These tiny glands do a great big job!
You have two adrenal glands; they’re about the size of your thumb and sit on top of each of your kidneys.
The adrenal glands play a large role in human physiology. They secrete more than 50 hormones, some of which are essential for life. They help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, help in protein and fat metabolism, support proper cardiovascular and gastrointestinal functioning and have a major responsibility in responding to stress.
When these tiny adrenal glands are subjected to a constant, even low level of stress, they can easily become overworked. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue (aka hypoadrenia) are non-specific; they are general in nature and are present in many conditions. There is no specific medical test for adrenal fatigue. That may be why adrenal fatigue is often overlooked until it has become severe. Doctors often do not acknowledge adrenal problems unless there is extremely little functioning (Addison’s disease) or way too much (Cushing’s disease).
Continue reading “Are your adrenals tired?”
Clear your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual clutter
No, this is not a lecture on spring cleaning your house. This is a lecture on spring cleaning your life! We may not consciously be aware of it, but we constantly interact with our surroundings. Everything around us – both seen and unseen – carries energy and affects us.
Karen Kingston defines feng shui (fung shway’) as “the art of balancing and harmonizing the flow of natural energies in our surroundings to create beneficial effects in our lives.” The Chinese characters for feng shui are the characters for “wind” and “water.” Wind and water carry chi (life energy); in ancient times, good wind and good water meant good health and fortune. Like wind and water, energy flows all around us, including throughout our homes and offices.
Continue reading “Spring Cleaning the Feng Shui Way!”
Short answer: You can’t, so build resilience
Life is all about change, and change produces stress. But there is good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress). You wouldn’t want to get rid of the good stress associated with birthdays, weddings, vacations and all the enjoyable things in life. You wouldn’t want to avoid the stress that helps protect you – tells you to remove your hand if you put it down on a hot stove burner or prepares you to run away from a threat. You cannot get rid of acute stress (like accidents) and for the most part human beings handle acute stress episodes fairly well; they are short term and when they are over and done with you recover from them. The stress you want to avoid as much as possible is chronic, low level stress – that’s the stress that hurts health-wise.
Continue reading “How can I avoid stress?”
Have you ever noticed that you feel stressed in a situation where someone else does not? How you experience stress is unique to you. That means that how you manage your stress is also unique to you. You may know people who relax through yoga, or meditation, or by listening to classical music. But perhaps those activities hold no attraction for you. Will you find the same relaxation as they do by these means? Probably not.
Your constitution (the various physical, psychological, developmental and environmental factors that make you who you are) can enter into determining the efficacy of any given stress management technique you choose to try.
Just as there are different personality types, studies have found there are different stress types. Five basic categories of stress management skills have also been identified. These findings might help explain why some people seem to handle stress better than others and why some people are more successful at stress management than others.
Continue reading “What’s Your Stressotype?”
The stress response protects us; it is a physiological chain of events that prepares us to either run or fight in the face of danger. It activates the sympathetic nervous system and increases respiration, heart rate, serum cholesterol, blood pressure, blood flow to the muscles, and metabolism. However, there is a problem: lifestyles today present almost constant hassles that trigger the stress response, but the fight or flight options are no longer appropriate in many situations. Can you run from or fight with a deadline at work? Or a few hundred emails? Or a hectic family schedule? We get little or no time to relax and restore ourselves.
Over the long term, chronic low level stress is harmful. In fact, Lazarus, DeLongis and other researchers determined that life’s everyday hassles do more harm than major life changes. The stress response seems to have backfired.
Continue reading “The Relaxation Response”
Stress can affect your mind, your body, your emotions, and your spirit. But it starts in your head. It starts with the perception of a threat. That perception may be conscious or unconscious; the threat may be real or imagined, large or small. But the event (called the stressor) triggers a cascade of events known as the stress response (commonly called the “fight-or-flight” response).
Continue reading “Stress – is it all in your head?”
Estimates vary, but somewhere between 75 and 90% of all visits to primary care physicians in America are due to stress-related conditions. Stress has been implicated as a factor in stroke, heart attack, heart disease, and a host of other problems.
Even so, the “experts” have no clear, agreed-upon definition of stress. That’s because stress is a highly personal thing. Some people can take more of it than others; some people even seem to thrive on it! And stress is important in our lives, not only as a signal of possible impending danger but also because it’s stress that provides excitement and joy in living. There is bad stress (distress) and there is good stress (eustress). So you don’t want to rid yourself of stress – you want to manage it.
Continue reading “Just What is Stress, Anyway?”