THE SCIENCE OF STRESS
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is an adaptive, physiological response in the nervous and endocrine system that allows you to deal with what is going on - without it you would be far more vulnerable to stressful situations and less likely to remember how you were able to stay safe last time.
When we are stressed a cascade of things happen to enable us to react effectively; cortisol rises, nutrients are broken down ready to be used, we become hyper aware of the stressor (hence why you can’t sleep when you are stressed), and our heart rate increases. This is fine in small amounts, but we are not designed to handle being in a constant sympathetic (stressed) state.
THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF CHRONIC STRESS?
From a physical stand point chronic stress can:
+ lower thyroid function
+ cause digestive issues
+ increase fatigue
+ cause reproductive hormone imbalances (lack of period)
+ heighten anxiety
+ increase water retention
+ bring about muscle loss… to name a few.
And it also puts us more at risk of acting more from a state of impulse or habit vs intention/ rational thinking, which can be especially problematic if you have negative coping strategies or are working on forming new habits, such as recovery/ work endeavours / moving away from binge eating/ mediation practice [Insert a new habit you are trying to implement here].
To find out more about how to read and tackle stress see the follow up post HERE!