Stress is all around us. Families, deadlines, relationships, our stuff, past experiences, and the news. It's everywhere. Does this stress play a role in chronic health and chronic illness? Absolutely. There are three to four ways that are the most significant in terms of how stress relates to chronic disease.
Number one. It affects our ability to digest. Imagine that you're running from a bear. Does your body want to digest at that moment? Absolutely not. There's no difference between you running from a bear or running from past experiences asking yourself questions like, what if? When we're in that state of fear and uncertainty, our bodies will not be able to digest.
And if we can't digest, we'll not absorb nutrients. If we can't absorb nutrients, then we cannot power the cells in our body that are needed to make energy.
Number two. Stress affects and weakens our immune system. When we're stressed and in this chronically heightened state, there's inflammation produced all the time. And as that inflammation is produced, it dysregulates multiple other systems. Again, digestion. But also our nervous system and our musculoskeletal systems will be downregulated or weakened. This way Our immune response cannot support us against viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other conditions.
Number three. it affects sleep. How many of you lie awake at night or wake up at night and your mind is racing? If you can't sleep, then you can't recover. And if you can't recover those tissues in the body, organs, and systems, they're unable to heal.
So what are the three ways to de-stress?
Number one is gratitude. There's no better way to go from fear to love than gratitude. Whether that be by journaling or by talking and sharing the things that we're grateful for. Gratitude is one of those things that can calm us.
Number two is smiling. Smiling is a beautiful way to reduce cortisol. How many of us smile intentionally throughout the day without something causing us to do so? It doesn't happen. So if we'll smile and if we smile for about five to 10 seconds- you're going to start to think this is silly - and you'll begin to laugh. Which is even better because then you're going to reduce more cortisol, and you're going to increase dopamine.
Number three, get into nature. There's nothing like putting our feet, our bare feet, on this earth, going through the forest, or even hugging a tree. You get the energy from that nature. And that helps to reduce our stress significantly.
So if you're having trouble with stress or getting over that, book a free consultation with us at TotalBody Wellness clinic. We'd love to be able to help you.