Marian Hearne / Nutritional Therapist / ask@marianhearne.ie

What happens in a stress response

what happens in a stress response

How stress affects us:

Above is a snapshot of how the body reacts to a stressor.

This is only the tip of the iceberg and how a person responds is based on factors such as genetics, environment, stress resilience (ability to return to normal state), blood sugar balance, nourishment, the amount of stressors the person has on their plate when this new stressor arrives.

Is your "stress bucket" overflowing and there is no room for more? If, like the women I see in my nutrition and wellness clinic who are in menopause (post or peri menopause), then you can be already in a heightened sense of anxiety and this extra stressor pushes you beyond the limit. Maybe the coping mechanisms you learnt earlier in life no longer serve you. 

Parasympathetic nervous system

Our normal state of being should be in the rest & repair state, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) or the peaceful state. You are at your best in this state. 

Sympathetic nervous system

The stress state, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is only to be used to keep us safe from immediate danger. As you see from the graphic above your heart rate and blood pressure are faster, blood is shunted away to your arm, legs, head and brain. It helps us hide, fight or flee. It is a temporary state, it was meant to help us flee from a tiger or some other life threatening event. 

Digestion

As you can see in the graphic above, being in a stressed state lowers our digestion function, well you really don't have to eat that burger now do you when a tiger is chasing you. The energy must go to the other parts of the body to help with flee, fight, hide. When digestion is affected like this you can see how this affects the breaking down of food and absorption of food. 

Coping skills

You can't avoid stress, some stress is needed and is helpful, but you can learn mechanisms to cope so you return to your old self quicker. If you have a medical mental condition then please contact your medical support and get the help you need.

If nutrition and lifestyle factors may help then check out my free resources or check out how you can work with me. I'd love to help you learn and use easy daily coping skills for stress. 

 

Stress is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” ~ Chinese Proverb

 

Grab this easy set of tips on how to reclaim your calm and get some peace and quiet even if your life is hectic and perimenopausal symptoms are wearing you down

4 ways to get your calm on in perimenopause

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