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Stress management

watch 27/10/2022

Stress. It's part of our daily lives and the motivation to get things done that we don't really want to do. Eustress is the 'positive' stress that pushes us out of bed and into the bathroom when we're late. It fills them […]

Stress. It's part of our daily lives and the motivation to get things done that we don't really want to do.

Eustress is the 'positive' stress that pushes us out of bed and into the bathroom when we're late. It fills us with endorphins and propels us into gear, promoting a sense of joy and accomplishment.

Suffering is the opposite. It makes us feel as if everything is falling apart and we can't cope with the situation. This type of stress causes anxiety and feelings of panic.

Both are part of the 'fight, fly or freeze' response, whereby our body responds to a perceived threat by fighting, fleeing, or shutting down completely as a means of survival. self-protection facility.

A 'fawn' reaction can also occur, when a person changes their behavior to appease someone who is presenting as a threat, as a means of preventing impending conflict or harm. go out.

It's a bad rap, but stress is a great signaling system for our bodies.

Sometimes, panic is a valid and necessary response, just as some essential tasks wouldn't be complete without deadline pressure. How this response is regulated ultimately determines whether the stressor is 'good' or 'bad' and the overall impact it has on the body.

Stages of stress

Alarm – Hormone Level

Regardless of our motivation or what caused the stress, the body responds with a period of alarm.

If the challenge is to bring a laundry line full of dry towels as soon as the sun starts to open, your body will chemically react the same way as if you were being chased by a tiger.

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is the main response organ, stimulating the catecholamine hormones that start the body into action. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is also promoted to release hormones such as cortisol.

This causes

- Pupils dilate, allowing additional focus and light to see the threat.

- Blood to move from digestive to musculoskeletal system, ready to run or fight.

- Breathing becomes rapid to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood, and heart rate increases to push that oxygen through.

- Glucose is produced at a faster rate, while insulin is reduced.

Resistance – Calm down

Once the threat has passed, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) steps in to calm the response by reducing the hormones being sent into the bloodstream and counteracting their effects.

This sends a message to retract the pupils and stop stirring through the glucose, bringing you back to equilibrium and restoring a sense of calm.

Essentially, the PNS tells your body that you'll be fine and the stress switch can be turned off.

Burnout – Trouble turning off the switch

In the case of chronic stress, the stress off switch may malfunction.

This occurs when the SNS has been overactive for consistent triggering and is no longer responding to signals from the PNS to stop.

High levels of circulating stress hormones contribute to immune dysfunction, physical and mental illness, development of autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, dysregulation of blood sugar, insomnia and chronic fatigue.

Stress management

Regulating stress is key to health, and small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference.


One of the most important factors is the quality, restorative sleep.

When we think about the SNS and all these 'wake up and go' hormones flying through the bloodstream, it's no surprise that stressed people often struggle with sleep.

Methods of help include

- Maintain a set sleep time. This regulates the sleep/wake cycle (which is heavily influenced by cortisol).

- Drink herbal teas such as  #Chamomile ,  #Passionflower , Lavender and  #Lemon balm to activate PNS.

- Avoid blue screen light 60 minutes before bed (TV, iPad, phone).

- Avoid high-sugar, caffeine, and high-fat meals before bed to prevent further arousal.

- Try meditation to slow down racing thoughts.

- Gentle exercise during the day can encourage enhanced deep sleep and REM sleep. Avoid exercising late at night.

Food element

Food can have a big impact on stress management.

High-sugar foods, like sweets, stimulate the brain in a similar way to cocaine: it makes the brain work rapidly and the heart pound. While this is good in the short term, the activation is consistent with chronic stress, leading to fatigue, mineral deficiencies, and suppressed immune function.

Similarly, stimulants like coffee cause peaks in cortisol – the same hormone that kicks in during an alarm period.

Although the body is able to rebalance quite well after a large cup of coffee or a three-tablespoon ice cream, the body needs enough nutrients to continue functioning properly.

- B vitamins, important for regulating stress, are found in green leafy vegetables, oats, nuts and seeds.

- Iron and B12 from quality red meats and eggs help improve oxygen movement and energy levels.

- Antioxidants from fresh fruit provide organ support, preventing overload. The sugar in fruit is not the same as the isolated sugar in lollipops.

- Quality protein is also important for melatonin production, for sleep.

- Given that stress slows down digestion, the way we eat is also important.

- Chew food thoroughly and avoid distractions like TV while eating.

Eat and drink at separate times to encourage stomach acid to break down food. Drinking plenty of water during the day can reduce thirst during meals.

Be aware of what is in your food and try to choose foods that are truly nutritious for your body.

Herbal support

Adaptogen herbs are perfect for regulating the stress response. #Withania is a favorite dish to rebalance a tired, worn out body and mind. Kiwiherb's #Calm Down combines #Withania with L-Theanine, an amino acid known for relaxation, in a clinically studied dosage.

Kiwiherb's  #Organic Valerian using #Valerian is a beautiful herb for relaxation, with mild sedative and hypnotic effects to help establish and maintain sleep, while reducing stress and irritability.

Another champion herb is  #Kava , which acts as a sedative, anxiolytic, and restorative. #StressArrest® combines #Kava with #Passionflower  ,  also great for calming actions and #Withania , to help deal with stress.

Children also experience stress, which can manifest as anxiety, irritability, and poor sleep. Chamomile is the ideal herb for children to soothe anxious minds and relieve upset stomachs, found in Kiwiherb #Organic Kid's Calm .

How we manage stress is the single most important factor in preventing the development of burnout and illness, and our stress levels are within our ability to make amends.

Stress is not a bad agent, it just needs to be controlled to remain beneficial instead of harmful.

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