Addressing stress is one of the most “bang for your buck” health hacks! If we don’t CHOOSE to address our stress, our body will do it for us! What this means is that it will try to communicate with us through various mechanisms to alert us that something is wrong – i.e. other systems in our body will go off. As such, it’s always best to address the signs of stress BEFORE our body takes the lead.
Here are 5 ways you can recognize signs of stress
Stress presents in our lives in a lot of different ways, so much so that you may not recognize it for what it is. Here are five ways you can recognize stress.
SIGNS OF STRESS #1:
Sleep and stress are strongly connected. It’s a never ending hamster wheel – When we’re stressed, it makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, and when we’re not having high quality sleep, it can make the smaller stuff feel more stressful and lead to an increased total level of stress. Make sure to make SOME time for stress management techniques before bed.
Starting with the mind, meditating and deep breathing, is great, but sometimes if we’ve had a stressful day or are anticipating a stressful day tomorrow, those may not do the trick. Trying something a little more active to relax the body like foam rolling or our TMB fave ‘corkballing’ the bottoms of your feet or lower back will help your body relax and your mind will be a quick follow to help you melt into deep sleep without having to “think” about it!
SIGNS OF STRESS #2:
If you’re experiencing digestive issues, it could be a sign of stress. Stress triggers our sympathetic nervous system, putting us in our “fight or flight” mode – This shuts down certain functions of the body, like digestion. Picture when you’re super stressed, you get a dry mouth and need water, the exact opposite of what the mouth should be like to properly digest food (we want ourselves salivating!)
Saliva has the first digestive “enzymes” that help break down the food the minute we put it in our mouth AND help signal our digestive organs further down to get the stomach ready to receive (and in what ratio of carb/fat/protein). Without this cascade, we can become prone to changes in appetite, constipation, bloating or even diarrhea. Research also clearly demonstrates that overtime, stress can also compromise our gut lining and lead to leaky gut (where toxins/bacteria can make it into our bloodstream!).
SIGN OF STRESS #3:
This one is very common in our practice. Patients come in and say they’ve been having headaches recently but “nothing’s changed!”. They review their hydration, work posture, what they’ve eaten, their sleep etc., but often “well, yes, I have been stressed, BUT” they say. Overlooking the POWER of the contribution of the stress part! Remember everything in the body is linked! Stress has been known to lead to both tension headaches and migraines. If you carry stress in your shoulders and neck area, you could be more prone to headaches.
SIGN OF STRESS #4:
Ever notice that when you’re stressed, you get a zit? In a study published in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, researchers found that stress levels were directly connected to acne severity. Why is this? We mentioned a few above (lack of sleep, decreased digestion), but one other main reason: stress increases our levels of cortisol and testosterone, both of which can increase our sebum production and lead to clogged pores/acne.
SIGNS OF STRESS #5:
Constant body pain
Chronic stress can lead to a lowered threshold for stress (we mentioned this in the sleep example). So any threat big or small gets perceived in the body as just as stressful. We also tend to clench our body (our jaw, our neck/shoulders) under stress and sometimes, even when we consciously tell our bodies to “relax”, we still hold them tight. We see this all the time in our patients, we say “drop your shoulders” they say “I am!”. When we are stuck in that fight or flight, stress can make our muscles and fascia in our body stiff and in a state of “guardedness”, leading to ongoing pain if there’s no acknowledgement (i.e. if we don’t even realize it!) or intervention (i.e treatment) to relax them. Thankfully, our signature FIIX visits are a wonder for this type of stressful ache!
Getting Stress In Check:
How TMB Can Help
There are a variety of different supplements we carry at TMB (and in our online shop) that can dramatically help manage and reduce stress. When her patients want to reduce their stress levels, Dr. Bhat may recommend the following:
Magnesium glycinate can reduce stress by promoting relaxation and calmness, which can help foster a deep, restorative sleep. It also plays an important role in the production of serotonin in your brain, which is involved in regulating your mood.
Adrenotone is a combination of standardized adaptogenic herbs and nutrients which are known to contribute to rejuvenating the adrenals, catecholamine production (dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine) and regulating stress hormones.
Electrolyte Synergy is a complete electrolyte formula for optimal cellular hydration. When we are stressed, our adrenals quench electrolytes. This powder also has D-ribose for energy production, vitamin C (important for immunity and adrenal health) and magnesium malate which can help relax muscles.
Our Treatments just for YOU!
If you want CUSTOMIZED supplement recommendations, we also offer advanced functional medicine testing that includes a comprehensive adrenal and hormone panel that can help identify the ROOT CAUSE and set you on a path to a healthier you. Book a free consult with us to explore your options!
Do you think you might be suffering from chronic stress? If you’re local, come in for a FIIX visit. This visit does not require you to BE in pain to come. Let us help your body reset back to it’s BASELINE. Using our unique combination of fascial release and acupuncture we can help your body can REMEMBER what stress release even feels like!
“When they announced this lockdown, my first thought was ‘my God if TMB closes I don’t know what I’ll do’. Seriously, I’m so grateful you guys are still here for us you have no idea. It’s keeping me sane”
– A TMB FIIX Client
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