It is easy to know when you are dealing with extreme stress, such as a serious illness or the loss of a job. But there are so many other sources of stress that you might not realise are affecting your body and your mental health.
Stress is not just about the heart palpitations, sweaty palms, racing mind, shallow and rapid breathing and utter collapse, it can be very subtle which some of us tend to ignore and 'push through' or 'numb through' (more about numbing through in a later blog), sleep through, isolate through etc. At the school you will learn how to integrate the 'functional stress test' into practice.
We believe in the 21st century, some people need that 'read out' in black and white as they have lost touch with listening to their body . Some of us have gotten used to living under stress that we do not even know we are stressed and that back pain, that skin condition, that insomnia shows up as a flat lining cortisol in a functional stress test. At the school you will learn about the 21st century 'crazy-ness' syndrome which in nutritional medicine terms is called a 'dysfunctional HPA axis.
H is for Hypothalamus
P is for Pituitary
A is for Adrenals
This axis pretty much feeds into EVERY system in your body and that is good news for 'survival' but not necessarily good news for you, as it can look like Hashimoto's, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, acid reflux, chronic back pain, anxiety etc.
Here are some subtle signs that you are dealing with stress in your daily life.
You Are Constantly Tired and Fatigued
Do you feel like you are always tired, no matter how much sleep you get or caffeine you consume? If fatigue is becoming a problem, it might actually be from your emotional stress. What happens is when you have a lot of stress in your life, even very small sources of stress it can cause your cortisol levels to be out of balance. This, in turn, affects your ability to get a good nights’ sleep, and also reduces your energy levels during the day. So, if you find that you struggle both with insomnia and fatigue, or just being tired no matter how much you sleep, it could be a sign of stress.
You Feel Confused and Lack Focus
You might have brain fog from the stress, which can cause a lot of confusion, lack of focus, and poor concentration. If you notice that you are getting behind in work, you can’t really focus on a task for very long, or your concentration is suffering, it may be from your stress.
Your Anxiety is Getting Worse
You may also notice that on days when you have more to stress about, your anxiety is also worse. There is a big connection between stress and mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. People with chronic stress find that their anxiety is worse, and those with anxiety find that stress affects them more severely. It is a difficult cycle to be caught up in. If you have an anxiety disorder, it is even more important for you to recognise the signs of stress and try to keep it under control as best you can.
Your Mood is Unpredictable
Another sign of stress that people often think is from other sources is when you are moody, agitated, or irritable. Your brain is handling a lot when you have multiple reasons to be stressed out every day, and you are probably focusing on your stressors more than anything else. This causes a lot of overwhelm, panic, anxiety, and many more emotions that can lead to moodiness and agitation.
Slow down, breathe and start listening to the cues, your body is ALWAYS communicating with you.