Everybody gets stressed, but have you ever stopped to think about what it’s really doing to you? Stress has become a bit of a buzz-word and as such it has lost some of its meaning however its effects are very real and can be very severe.
When you become stressed your brain sends signals to your body to release hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline as part of a primal fight-or-flight response. At the same time, it sends signals to your hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) which in turn causes a chain reaction that eventuates in the release of stress hormones called glucocorticoids, commonly known as Cortisol. Cortisol inhibits the innate immune response, which allows the body to focus on the fight or flight when the situation calls for it. This becomes less helpful in situations where someone is continually under stress and the production of Cortisol remains unchecked, thus negatively affecting the mind and body.
An unchecked Cortisol release is the result of phycological stress reaction and has been linked to ill health, disease and disorders that range in severity including:
- Aches and Pains
- Diarrhoea and Constipation
- Heart Rate Fluctuations
- Indigestion, Ulcers and IBS
- Blood glucose Problems
- Nausea and Dizziness
- Negative Effects on Sex Drive
- Frequent Colds
- Menstrual Cycle Irregularities
- Weigh Loss or Gain.
It is important to look after the vessel in which you live. Mind and body are two parts of a whole and stress is an intrusive force that can affect your quality of life. Yoga and meditation can help you to master your stress by having you cope with and adapt to the body’s hormonal responses and stem the production of Cortisol. Mediation has also been proven to assist in stabilising the constant variation of heart rate that can be indicative of an inadequate function of self-regulatory systems which is exacerbated by stress. Stabilising the heart rate, calms the sympathetic nervous system and in turn has a positive effect on your overall health and well-being.