Living in a fast paced, modern world can be stressful. Juggling work, family, social activities, & the ever growing presence of technology & social media can all make it difficult to find time for rest & relaxation. And the irony is that we are currently in a time where we have access to more information & resources about stress resilience, mindfulness & meditation than ever before.
We typically acknowledge the very real toll of emotional stress, but often negate to mention that stress related conditions can be an accumulation of three different kinds of stresses. Each of which can trigger the body’s sympathetic stress response, also known as fight & flight. And here is the kicker, whilst short bursts of stress can be extremely beneficial for us, having our body in a sustained state of stress can lead to us living out of balance with our sympathetic nervous system working in overdrive. This sympathetic- dominant state, that so many of us currently live in, can have a devastating impact on our health & wellbeing.
So what are the three different types of stress that can lead us to sympathetic dominance?
This can include relationship challenges, the pressure of succeeding and meeting goals, comparing ourselves & our situation to others, financial pressure, raising children, dealing with a difficult work colleague and even being unemployed. Emotional stress weaves throughout the fabric of our daily life in varying intensities, but what is important is how we deal with this stress.
One of the best ways to combat the effects of emotional stress is through mindfulness & meditation. Forbes magazine reports that these two seemingly simple acts may reduce anxiety, may prevent & treat depression, increase body satisfaction & improve cognition. We recommend by starting with a regular time-frame that you can easily achieve, for example 10 mins at 7am daily. Our favourite FREE meditation tool? The Insight Timer App. With thousands of free guided audio meditations, music options and a meditation timer you can choose your preferred sound for to bring you out of your bliss state.
Yes, this is exactly what you think it is. Physical stress is a load that is placed on our body and can include poor posture, our sleeping position, long hours sitting, not exercising enough, exercising too much, injuries & accidents and even the birthing process!
We recommend using a combination of techniques to combat physical stress. Our bodies are designed to move and so daily activity is important. Try to mix up your activity with a combination of cardio, strengthening & flexibility work. We also recommend regular massage and Chiropractic care to help clear the accumulated physical stress from our muscles, spine & nervous system.
Now, this is a stress that not many people consider when it comes to addressing burn-out and other stress-related disorders. “We are literally surrounded by toxic substances in our food, water, homes and even in our personal care and the cosmetics we put on our skin” reports Australian toxicologist Dr Peter Dingle. Chemical stress is a very real form of stress that can have a tremendous impact on our body’s capacity for health and resilience.
Awareness & avoidance are the key to reducing your chemical stress levels. Start reading labels. Ensure that your food, shampoo, makeup & cleaning products are made with actual ingredients sourced from nature, not just numbers & chemicals. One at a time do a bathroom, kitchen & laundry detox. Replace empty or almost empty products with a safe, natural alternative. If you aren’t sure what constitutes as ‘safe’ or ‘natural’ then head on over to the Nourished website. We spend thousands of hours researching ingredients, products & brands so that you don’t have to. You can trust that anything we stock has gone through a stringent selection process and is as low-tox as you can get.
The bottom line is that we are all experiencing stress on a daily basis in our lives which can never be avoided completely. We do however have the ability to make conscious choices around how we manage, limit & avoid these stresses. Making small daily changes in your lifestyle habits is the answer to not only helping us live in a less sympathetically-dominant state, but also to help make a shift in humanity. Each of us can play a part in creating a more peaceful world around us.