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How Stress Can Affect Hormones

How often have you heard that you need to decrease your stress? Even if you do not have any stress, still decrease it more! (Joking but also not really) That is how important stress management is. Below is a list of a few of the most common symptoms of poor stress management.

Stress is your body’s response to the daily events that occur in your life (1). A little bit of stress helps us get things done and may even motivate us, but the inability to bring stress back to a manageable level is where we see the downfall.

Women are also more prone to experience stress and the symptoms that come with it than men (2). I know it can be tough (currently working on this topic myself) but it is worth trying to make it better. Holding onto stress will not only make today a struggle but it will increase your risk for health issues in the future.

Do any of these look familiar?

Here are a few tips that can help!

1. Deep Breathing

Taking a few minutes throughout the day for deep breathing can do wonders! This will help your muscle relax and the extra oxygen triggers your brain to calm and relax. Deep breathing is also very beneficial for healthy digestion. Take one minute and breathe in super deep and slow for 5 seconds and exhale deep for 5 seconds. Repeat until the minute is done. You could even set a timer for the top of each hour or throughout the day to do this.

2. Eat Nutrient Dense Foods

Nourishing your body with colorful fruits, veggies and whole grains will help level your blood sugars and keep you satisfied not craving less nutrient dense foods. This is important because the more our body is nourished with micronutrients, the more efficient our hormone metabolism will be. Our stress hormone, cortisol, is regulated by micronutrients. Research has shown the B Vitamins play a large role in stress management. You can incorporate more fish, avocados, chicken and leafy greens.

I take this multivitamin to make sure I am getting all of my micronutrients that I may be missing in my diet.

3. Movement

Regular daily movement can significantly help manage stress, promote health hormone metabolism, digestion, body composition and more. Even a 20 minute walk or stretching can have a large impact on mental and physical health. Also, getting fresh air outside, like on a walk, can help with stress and metabolism. (3)

4. Get Quality Sleep

If we are running at 100% all day, the chances of our cortisol also running crazy is pretty likely. If cortisol does not drop before bedtime and stay low overnight you will not have quality sleep. Even if you “fall” asleep, your body will not be in the full rest mode. This can increase the risk for diseases and lead to many issues, as well as not feeling great the next day. Try to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day and turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed.

I like this supplement called Cortitrol to help manage cortisol levels. I have recommended this to women in addition to these lifestyle and nutrition topics to work on.

Overall, allow yourself to relax and recover! Take those breaks from the gym and get that recovery. I hope this article is helpful and you can take a few of these pieces to improve stress management!

You got this!
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