Balancing Your Hormones Through Stress Management
You already know that stress can take quite a toll on your body. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to have headaches and digestive problems as well as insomnia, a decreased immune system, and more aches and pains than you normally experience. Stress, however, can also have a number of effects on your hormones. If you can effectively manage your stress, you can also help improve your hormone balance.
Adrenal Health and Your Body
Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing stress hormones. When they’re not functioning properly–that is, they are either over- or under-producing those critical stress hormones–your body immediately feels the effects. When you’re excessively stressed, your adrenal glands may go into overdrive, increasing the levels of stress hormones. Your body, unfortunately, pays the price.
- Low energy throughout the day or feeling tired from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed
- Waking up with plenty of energy, but “crashing” by the middle of the day
- Struggling to stay awake throughout the day, but finding yourself wide awake in the middle of the night
- Trouble losing weight, especially around the belly area
- Low libido
- Irregular periods or periods that are missing altogether
- Premature symptoms of aging
These imbalances don’t get better over time, especially if your stress hormones don’t correct themselves. In most cases, in fact, you’ll find them getting worse over time. However, you can improve your stress management and in turn balance your hormones with some simple techniques.
Healing Your Body: Dietary Tactics
When you’re already stressed, you may struggle to find the time or energy to start working on your diet as a means to decreasing and managing your stress and bringing your hormones back into balance. In many cases, however, some simple dietary changes and supplements can be the key to getting your body back on track.
- Avoid eating excessive amounts of sugar or high glycaemic carbs that will cause your blood sugar to spike throughout the day.
- Opt to bring your own food instead of heading out to a restaurant for lunch: in many cases, restaurant meals are filled with the very things you’re trying to avoid.
- Have your Vitamin D levels checked and add a regular supplement that contains Vitamin D and Vitamin K if needed.
- Do you struggle with low cortisol levels? If so, taking a supplement containing licorice at the time of day when your cortisol levels are lowest will help. Note: this is not a solution that should be used for individuals with high blood pressure.
- Add fermented foods like sauerkraut to your regular diet.
- Add a magnesium supplement, which may have the added benefit of helping you sleep better at night.
Bring On the Exercise
You don’t have to push your body hard to experience the many benefits of exercise. Exercise can help reduce stress, increase hormone balance, and make you feel healthier and better able to tackle everything on your list. Don’t feel as though you have to dive in with something big! Instead, start small and watch the healthy benefits.
- Go for a brisk walk at lunch instead of eating behind your desk.
- Find a cardio class at your local gym that you enjoy and look forward to attending.
- Choose an exercise video that you can complete in a few short minutes at home.
- If you are nearing burnout, then even gentler exercise is needed – yoga is ideal!
The negative effects of stress on your body build over time. Short-term stress might feel manageable, but as time passes, you’ll discover that you’re feeling increasingly more negative reactions from increased stress hormones in your body. It’s time to do something about it! By following a healthier diet and taking steps to decrease stress when possible, you’ll find that it’s easier to manage. If you’re still having trouble finding hormonal balance, contact us to learn more about how we can help.