3 Tips to Decompress in a Stressful Situation - As told by Vanilla Ice

High amounts of stress are something we all go through at random points in time. And stress is not bad, in fact we need cortisol, our stress hormone, to survive. However, the only thing our body understands in in these situations is that we're running from a bear (think primal times). So we get a boost of adrenaline to get mobilized, then cortisol to run- and it also impairs digestion, memory, hormone balance (think low libido, painful periods, hot flashes), sleep, skin health, weight loss efforts, and places us at higher risk for heart disease and certain cardiac events. 

Over a period of time, stress from literally anything can leave us 'tired but wired' where we can't fall asleep, eat whatever & whenever, and probably some skin and digestive stuff because our liver can't detox that well. Later on, it may turn into a fatigue stage, where we can't stay sleep, get 'hangry' (angry when hungry), crave sweets or salt, or even lightheaded when meals are missed. This is generally when we have the same amount of cortisol at night when we're supposed to go to bed, that we do in the morning. Add mid afternoon/no effort to this list too. 

While we can't always predict when a stressful event is going to happen, here are 3 tips you can do on a day to day basis to nourish your adrenal glands regardless of stage you may be in:

 

  • Stop in the moment- breathe- literally. Your vagus nerve, master of being calm, attaches to your diaphragm so deep breathing activates a calming response so you can think logically and clearly. 
  • Collaborate- is there anyone around who you can talk to? Sometimes in moments of total freak out it helps to have a friend sort through all your 'stuff'. I'd also like a site called 7cups where people volunteer their time (they're not therapists, but lend an ear). Or if you're noticing patterns to triggers, consider a therapist.
  • Listen- to your gut, or your inner voice. Eating a healthful diet (and of course stress management) helps keep a healthy gut, which is also responsible for about 95% production of serotonin, our happy hormone, also serves a critical role in decision making and not going right into impulse. Happy gut-> good decisions (generally speaking).   

The more we understand our body's signals, take care of our health with an overall healthy lifestyle, the more clarity we can have in moving forward. Should there be blocks, once again, take some time to understand, work through, learn from them, and then you can really heed Vanilla Ice's advice! :D