blog post. Let's talk a bit about the Adrenal glands and how Adrenal Fatigue effects your mind, body, and spirit.
This set of glands is located near your kidneys and influences kidney function. There are two layers to the adrenals, and outer Cortex and an inner Medulla.
- The Cortex produces Corticosteroids, such as Cortisol. Cortisol regulates your Sleep/Wake cycle and you literally can't live without it!
- The Medulla produces all your stress hormones: Adrenaline, Norepinephrine, and Dopamine. These hormones are responsible for our Primitive Stress Response: also known as Fight or Flight. There are fewer moments in modern life that actually call for this "running away from a Raptor" scenario, but our body still responds to the various stresses we encounter in everyday life. Sometimes, our body even has trouble turning of this Stress Response.
- Other fun facts about the Adrenals: They help Suppress Inflammation, Balance Minerals for nutrient absorption, Generate energy from non-carb foods, Regulate blood pressure, and Create sex hormone DHEA, which is the only way to create testosterone in the female body.
So if the Adrenals are there to help us handle stressful situations, why is Stress such a big deal? Why am I spending a whole article warning you about its negative effects in the body?
Here's the thing. Our body is built to handle momentary stress, but if you put yourself in stressful situations day in and day out, your body eventually runs out of the building blocks it needs to create your stress hormones. That is what we call Adrenal Fatigue. Here's what happens next:
- You stop being able to handle stress as effectively.
- Your Adrenals are so overtaxed making stress hormones that they don't make as much cortisol.
- This leads to Sleepless nights.
- Sleepless nights lead to irritability and even less ability to handle stress
- The Cycle continues and the Stress begins to manifest in your Mental and Physical life. You lose the ability to concentrate and you begin to get sick more often.
Does any of this sound familiar? Well it does to me. I've certainly been there and done that. And the result was an elevation in my hypothyroid symptoms: brain fog, fatigue, depression, memory loss, hair loss, etc.
The Good New is you don't have to let Stress Ruin your life. Just follow these 4 simple steps to reduce stress, get better sleep, and gain focus on the positive aspects of life.
STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE ROOT CAUSE OF YOUR STRESS.
- Is it something you can change or remove from your life? Do it!
- Remember that not all Stress comes from negative things in your life. Sometimes you just have to learn to say NO when you don't have time or energy left to devote to ONE MORE GREAT THING.
- If you can't remove the trigger, you'll need to change your response. That brings us to step 2.
STEP 2: LIVE WITHIN YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE.
- Read my blog on this very topic and complete the excercise
- Learning to focus on what you CAN CONTROL, will remove some of the stress and worry over the things you can't control.
- Stop worrying about how other people treat you. You aren't in charge of their behavior. Instead focus on treating everyone with love and respect, no matter what. I know it's hard, but it was the important first step on my personal journey to wellness. I can promise it's 100% worth the effort!
STEP 3: USE CRYSTALS AND OILS TO HELP YOU BALANCE EMOTIONS.
- I did a entire workshop on this topic. It's the best 45 minutes you'll spend this year if you listen to my advice and take action!
- When you are in the midst of stress, breathing in Essential Oils immediately effects the Emotion Center of the brain (the Limbic Lobe) and helps you to modify your feelings and regain calm. Try Lavender, Cedarwood, Stress Away, or Peace & Calming.
- Wearing a calming crystal such as Rose Quartz, Amazonite, or Blue Lace Agate can help you remember your Intention to remain calm and ALSO aid you in centering your mind and your breathing during stressful events.
STEP 4: TAKE TIME FOR SELF-CARE.
- Take a bath with Lavender oil at the end of a stressful day.
- Read a book before going to bed rather than filling your brain with Social Media.
- Put Lavender on the bottoms of your feet or breathe it in an hour before bedtime. Allow your body to naturally produce melatonin to help you drift into a deep, peaceful sleep. That alone can make a HUGE difference in your ability to remain calm under pressure.
You can honestly start with any of these 4 Steps. Whichever you are ready for. But I will warn you that as long as you avoid the root cause of your stress, it still has control over your life. Eventually you need to take that person/thing/circumstance head on and move past it for good.
Let me know any questions you have. As always, I would love to hear about your particular situation and help you find which Crystals and Oils are perfect for your current life focuses.